40th Jose Joya Awards reveals winners

WINNERS of the 40th Jose Joya Awards were named in a gathering held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu Little Gallery last February 24.

Third year Fine Arts student Ferdinand Aragon’s “Bullet to a Butterfly” bested 51 other artworks.

“It still feels surreal,” said Aragon, who claimed to be working on a series of pieces that depict Filipino children facing societal issues such as child pornography and child hunger.

“This time, my piece is about children in times of war,” he said.

Second placer was Joshua Emmanuel Lim, with his painting “Incognito,” while Ryan Seismundo came in third place with his “Change of Silhouette.”

Seven finalists were also recognized during the awards night. They were Cleane Padilla, Daniele Astrid Nazareno, Abigail Pajang, Jesus Codiniera, Clenneth Sala, Ninianne Sojor and Marvie Gasataya.

The annual painting competition is named after the late Jose Joya, National Artist for Visual Arts, who, as dean of the UP Diliman College of Fine Arts in 1976, decided to hold a contest for painting. The contest was launched a year after the institutionalization of the UP Cebu Fine Arts Program.

UP Cebu Fine Arts professor Juanito Karl Roque Jr. said that winning the award is a “distinction of belonging to a certain clique of students.”

“After a week or so, the financial incentives are gone, but the honor that is bestowed upon you is yours forever,” said Roque. “That has always been the idea of the late Jose Joya – to inspire students to produce excellent works.”

In her keynote speech, Josefa Joya-Baldovino, sister of the late national artist, said: “His (Joya) desire to discover and to encourage art students to induce people to be appreciative of the fine arts made him adapt an art program.”

She said the program would train the students to be ready “to meet the rigors of the time required” for the fine arts.

Addressing the participants of the competition, Baldovino said laziness is a poor excuse not to meet deadlines for exhibition.

“Talent to succeed in the fine arts is not sufficient. You have to discipline yourselves to have a regular routine of hours to hone your craft,” she said.

The artworks submitted for the awards are available in an exhibit that runs until March 4 at the UP Cebu Little Gallery. (Denzel Yorong, BA Mass Communication student)

Ferdinand Aragon with his winning entry “Bullet to a Butterfly” in 122 x 152 cm, paper (Photo by Denzel Yorong)

Ryan Seismundo bags the second prize with his 19.5 x 25 cm work “Change of Silhouette” (Photo by Denzel Yorong)

Joshua Emmanuel Lim with his 80 x 120 cm painting entitled “Incognito” (Photo by Denzel Yorong)

Josefa Joya-Baldovino (center), sister of the late National Artist Jose Joya, graces the awards night along with UP Arts and Humanities Cluster Chairperson Jocelyn Pinzon and Fine Arts Professor Juanito Karl Roque Jr. (Photo by Leia Pelobello)