The 54th Shell National Student Arts Competition (NSAC) Virtual Art Interaction showcased how the power of art can magnify the expression of advocacies. Also, how art enhanced by technology can break boundaries.
The last two sessions of this online workshop series were anchored on the ‘restART’ theme. They were organized by the Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation.
The series details how the nation’s future can be revitalized through creativity and craftsmanship. This is in the now countless subdisciplines that fall under the category of art.
Conrado Parizal serves as the Pilipinas Shell’s Country Social Performance and Social Investment Manager. During the virtual interactions, he gave the vital role that the NSAC reinforces into the country’s young generation of artists. It is,
“…to inspire their countrymen to seize the wonder that still surrounds us despite the hardship, to see their own inner light and realize it despite the darkness.”
The Shell NSAC Virtual Art Interact further stressed the young artists’ need to continue challenging their creative processes. This is while adapting to their contemporary surroundings.
Workshop participants learned how to use modern-day technology to produce art, as the two fields of discipline evolve in tandem with each other. Simultaneously, they recognized Filipinos’ zeal for their values and beliefs. Together with art, it can inspire people to strive for a better future.
Art and tech
The first session highlighted how the challenges posed by the lockdowns resulted in THE exploration of tech’s unchartered territory. Also, of course, its many innovative applications for art.
Through the NSAC virtual art interaction itself to live streams showing the artists’ creative process, technology has opened new ways for artists to distribute and display their works. It has also proven the public’s palpable thirst for art despite the pandemic.
Tokwa Peaflorida, a multimedia artist, exhibited his amazing artistic talent in a live demo workshop with the 54th NSAC Virtual Art Interact participants. He demonstrated simple forms/shapes, sight-sizing, and negative space.
Leading the “From the Screen to Walls: A Mural Workshop” was Anjo Bolarda, muralist, graphic designer, and illustrator. He maintained,
“Without tech, I wouldn’t be able to interact and grow my fanbase. It is crucial to the life and development of an artist.”
NSAC Alumni Jophel Ybiosa shared the advantages that tech brings to art,
“My photos used to be displayed in private exhibits, but now with social media it can be displayed for all to see. What’s important to me is people seeing my works.”
Art also serves a social purpose in communicating beliefs and advocacies. It includes strengthening local communities by transmitting their tales using locally sourced resources. The combination of art and advocacy becomes a very personal synthesis of the artist’s passions and issues. Art transforms into a platform for ideas or movements they genuinely believe in and champion.
Art and advocacy
As Tokwa Penaflorida, a figurative artist specializing in the human form, said,
“You cannot really divorce art from other things, especially in helping the economy. Everything we are producing, whether in engineering, media or even in cerebral things like science and math—all of those are still about the betterment of humanity. Art is always incorporated. It just boils down to being aware of the power it has in the different industries.”
Isko Andrade, a three-time SHELL NSAC winner, acknowledged,
“Art is everywhere. Passion and art can express one’s self.”
Enablers and Moderators for Leg 3 of the 54th National Student Art Competition’s Virtual Art Interact, themed “Art and Advocacy.” Upper row, from left to right: Tokwa Peaflorida, multimedia artist; Isko Andrade, NSAC alumnus, and winner. From left to right in the lower row: Andrei Pamintuan, Creative Director of FringeMNL and Pineapple Lab; and Conrad Parizal, Country Social Performance and Social Investment Manager for Pilipinas Shell.
During the two sessions, leaders from the art world also gave their insights on success in their industry.
Firstly, Cyrus Montano, a self-taught mixed media artist, said,
“Support is really important in this field, like what Shell is doing. It is providing a future platform where artists can showcase their piece.”
Margaux Chua, art director and senior MMA of DDB Group Philippines, pointed out another pillar of success: “[Be] willing to learn. Ask from those who know more. The successful artists took the time to learn and asked the right questions.”
Pete Vitalez, an abstract artist from Parañaque City, agreed, adding that “people from diverse backgrounds can easily adopt. Let’s say you have a degree in accountancy. How do you combine numbers with your work in fine arts? Or, if you have a degree in chemistry, how do you weave that with sculpture? It starts with passion.”
Meanwhile, Sarah Del Rosario, artist, event stylist, and full-time freelance painter, encouraged her younger colleagues, saying,
“Don’t be shy to explore ideas. What we need is to continue with progress.”
Andrade reminded young aspiring artists struggling with resources: “Material is not a hindrance for us to push forward. Overcome your fear.”
The NSAC Virtual Art Interact participants enthusiastically participated in the event segment, participants’ artwork sharing, and proudly displayed their artwork while receiving advice from art experts.
As the youth grow to become society’s future leaders, art and the talents of their generation follow suit. The Shell NSAC Virtual Art Interaction has shown that that transformation can be enhanced by both technology and the artist’s own advocacy. Lastly, Penaflorida described the role that he and his peers will play in the near future,
“Art is the conscience of the society. As an artist, you are obligated to give back to our society because it is where we get inspiration.”
Aside from being a businessman, Josh Austria has been working in PR and media industry for more more than a decade. From his years of experience as the Marketing and Advertising Head of Village Pipol Magazine, he has built strong relationships with creative people, brands, and organizations.