ABSTRACT artist Joy Rojas’ second solo show ‘Material Maker’ opens today at the Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo.
A lawyer by profession and a member of the Saturday Group of Artists, Rojas explores textures, dimensions, and colors, particularly metallic, in his works. A number of the paintings in this show are named after Philippine racehorses (Rojas is a longtime horseowner) and convey equine attributes such as speed, movement, and grace. Other works reference travel and other pursuits that Rojas enjoys.
I saw several of these works in Rojas’ studio when they were drying, and I was struck by the intensity of the colors and the thickness and tactile aspect of the textures. ‘Yin Yang 2’ with its cinnabar red background and gold touches reminds me of Hong Kong. ‘Confetti 2’ has a pleasing blue and lavender background interrupted by gouts of red, pink, black, and burgundy paint; the background is heavily textured, almost like a stuccoed wall.
The horseracing reference is strong in ‘8 Times Lucky 2’ and ‘8 Times Lucky 3,’ similar works in different colorways. They are mixed media works that combine eight mounted horseshoes with painted panels. The shoes are actual Victory horseracing plates and are different from those used in other equine sports.
There are 28 paintings in the show’s catalog and all of them are interesting. Rojas’ shows are always sold out so if you want one or more of his works, do go to the show early. ‘Material Maker’ runs until April 30.
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The National Book Development Board is staging the 9th Philippine International Literary Festival from April 19-20 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Dubbed ‘(Author)ities,’ the event features lectures and fora, a book fair, workshops, film screenings, and tabletop gaming stations, among other activities.
The opening remarks will be given by NBDB Chairperson Flor Marie Sta. Romana-Cruz, welcome remarks by CCP Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado, and the keynote interviewee will be multi-awarded scriptwriter Ricky Lee.
Gaming enthusiasts should check out the tabletop game demos and a talk on ‘Book to Game Adaptations’ led by Game Developers Association of the Philippines’ Ria Lu, Alvin Juban, and Shelly Kero. I’ve noticed the resurgence of the ‘80s tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons among young adults recently, and those looking to learn more about D&D might find something interesting at the litfest.
There will also be storytelling and spoken word poetry workshops. The latter format has become more popular recently with the efforts of millenials poets such as Juan Miguel Severo. For comics enthusiasts, there will be a panel discussion on ‘Navigating the Power of Narrative in Comics,’ with Elbert Or as speaker.
For writers looking to get published, there will be talks about that, too, including ‘Finding Agents and Landing Book Deals in U.S. Traditional Publishing,’ with Rin Chupeco among the speakers.
There are more panels, too many to list here, and all quite interesting. Visit booksphilippines.gov.ph for the full program of activities of the litfest.
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To all writers, April 30 deadline reminders: The University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing is accepting submissions for the 12th issue of ‘Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature.’ Send short stories, poetry, essays/creative non-fiction, critical/scholarly essays, and excerpts from graphic novels. All works must be original and unpublished. For more details, check panitikan.ph and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, isn’t it time for submissions for this year’s Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature? The end of the month is only two weeks away, but I haven’t seen any updates from the sponsor. Nevertheless, be prepared to submit by April 30 as usual.
Dr. Ortuoste is a writer and communication consultant. FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO