Tracing its humble beginnings in the year 1984, the annual Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) was conceived by late Metrobank Group founder and chairman George, at a time when the nation was at the throes of economic crisis and socio-political unrest.
The Filipino people were in search for meaning and hope beyond the uncertainties at that time. While many took their struggles to the streets, Ty discovered much promise and potential in Philippine visual arts as an alternate creative bullhorn for people to be heard.
Thirty five years since, MADE has continued to be a platform for the discovery of the most passionate and creative visionaries in the country. To date, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) has recognized more than 400 creative visionaries, majority of them are now carving significant names in the local and even international art scenes.
But more than a competition that breeds artistic talent, MADE has evolved to become a development program that facilitates a generation of fresh ideas for social development.
“The dawn of this annual art tilt can be traced back to an aspiration that took hold 35 years ago: to provide a platform for Filipino artistry to flourish. Over the years, MADE has evolved to become a formative platform that enables emerging artists to translate their ideas into masterpieces,” shares MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña in his message.
Unleash the artist within
This year’s theme, “Unleash,” reflects MBFI’s continuing advocacy to seek out and exalt Filipino visionaries. A new batch of MADE awardees is set to be awarded on September 19 at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park in Pasay City. Two Grand Awardees will receive financial assistance worth P500,000 and “Mula” glass trophy designed by 2009 Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture (MPAS) awardee Noell El Farol.
Meanwhile, three other finalists for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas and Watermedia on Paper Categories, Painting Recognition Program, will be given Special Citations for their remarkable artworks.
Below are this year’s award recipients.
‘Evanescing Lives from the Homeland’ by Jayme Emille Lucas
Grand Awardee, Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category
Emerging from the tradition of Social Realism, “Evanescing Lives from the Homeland” conveys a powerful snapshot of farmers. Deeply influenced by “the kind of environment” that Lucas lives in and to other places where Lucas has been, the work shows the farmers not involved in their back-breaking labor but confronting the gaze of the viewer.
A graduate of Bachelor of Arts major in Advertising from Tarlac State University, 22-year old Lucas works as a freelance artist. She hopes to hold an exhibition one day and to create a mural art in an elementary school in Hacienda Luisita which can serve as inspiration to students.
“Upuan” makes evident the structure of social, political, and economic hierarchies, conveyed by the metaphor of the chair. Found anywhere, the chair is a symbol of representation, inclusion, and power and whose association with privilege extends into language.
Based in Muntinlupa City, 21-year old full-time visual artist Dave Alcon’s works usually tackle political and economic crises, and environmental issues. He earned his Bachelor’s degree major in Advertising from the Technological University of the Philippines Manila.
Christian Jame Maglente deals with the timely issue of mental health, which seems to disproportionately besiege young people who are still trying to gain a foothold in life. The “blue” in the title points at the literal color of the painting’s background while at the same time alluding to the “blues,” which is an informal term for extreme sadness or depression.
A graduate of Fine Arts major in Painting from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Maglente plans to create a masterpiece like no other and wishes for other people to have an appreciation about art.
Christian Cedrick Dela Paz locates the everyman in the familiar setting of the jeepney in 25/7. The title suggests that the 24 hours that constitute a day seem never enough.
Dela Paz, 23, plans to hold his own exhibition someday. His goal is to showcase Filipino culture and art to future generations through his works. Dela Paz is a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Visual Communication from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology.
Rendered in monochromatic green, the work is dominated by a central figure who has abandoned his military roots (as evidenced by his fatigue which now pools on his right leg) and now wears layman clothes as he earnestly holds a Bible to his chest.
A member of Linang Art Group, 27-year old Arman Jay Arago is a graduate of Bachelor of Technology major in Drafting Technology from the University System of Rizal- Morong. He dreams of becoming a national artist one day.