54ᵗʰ Shell National Students Art Competition Winners
From the talented hands of the country’s young creative minds are works that inspire and unite. These 12 artworks are the big winners of various categories in the 54th Shell National Students Arts Competition.
On the left: “54th Shell National Students Art Competition Sculpture Category” poster; Middle: A sculpture of a black house standing on a near-ruined ground; Top-right: A silver metal sculpture with fire-like forming two human figures holding round objects; Bottom-right: Four human-like figures standing, one is holding a red balloon.
Sculptures take up a substantial 3-dimensional space, willing the viewer to understand the artwork’s message from various standpoints. The winning artwork in the sculpture category takes a strong message through a pinhole. “If only we’ll unite and conquer” by Maica Rozel Borlagdan is a striking and shocking sculpture which talks about how some of us have to go through the hole of a needle just to survive while others can do as they please without worries or hesitation.
The 2nd honor in the category goes to Mark Eclipse’s “Laban Lang” which presents a beautiful metallic sculpture that talks about perseverance, and how hope and working together will get us through life’s challenges. Zoe Manigan’s “Future on our Fingerprint” takes the 3rd top spot. It is a politically charged work that holds the viewer accountable and delivers the message that shaping the future is everybody’s responsibility and voting is the way to act on it.
On the left: “54th Shell National Students Art Competition Oil/Acrylic Category” poster; Middle-left: People with face masks down their chins, looking up and smiling; Middle-right: A boy holding a trunk with sprout growing on it; Right: Three frontline workers with one climbing up the ladder holding a tool box, one is wearing a backpack and riding a bicycle, while the other is looking out the window holding a mug.
With brush strokes and paint, artists can tell the most wonderful stories within the confines of their canvas. Coloring the world with creativity and paint, their artworks give us a clear vision of unity and hope. Taking the top spot for the oil/acrylic category is Jarren Dahan’s “Panibagong Umaga”. The artwork features a refreshing view of people looking up and smiling. His artwork inspires viewers to be hopeful when thinking of the future, that as long as we’re alive, change can still happen. Dahan’s work calls for unity and empathy to get through the worst of times, making a beautiful portrait with a timely message.
In 2nd place, “Regrowth” by Ranier Angelo Bolivar speaks volumes about resilience. The haunting masterpiece shows how just like in nature, we can regrow better and stronger from any situation that we’ll come to face. 3rd place is Gyles Maverick Abac’s painting “Puhon”, an artwork that talks about how in situations of uncertainty, moving in any direction is better than standing still.
On the left: “54th Shell National Students Art Competition Watercolor Category” poster; Middle-left: A frontliner wearing a face mask and a red cape and holding paper bag on her lap; Middle-right: A girl with her right hand on her chest and flowers around her body; Right: A series of crumpled papers and papers with fold lines
Made with water and pigment, artworks done with watercolor have a strong appeal, able to tell soft and emotional stories. At the forefront of the winning works in the watercolor category is yet another masterpiece from Ranier Angelo Bolivar. “Moving Forward” depicts a medical frontliner sitting inside a train, a red blanket tied around their neck like a cape while holding a brown paper bag. Bolivar’s work honors frontliners, our modern-day heroes. His artwork notes how they have to brave the new normal for their family and patients and how the frontliners’ commitment to their work keeps them—and by extension, the country—moving forward to a better future.
The category’s top 2 spot goes to “Sa Dibdib Mo’y Buhay” by Patricia Serrano, which depicts a beautiful imagery of a girl with a hand on her chest. The painting talks about how the sacrifices of Filipinos lives on in her heart and how this inspires her to grow and flourish. In 3rd place is Elaiza Judilla’s “Progresibong Papel ng Pagkatao” which uses the symbolism of crumpled paper. Here, paper is used to talk about how our experiences in life will change us, but also deepen our love for our craft and push forward despite adversity.
On the left: “54th Shell National Students Art Competition Digital Fine Arts Category Category” poster; Middle: Three masked faces looking in different directions; Top-right: Women with missing puzzle-like shapes on their bodies holding out their hands to children; Bottom-right: Children fixing and cleaning a large image of a crying child
Real life inspiration translated to digital masterpieces. The digital fine arts category shows artists telling a story through digital canvasses, with messages that echo beyond our screens. Gerard Lynn Mara Santos created the masterpiece “Pintura”, the winning work in the category. The artwork shows three masked faces, seemingly looking in different directions. Colorful lines and strokes fill up a white canvas, setting up a wonderful message. According to Santos, the artwork is a reminder for us to chase positive experiences and emotions that life has to offer. Moreover, our lives are empty canvasses and it’s up to us to color it.
In 2nd place is “Pagtanggap Mo Sa Aking Pagkukulang” by Mary France Salazar. The artwork talks about the artist’s personal experience with their mother—their shortcomings and regrets. 3rd place goes to Ralph Enzo Rabaya’s “Tayo’y Makakahinga Muli” which tackles how rebuilding the nation isn’t a job for one person, but rather a supporting community.
Congratulations to our winners, you’ve truly inspired us with your creativity.
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As the organizers of one of the longest-running art competitions in the Philippines, Pilipinas Shell has hoped to continue its legacy of recognizing and driving artists to excel, just like the many artists who started their careers with Shell NSAC.