Metrobank Art Design Excellence 2021 judges on PHL art: “We envision a bright future”

THE Jury of the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) of the Metrobank Foundation Inc. (MBFI) which just ended in 2021 expressed its high hopes for the future of the Filipino art scene.

Comprised of artists and other established figures in related fields, judges for this year’s competition sifted through 701 entries, the highest number in the past decade. The judges then identified eight Filipino painters and sculptors as winners.

“With the current crop of young artists pioneering new ways of seeing and doing, we envision a bright future,” said final jury chairman Toym Imao, award-winning multimedia artist and UP faculty member. College of Fine Arts.

This year’s MADE winners are:


Between Heaven and Earth, Ariosto Dale Bagtas, 2020, 122 x 91 cm, acrylic on canvas

Grand winner: Bungkag by Kathleen Sareena Dagum

Special quote: Nakakabinging Katahimikan by Tyrone Dave Espinosa, and Isang Pangarap and Managinip by Carlo de Laza


Grand winner of the oil / acrylic on canvas category: Between heaven and earth by Ariosto Dale Bagtas

Special quote: Uncensored error of faith by Clark Manalo, and Binyag sa Landas-apoy by Mark Anthony Laza

Grand winner of the Watermedia on paper category: Haunting howl of chaos by Lymuel Bautista

Special quote: Lucas 21:11 by Crispo Manquilla

The top winners each received a prize of 500,000 pesos, while those who received the special mention received 100,000 pesos. All the winners also received the Mula Glass Trophy, designed by Noell El Farol, winner of the Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture.

The winners were also welcomed as members of the MADE-Network of Winners, the organization of past winners, implementing pay-forward projects that cater to marginalized sectors. To date, more than 400 visual artists and design professionals have been recognized. Previous winners include Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Jan Leeroy New, Alfredo Esquillo, Andres Barrioquinto, Yeo Kaa and Cedrick dela Paz.

Haunting Wail of Chaos, Lymuel Bautista, 2020, 76 x 102 cm, acrylic on stonehenge paper

According to 2021 MADE juror Daniel dela Cruz, sculptor and founding member of the Visual Arts Helping Hands Foundation Inc., he examined the uniqueness of a work of art, aside from its technical aspects. For juror Dindin Araneta, co-founder of Art Fair Philippines, examining the artist’s influences was equally important.

The works are presented in an ongoing virtual exhibition, titled Spectrum: the art of possibilities. The show runs until today, September 21, at

“This year’s selection does not disappoint in the range of styles and themes represented,” says juror Rica Estrada, who is also the curator of the exhibition. “We see paintings that show a sophisticated use of color and works that require a high degree of technical skill. Figurative works still dominate much of the selection, as do works that present social challenges and the harsh realities of everyday life. The paintings and sculptures speak of anxiety, loss of livelihood, worries about the future, depression, stress, difficult family situations and the act of staying afloat.

The other jurors for MADE 2021 were intermedia artist Mark Salvatus and interdisciplinary artist Josephine Turalba. The late visual artist Leo Abaya was also on the jury until his death in May.

“Even though we may be living in the darkest times right now, I would often quote Bertolt Brecht: ‘Will there be singing in the dark times? I believe so, ”said Imao. “I saw this kind of artwork from young people right now. This is the important role that we must fulfill. We must sing about the dark times. And once we’ve conquered it, we have to sing the victory and sing the future stories that are essential to be shared with a larger audience.

“It really is a moral responsibility of every artist to react to these times, to receive a gift,” he added, “a very powerful gift of imagery that can touch hearts, can reach a wider audience. , from scholars to the untrained. We have a very powerful media and we should use it to help our compatriots survive this pandemic, to survive the kakistocracy that we currently have in our country. ”

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