Just like everybody else in the audience, I eagerly awaited the announcement of winners for this year’s Ateneo Art Awards. The
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://www.gallery.ateneo.edu.