Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation launched its 55th National Students Arts Competition (NSAC) in its continuing bid to encourage the use of art to inspire nation-building.
Aptly themed Sulong Sining, this year’s Shell NSAC challenges the Filipino youth to take the lead in directing the country toward a brighter tomorrow through their art.
Serge Bernal, Pilipinas Shell Vice President for Corporate Relations, described NSAC in its 55th year as “the start of an exciting new chapter.”
“Shell NSAC has always endeavored to help student artists find their footing in the local art world, offering guidance and opportunities to push their talents ever forward. We are proud to have long been in service to the Filipino art community, with the competition recognized as a springboard and respected platform for the unique, creative voices of the student artists of the nation,” Bernal said.
Ayala Museum Director Marlies Gustilo emphasized the theme’s relevance: “Sulong Sining is very encouraging with fervent hopes to motivate our young artists to learn, grow, and share that talent through this chosen medium. The theme aptly demonstrates our resilience as well as culture bearers and guardians surviving the many challenges we all face during the pandemic.”
Created in 1951, Shell NSAC has served as a platform for young Filipino visual artists, celebrating their accomplishments and talents by nurturing them through the competition.
It has also led to the creation of countless masterpieces, with students submitting thematic art in a variety of mediums every year.
NSAC alumni over the years include legendary masters such as Ang Kiukok, Ben Cabrera, Angel Cacnio, Jose Joya, and Federico Alcuaz.
Nestor Vinluan, a recipient of the 1974 CCP Thirteen Artists Award, described the importance of joining an art contest: “It’s not about winning, it’s more about the participation. I always tell my former students to be like a child again when doing their art. Be open-minded, look at things freely and imaginatively, though still being serious and honest with your work.”
Gino Bueza, grand prize winner for the Oil/Acrylic category for the 40th NSAC, added: “Learning is never-ending. It’s constantly practicing the craft, constantly looking at what is interesting to put into the artwork, and discovering truth, not just on the outside, but within myself as well.”
Charlie Co, co-owner of the Negros-based Museum Orange Project, underscored how NSAC can prepare today’s artists for tomorrow’s changes and challenges.
“Shell can nurture and make them become mature on what’s happening. It’s very important to chronicle the times. The best artworks in the Philippines or in the world have strong images based on current events. I challenge all the future artists at Shell to make their story be heard and seen,” he said.
Students are invited to share their creative talents in the fields of visual arts: watercolor, oil/acrylic, sculpture, and digital fine arts. Last year’s Shell NSAC gathered over 1,700 students.
Applicants may submit their entries from June 1, 2022 until September 5, 2022.