The 2010 Ateneo Art Awards

Just like everybody else in the audience, I eagerly awaited the announcement of winners for this year’s Ateneo Art Awards.  The

Shattering States: The Ateneo Art Awards 2010 Winners: Pow Martinez, Leslie de Chavez, and Mark Salvatus

Ateneo Art Gallery staff kept the final results under tight guard, even to us jurors.  Thankfully, they paced this year’s awards night programme so that none of us had long to wait.

Joel de Leon from the Ateneo Art Gallery, and Marina Cruz, 2008 winner, pose with short-listed artists for 2010: Leeroy New, Rodel Tapaya, Mark Salvatus, Joey Cobcobo, Riel Hilario, and Kiri Dalena

Since 2004, The Ateneo Art Awards has served as a barometer for the country’s contemporary arts landscape.  Past winners have gone beyond the critical recognition that the awards provide to, in most cases, huge commercial success.  Just think of how far Louie Cordero, Geraldine Javier, Ronald Ventura, and Marina Cruz have taken their art practices.  A cursory glance through the list of  even the non-winning finalists, the artists who have made it to the shortlist through the years,  reads like the art scene’s who’s who.

Lovely ladies: Bingbing Fernando, Gilda Cordero Fernando, and Boots Herrera

The 2010 Ateneo Art Awards winners are (in alphabetical order):  Leslie de Chavez for Buntong Hininga at SLab, Pow Martinez for 1 Billion Years at West Gallery, and Mark Salvatus for Secret Garden, Sungduan 5 Daloy ng Dunong at the National Musuem.  Winners receive eligibility to four residency grants abroad—in Sydney, Singapore, Bandung, and New York.  A win does not guarantee a residency, as the program directors reserve the right to choose which artist they give these to.  For this year, both the La Trobe University Grant in Sydney, and the Common Room Networks Foundation Residency in Bandung have been given to Mark.  The grantees from Artesan, in Singapore, and Art Omi, in upstate New York, have yet to be decided.

Cedie Vargas with Jean Marie and Michelline Syjuco

No doubt, everybody will have their two-cents worth on this year’s results.  As a member of the panel of jurors, let me just say that we went through long, even spirited, deliberations. Just to get our final list of 12 short-listed artists merited an extra, tie-breaking exercise after a whole day of discussion.  So as trite as this sounds, just to land on that list of 12 really means that the artist’s work stood out among so many.  I find that the list mirrors the excitingly-diverse attempts of our young contemporary artists.

Also, we must remember that these awards do not recognize the artists’ entire body  of work, but specific pieces and exhibits.  Thus, even the venues that host the shows in the shortlist receive special mention in all the Ateneo Art Gallery’s communications on these awards.

Artists Erwin Leano and Leslie de Chavez

The other finalists for 2010:  Frankie Callaghan, Joey Cobcobo, Kiri Dalena, Kawayan de Guia, Patricia Eustaquio, Riel Hilario, Leeroy New, Michelline Syjuco, and Rodel Tapaya.

The works of the 12 Short-listed artists for Shattering States: The Ateneo Art Awards 2010 may be viewed at the Grand Atrium, Shangri-La Plaza Mall from 6 to 16 August 2010.  The exhibit moves to the Ateneo Art Gallery from 26 August to 2 October 2010.  For more information contact the Ateneo Art Gallery at (632) 426-6488 or visit

Patricia Eustaquio, "Dear Sweet Filthy World", SLab

Photographs from Frankie Callaghan, "Dwelling", Silverlens

Fr. Rene Javellana, SJ from Ateneo's Fine Arts program, who also served as a juror

Frankie Callaghan, Rachel Rillo, and Patty Eustaquio

Joel Alonday of Art Informal

Joey Cobcobo, "7 Heads and Ten Horns", Avellana Art Gallery

A Kawayan de Guia jukebox from "Katas ng Pilipinas: God Knows Hudas Not Play", The Drawing Room

Kiri Dalena, "The Present Disorder Is The Order Of The Future", MO Space

Leeroy New with his piece from "Corpo Royale", The Drawing Room

Ateneo Art Gallery's Richie Lerma with wife, Karen, and son, Joaquin

Detail from Leslie de Chavez, "Buntong Hininga", SLab

Mark Salvatus, "Secret Garden, Sungduan 5, Daloy ng Dunong", The National Museum

Mark Salvatus' Secret Garden

Michelline Syjuco, "She Never Did Care About The Little Things" for "Draped In Silk", Yuchengco Museum

Pow Martinez, "1 Billion Years", West Gallery

Rajo Laurel

Detail from Riel Hilario's "Aniwaas", Art Informal

Detail of Rodel Tapaya's diorama to simulate installation of his piece, "Thrice Upon A Time, A Century of Story in the Art of the Philippines", now part of the Singapore Art Museum collection

A facsimile of Rodel's painting at the Singapore Art Museum

Yael Buencamino and IC Jaucian of the Ateneo Art Gallery

Sidd Perez of Manila Contemporary with Mark Salvatus


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