Wanted: National Artists

Published September 6, 2020, 10:24 PM

by Jules Vivas

PAST RECIPIENTS Lino Brocka for film in 1997, Fernando Amorsolo for visual arts-painting in 1972, and Nick Joaquín for literature in 1976

Good news! The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) have opened the nomination for the Orden ng Pambansa ng Alagad ng Sining (Order of the National Artists). Known as the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine art, the distinction is conferred by the President, and administered by the two organizations. The first award in painting was conferred posthumously in 1972 to Fernando Amorsolo, then known as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art.”

The objective of the merit is to recognize Filipino artists who have made significant contributions to the cultural heritage of the country, to promote creative expression as significant to the development of a national cultural identity, and local artists who have dedicated their lives to their works to forge new paths and directions for future generations of Pinoy artists.

Nominees will vie under one category where the artist has made his or her most substantial contribution, with other merits added to the citations as well namely architecture and allied arts, dance, design, film and broadcast arts, literature, music, theater, and visual arts. 

LUCKY SEVEN The Malacañan Palace led by President Rodrigo Duterte, fetes seven new National Artists in an awarding ceremony on October 24, 2018, photo from NCCA

The honor will be given to artists who meet all of the following criteria.

1. Living artists who are Filipino citizens at the time of nomination and at the awarding, as well as those who died after the establishment of the award in 1972 but were Filipino citizens at the time of their death.

2. Artists who through the content and form of their works have contributed in building a Filipino sense of nationhood; artists who have pioneered in a mode of creative expression or style, thus, earning distinction and making an impact on succeeding generations of artists.

3. Artists who have created a substantial and significant body of works and or consistently displayed excellence in the practice of their art form, thus enriching artistic expression or style.

4. Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through prestigious national and or international recognition, such as the Gawad CCP para sa Sining, CCP Thirteen Artists Award, and NCCA Haraya Awards (Alab and Dangal).

Nominations can be submitted to the office of the executive director of NCCA at 633 General Luna Street, Intramuros, or at the office of the artistic director of CCP in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, before Dec. 15 this year.