These days, face masks are lifelines during the Covid-19 pandemic. And there’s no better way for artists from all over Panay Island, particularly Iloilo, to honor them than by making creative interpretations of rather lifeless objects that have become a significant part of our daily lives under the new normal.
What is more important is how Iloilo Art Sale 2020 of SM City Iloilo is paving the way for the iterations of face masks to help both local frontline workers and local artists cope with the challenges of the pandemic.
The art sale is an extension of the Breath of Life project initiated by Museo Iloilo and the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of San Jose de Placer Parish Church led by art patron and jeweler Gina Sarabia Espinosa.
More than 120 artists—ranging from award-winning veterans to up-and-coming artists—have transformed face masks to mirror personal or shared experiences in these tough times. The two-dimensional figures on canvas depict frustration, hope, unity, patriotism, and faith while others denounce the government’s poor response mechanism and crackdown on civil rights.
Participating artists are Jimmy Abelarde, John Acedera, Ningnong Acedera, Agos Payapa, Antonio Anas Jr., Leiff Antonino, Gina Apostol, Cezar Arro, Onofre Ballescas III, Ritchie Baylon, Margaux Blas, Kristoffer Brasileño, P.J. Cabanalan, Marrz Capanang, Mark Niel Casidsid, Larry Casinao, Leoniel “Sabrec” Cerbas, Edmar Colmo, Faith Ann Conlu-Rubinos, Marvin Dalisay, Jason Delgado, Rain Dumagat, Jeanroll Ejar, Noel Elicana, Jun Orland Espinosa, Tyrone Dave Espinosa, Vic Fario, Leo Gali, Joebert Gayoma, Bea Gison, Ronnie Granja, Melvin Guirhem, Rose Rubinos Jabadan, Carlo Juntado, Mark Anthony Larida, Madhu Liebscher, Winston Magampo, Joemel Mirabuena, Vic Nabor, Frank Nobleza, Alex Ordoyo, Renwil Jake Portodo, KC Rile, Joar Songcuya, Jzy Tilos, Arel Zambarrano, and PG Zoluaga.
Even Ambassador Uriel Norman Garibay, who runs the independent Omriel Art Gallery with his wife, is a participant. Meanwhile, doctors collectively known as After Clinic Group have their own iterations of the face masks, which they undoubtedly are too familiar with even prior to the pandemic.
Curator Rex Legayada Aguado says the art sale will continue online after the mall’s on-site exhibit wraps up on Aug. 7.