Lopenze Artists Launch First Commercial Exhibit

By Gem Suguitan

Seven years ago, organizing a local artist group was but a dream. It took an exhibition to showcase the culture and arts of their town to gather thirteen artists from Lopez, Quezon called Lopenze Artists. They had individually joined various exhibitions in the Philippines and abroad since then. This year, they are once again having a show together but for the first time, it is not going to be at the NCCA Gallery where the members of the group has had about six exhibitions already, but in ARTablado, 3rd Level of Robinson’s Galleria in Ortigas, Pasig.

Originally entitled “Kayunda,” a Lopenze word that means to put the child to sleep or calm the baby down with a lullaby or natural chants, “HELE” is their homage to children. The exhibition of seven Lopenze Artists namely Tres Roman, Aann Reynales, Gem Suguitan, Jopeth Buñag, Justine Olivarez, Cherryl Valencia and Jay Mar Valdoria will showcase their individual genre depicting children’s play, values, innocence, and vulnerability. 

The artworks illustrate the stories of the artists particularly from childhood as the exhibition is dedicated to the children of today who will become the citizens of the future. Every artist has his or her own story depicted through visual language: how they see their childhood as they look back to those years, and what they want to tell the children and the general audience about protection, rights, and freedom. Their works also convey how children inspire the artists to promote Filipino culture and values. 

Running from October 1 till October 15, the exhibition is dedicated to the children of Lopenze Agta who have a school in Brgy. Villa Espina in Lopez. The show also coincides with the Indigenous People’s Month. Artists reception was held on October 1 with National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Gallery Head Danny Rayos Del Sol as Keynote Speaker with Carlos Perion, TUP Lopez Campus and Students Coordinator; and a special performance by Joshua Arrera.

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