Yesterday, I attended Freeway’s sixth installment of the National Artist Collectors’ Series honoring Vicente Manansala, National Artist for Visual Arts. I remember the last time I attended a similar event was exactly one year ago when Freeway honored Ramon Valera, National Artist for Fashion.
I’m pretty sure there will be much more collection that will come out of the series as a lot of people appreciate the initiative. It’s a great way to honor our National Artists! Since most of us can’t afford to own a copy of their original work, at least we can have items that are inspired by them.
As of today, Freeway has featured the ff. National Artists:
- Nick Joaquin (Literature)
- Ang Kiukok (Visual Arts)
- Jose Garcia Villa (Literature)
- Ramon Valera (Fashion Design)
- F. Sionil Jose (Literature)
- Vicente Manansala (Visual Arts)
The event last night was all about Vicente Silva Manansala (January 22, 1910 to August 22, 1981). He is our National Artist for Visual Arts and is a well-known Filipino cubist painter and illustrator.
Manansala reinterpreted or indigenized cubism as he drew his themes from the familiar Filipino environment. His masterpieces include Madonna of the Slums (1950), a portrayal of mother & child which reflected the poverty in postwar Manila and Jeepneys where Manansala combined the elements of provincial folk culture with the congestion issues of the city. Barong-barong, cockfighters, families gathering for a modest meal and Quiapo vendors became his subjects as well.
Vicente Manansala was proclaimed National Artist for painting in 1982.
The event was mainly a tribute to Manansala, a special celebration of his life and works. Before the show started, there was a live sketching & painting session by the artists from Kunst Pilipino Group.
A few lucky individuals were treated to their own portraits done by the talented roster of artists from Kunst Pilipino Group:
- Aris Bagtas
- Sam Bulaga
- Allen Casacop
- Emer Casacop
- Jo Florendo
- Lourdes Inosanto
- Lawton Ladao
- Raquel Molata
- Bill Perez
- Mischa Semana
At around 7:45pm, the show finally started. Two popular celebrities Tim Yap and Divine Lee hosted the event. Both of them wore Manansala outfits which suit them perfectly.
There were special guests too like Maritess Mendoza-Pineda, president of Friends of Manansala Foundation, Cedie Lopez-Vargas of the Lopez Museum and Ronna Manansala, granddaughter of Vicente Manasala. They shared their personal experiences and stories with Vicente Manansala.
We were all shown a presentation about Manansala. His beautiful art pieces were flashed on the screen. I was in awe.
Similar to what Freeway did in the past, the interpretation of Vicente Manansala’s work was done through sublimation knits, modern silhouettes, print images of his art pieces & digital images of his masterpieces.
We saw the Freeway-Manansala Collection through a fashion show. Too bad I had a bad seat so my pictures weren’t great
Anyhow, the collection is so beautiful! Do catch them at your favorite Freeway branch as it hits stores on October 21. The 22-piece collection includes classic & modern tailored dresses, woven shirt tops, sublimation print graphic tees and dresses, Manansala watch, tote bags and accessories.