THE QUBE Gallery at Crossroads in Banilad has an ongoing art exhibit until Feb. 2. Featured are artists from Hiraya Gallery in Manila, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Qube itself marks its third year of existence with an impressive track record.
Dominating the scene at the exhibit opening was a monumental painting in vivid colors titled “Tyranny of Hindsight,” by 27-year-old Randalf Dilla, who said his work was inspired by the martial law years. An equally large canvas titled “What Now?” has been set up at SM City Cebu.
Randalf was present at the opening, along with Hiraya Gallery’s Didi Dee and the Qube Gallery team—Maris Holopainen, Bea Sagun, Vinnie Tan and Joan Piano.
Add to them A-List’s Cybill Guynn and Kaye Sala, James Abilla, Ed and Bernadette Gallego, Eliza Dilla, Javy Villacin, Lelet Heredia with daughter Patricia, Dondi Joseph, Debbie Palao and Chinggay Utzurrum, who said this was her first time at Qube. “And not the last,” she quipped, winking.
Opening on the same day was a large art expo at Cebu City Museum titled “Celebration: Sinulog! Cebu!” It features Cebuano painters depicting Cebu’s main festival and other local scenes, and is curated by Patricia “Noeng” Perez. The exhibit will be open to the public for the next two months.
Cutting the ceremonial ribbon was Cebu City Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella, who heads the city’s Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC).
Assisting him were CHAC member Erlinda Alburo and art collectors Raul and Marita Arambulo, who brought a group of friends—art enthusiasts like them.
Ber Hermoso’s painting of Sinulog dancers drew much interest from viewers, as did his “After the Quake,” depicting the collapsed bell tower of the Basilica del Santo Niño during the October 2013 earthquake.
The bell tower has been restored to its original appearance by a team headed by architect Melva Rodriguez Java, also a member of CHAC.
Artists in the exhibit included the ever popular Boy Kiamko, Henrietta Hermoso (Ber’s wife), Fred Galan and his wife Marivel, Jose “Pepe” Villadolid, Jun Impas, Engelbert Cajigas, Audie Estellado, Benz Florez and Clint Normandie.
More: Cris Java, Chicoy Romualdez, Eli Mañongas, Irvin Benlot, J.M. Picornell, Jess Najarro, Jesse Rona, Jesse Dinglasan, Orley Ypon, Ramon de Dios, Roberto Gonzales, Roland Yakit, Hajei Maronol and Malvin Lim.
All paintings are for sale, except two: “Mango Vendors” by the late Pronnie Serna; and a classic “Tartanilla” by Mel Tamayo. He must have painted over 100 during his long career and they are all over the world, glorifying Cebu’s typical horse-drawn rigs.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama caught up with the opening-night party. He exhorted the artists to keep up their good work and concluded with a song.
Meanwhile, the CHAC members have been meeting with regularity to deliberate on Cebu’s outstanding institutions and individuals. The awards will be given on Feb. 24 during the observance of City Charter Day, a formal event at the ballroom of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.
It has been suggested that only two persons go up on stage to collect each award. The usual is to see a horde of family and friends crowding the stage and jostling to be near the mayor for immediate posting on social media.
But, wait, the occasion also means “special mayor’s awards.” The crowd that surges up the stage can be larger than the one for the “outstanding.” Being who and what we are, the gesture is understandable.
Speaking of exhibits, there was a two-day by-invitation-only expo, held at the Gumamela Room of the Cebu City Marriott Hotel, by Gladys Young.
This time it was dazzling jewelry, which Gladys designs herself, expertly hand-crafted in sterling silver, and dipped in gold.
Vero is Gladys Young’s brand; the colorful gems she uses are all authentic. They come in all colors: sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topazes, amethysts, agates, cetrines, onyxes, name it.
Actually, Gladys has a permanent display of her avant-garde rings, earrings, pendants, pins, necklaces and cuff bracelets at a store that also includes clothes by Jun Escario at the lobby level of Cebu Marriott. It is a veritable Aladdin’s cave.
Happy with Gladys’ success are her supportive parents, David and Betty Young, who were present at the opening of the exhibit, with Betty’s Zonta friends Odette Jereza and Marietta Malinao.
Earlier had come Amparito Lhuillier and Teresin Mendezona, from a food tasting for La Chaine des Rotisseurs, with the hotel’s general manager, Patrick Carroll.
Gladys is her own best model. Pretty as she is, and with a tall, willowy figure, she makes quite a sensation when she arrives at some event wearing, ever so discreetly, the treasures of her own creation.