Let the colors flow
By Dexter R. Matilla
“Kulay Sa Tubig,” the Philippines’ premiere watercolor competition, recently honored the country’s best aquarelle artists at the SM Megamall in Ortigas.
The by-invitation only event saw some 100 works from artists who have mastered the skill required to produce art using a medium considered to be one of the most difficult to master.
That Gallery Genesis was able to pull off this year’s edition together with SM Megamall is truly commendable. At a time when most have experienced a sense of loss, it is quite uplifting to know that there are artists who are still able to create and share beauty through their brushes, canvases, and watercolor paint.
“We actually had to consider a lot of things before pushing thru with the exhibit—safety protocols, stricter guidelines, social distancing, etc., but it was very important for us to push thru with it anyway because we wanted to continue lifting the spirits up of both artists and art enthusiasts alike during these difficult times,” says Gallery Genesis chairman, Ernie Salas. “Genesis has always taken pride in helping struggling artists, and this year, we wanted to give both old & new watercolorists the chance to pursue what they love doing despite being stuck at home.”
As in previous editions, “Kulay Sa Tubig” features artists who have been pre-screened based on their skill, precision, technique, balance, composition, and a rich, if not interesting subject matter.
For the 32nd edition, the top five water colorists are: Carlo Caacbay (Utopia, We Dream as One), Jarsen Lacson (Spidermen), Julian Eymard Paquiligan (Sweet Predictions), Ronnie Pascua (Force), and Richard Romeo (A National Treasure).
Virgilio Pomida Jr. is this year’s Hall of Fame awardee, an honor that goes to the artist who has won in “Kulay Sa Tubig” at least three times.
Judges for this year’s competition include Metropolitan Museum Manila president Tina Colayco, former NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr., SM SVP for Marketing Communications Group Millie Dizon, Ayala Museum’s senior curator Kenneth Esguerra, Vargas Museum’s senior curator Patrick Flores, art critic and writer Cid Reyes, and Filipino Heritage president Armita Rufino.
The “Kulay Sa Tubig” Invitational Competition aims to raise funds for the benefit of the frontliners of the UP Philippine General Hospital with 75 percent of the gross profit from the art competition and exhibition proceeds used to purchase face masks, personal protection equipment, and other essential medical items.
“Art plays a huge role during these times because it serves as a reminder of the beauty, the hope, and the talent that only Filipino watercolorists can provide. In a time of uncertainty and isolation, ‘Kulay Sa Tubig’ not only encourages artists to continue creating, but it challenges them to keep on pursuing what they are most passionate about and what is arguably the most difficult medium there is—watercolor,” Salas says.