PAG Remembers Dr. Jun de Villa
Once a year, in celebration of Philippine Independence Day, the Philippine Artists Group of Canada puts on a 2-week exhibition of their new paintings. This year’s show runs from June 19 to 30 at the Cedar Ridge Creative Centre and Botanical Gardens in Scarborough. Formal Opening reception takes place on Sunday, June 19, from 1 to 4 pm.
This year’s presentation, entitled “Remembering Dr. Jun de Villa,” is dedicated to the memory of a beloved and respected Filipino-Canadian doctor. PAG artists salute the late Dr. Guillermo ‘Jun’ de Villa not just for his devotion to and engagement in the community, but also for his love for the arts. Together with his wife, Nenette, he became the foremost collector of Philippine art in the community. He was with Dr. Mario Andres, Dr. Victoria Santiago and Linda Javier when they spearheaded the establishment of the Filipino Centre Toronto, where a permanent gallery of Filipino-Canadian art is in the making.
At this year’s exhibit, PAG will feature original works by member artists, all dedicated and accomplished in their own rights.
Rollie Abarilla’s UST degree in Architecture is evident in his renderings of urban scenery. Rollie also reflects an other-worldly aspect in some of his paintings.
Herand Abordo was a consistent Dean’s Lister at the UP College of Fine Arts, and this shows in his pastel paintings. His exquisite painting, “Memory of my Youth,” which can be seen at the Exhibit, is a magnificent play of colours.
Jun Afable is a UST Fine Arts graduate with numerous awards to his name. He continually pushes the boundaries of realism and abstraction, creating paintings of pristine beauty and technical mastery.
Teody Asuncion, an Architecture grad from the Technological Institute of the Philippines, paints colourful and expressive renderings of contemporary life, florals, and urban landscapes. There is a certain humour underlying Teody’s paintings.
Marissa Buyco-Corpus translates her UP-MBA and European post-grad training into a successful business but always finds the time to create delightful landscapes that evoke Emily Carr. Marissa is also an avid art collector and heads the Philippine-Canadian Art Collectors Club (PCACC).
Nerissa Coronel-Pineda, another UPian, is a dual artist, equally at home in creative and journalistic writing, as well as in the visual arts. With her acrylics and pastels, she paints intimate portraits that allow viewers a peek into the subject’s inner self.
Another UST Fine Arts grad, Cobie Cruz is an abstract painter whose works pulsate with colour, tension, passion, and drama. Cobie’s artistic sensibilities are also put to use in his profession as Art Director and Graphic Designer.
Frank Cruzet is a retired law and order guy with the Toronto Police Service who loves to paint (the paint loves him as well). Frank’s paintings of nature in all its seasonal glory successfully suggest those of the beloved Group of Seven, but with a modern, joyous touch.
Even before earning his TIP degree in Architecture, Jhun Ciolo Diamante has been receiving accolades in drawing and painting—in fact, since his childhood. Now, Jhun creates art not just with the traditional tools of paint and canvas, but also with the latest technology and software. His paintings combine movement along with quiet areas, often with monochromatic colour schemes.
Tony Doctor is another illustrious founding member of the PAG. He is a noted painter, an excellent portraitist and the most academically prepared member of the group who rose to Art Professor and Director of the University of Windsor School of Visual Arts. An ardent Rizalist, he became the first Canadian Chapter Commander of the international Order of the Knights of Rizal. He was among the earliest to be chosen as an Outstanding Filipino-Canadian in the field of Arts.
PAG founding President and internationally renowned painter Romi C MananQuil graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines. He was a UP Fine Arts Assistant. Professor, Artist-in-Residence and designer of Philippine bank notes and coins. He is a member of the Portrait Society of America and the only Canadian artist invited to join the Bridges Gallery in the U.S. Recently, his painting entitled “Innocence” was featured in a 2011 international calendar while his illustrations were used in a book produced by the Oxford University Press in England.
Koni Marcoux, now based in Coaticook, is the only Filipino-Canadian and now the leading artist in that scenic town in Quebec. This multi-awarded lady artist delights with her delicately painted florals, excites with her sometimes whimsical, yet truthful rendering of the lovely Canadian landscapes and enjoys doing distinctive portraits in her gallery cum studio in centre of that town.
Omel Masalunga, the current PAG President, is a sculptor as well as a painter. His life-size statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz De Manila graces the lobby of San Lorenzo School in Mississauga. As a UP student, Omel earned the distinction of being the year’s “Most Outstanding Student.” Omel excels in portraits, floral and urban landscapes, exhibiting his love of and expertise in the impressionistic style of painting.
Calixto “Toots” Quiachon is a versatile artist who received his Fine Arts degree from UST. His paintings show a mastery of technique in whatever subject matter he tackles – floral, still life of different shapes, landscapes, contemporary life and Filipino folklore. The new Tahanan Magazine (where he serves as creative director) features Toot’s works.
Frank Tonido, a UST Fine Arts graduate, is an established member of the Portrait Society of Canada who occasionally runs much sought-after painting and sketching workshops. His excellently composed still life, portrait, and landscape art works are amazingly alive with their sparkling colours and mastery of line.
Nelia Tonido is a UST Architecture grad who is well known for her watercolours – lyrical renderings of still life, florals and landscapes. There is a certain ambiguity and mystery in Nelia’s paintings.
At the upcoming PAG exhibit, signed prints of 4 paintings by the late Master Painter Rol P Lampitoc, Romi C MananQuil, Frank Tonido and Art Cunanan will be on sale. Mr. Lampitoc, a UP Fine Arts graduate, taught art at Windsor’s St. Clair College. His paintings are displayed in institutions like the U.S. Embassy in the Manila, the University of Toronto’s Woodsworth College, Emmanuel College, Engineering College, and Centenary Hospital. He was commissioned to paint portraits of luminaries such as Philippine Presidents Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal, American President Harry Truman, Chicago Mayor Richard Daly and Detroit Mayor Roman S. Gribbs. He was an award-winning member of both the Canadian and American Pastel Societies. Art Cunanan is a famed watercolourist and conducts popular workshops in Watercolour painting.
At the June 19 afternoon opening ceremonies, attendees will be serenaded by guitarist Romy Herrera, formerly of the Manila-based group “Wind and Strings” (check them out on youtube). Livvy Camacho will emcee and Lilac Cana’s Kundiman songs from her CD “Labing Dalawa” will be played at the reception.
The Head of Post of the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto will be the Guest of Honour. Dr. Maria Antonina ‘Nenette’ de Villa and her family will grace the exhibit as Special Guests.
For the first time in its history, a special follow-up event complements the show the following Saturday, June 25, as the PAG artists engage in a “Plein Air” painting session at the gallery gardens. Enjoy the fresh air and watch the artists at work on-the-spot. This is your chance to own PAG freshly painted originals at much lower prices. The session starts at 9 am and ends at 4 pm.
The Cedar Ridge Creative Centre is located at 225 Confederation Dr., Toronto (phone 416-396-4026). The exhibition runs from June 19 to June 30. Regular hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Pls. visit the PAG website: www.philippineartists.com. Contact us at 647-215-2121 / 416-907-9828.