BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Two Negrense artists opened a back-to-back exhibit at the Art Cove, an art gallery and exhibition space of Park Inn by Radisson Bacolod, during the hotel’s formal opening at the SM City-Bacolod Mall Complex in Bacolod City Tuesday.
The show, which features the photographs of photo artist Christina Bautista titled “Images of Negros” and visual artist Joan Honoridez titled “The Tale of Marapara,” was graced by Peggy Angeles, SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation (SMHCC) executive vice president and Park Inn by Radisson Bacolod general manager Sherwin Lucas.
The exhibit will run from November 23 to February 5.
Bautista was commissioned by SMHCC in 2019 to take photos of the natural, cultural and heritage sites of Bacolod and Negros as artworks for the guestrooms and some public areas of Park Inn by Radisson Bacolod.
She started doing photography as a hobby and later on developed a passion for the art. Her mentor was Michael Yamashita, a noted photographer with National Geographic. For the last five years they have travelled together through the Silk Road following the footsteps of Marco Polo in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Yunnan, India and Tibet and have documented these adventures in stunning photos of the scenery and people along the way.
Bautista has done photography for an exhibition at the Ayala Museum titled “Bamboo Road: Tel-Aviv-Manila” featuring works by Israeli artist Anat Haifetz.
A book with the same title was published featuring the photographs of Bautista. She has also photographed and done a mural on the life and works of national artist Ramon Valera.
Honoridez, on the other hand, was also commissioned by SMHCC to do the mural titled “The Tale of Marapara” at the Marapara Plaza on the second level of the hotel. The exhibit features her paintings depicting elements of said mural.
She founded the Association of Negros Artists (ANA) in May 2013. Since then, the group has evolved from conducting art workshops and holding exhibitions to creating graffiti and public art in partnership with Bacolod law enforcement agencies to counter vandalism. They have also partnered with advocacy groups to promote environmental awareness.
Honoridez has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the Philippines including those in Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Butuan, Baguio and Manila.
Abroad, she has exhibited in Saudi Arabia, UK, Spain, South Korea, USA, and Australia. She has received numerous awards and recognitions such as champion in the 1st Mural Painting Competition at The District in Talisay City; and the Natatanging Pintor na Tagataguyod ng Sining Award from the Bahay Kubo Sining Foundation in Muntinlupa.
Meanwhile, Angeles said the hotel features an art gallery to set them apart from other competitors and because there is so much to showcase in Bacolod not only to the locals but also to the visiting tourists.
They also want to feature local artists, which the city has so much of. Unfortunately, they are not seen everywhere so they would like to give them a platform to showcase what they have, she said, adding that “I think that is part of building tourism in the country and we start in a city like Bacolod.”
That is the reason they decided to put up an Art Cove and that they will be featuring various artists every so often, Bautista added.
Lucas said that among the Park Inn hotels in the country, Bacolod is the only one with an art gallery. Negros is a harbor of the arts, the home of many nationally and locally renowned Filipino artists.
“The Art Cove is a reflection of the combined love for the arts shared by the locals of this region and by the SM Group. Through the gallery, they wish to help the province cultivate and nurture more talents by serving as a venue to showcase Negrosanon art to travelers and amplify the art tourism in the province,” he added.*