Leading the Charge: The Winners of the 55th Shell National Students Art Competition
Art has always been an avenue for pushing change forward. Through art, we can see unique perspectives into the future.
For the 55th Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC), we challenged student artists to channel their voices and messages into their craft. The theme ‘Sulong Sining’ called on the students to lead the charge forward through art and use their creativity to inspire the nation.
We received more than a thousand entries for the competition from talented artists across the country. To select the winning works, we tapped seasoned artists who are experts in the field, namely: Nemi Miranda, Edgar Doctor, and Edgar “Egai” Talusan Fernandez for the Digital Fine Arts Category; Daniel Dela Cruz, Jan Leeroy New, and Carlo De Laza for the Oil and Acrylic Category; John Tence Ruiz, Pablo Biglang-Awa Jr., and Victor Balanon for the Sculpture Category; and Francis ‘Isko’ Andrade, Ronald Ventura, and Rolando Ventura for the Watercolor Category.
On December 7, 2022, Shell NSAC’s culminating event was held at The Ayala Museum where the winning works were recognized and publicly showcased for the first time. The event was opened to a limited number of attendees. Esteemed guests were present at the event to inspire the guests and speak on the importance of art for society and progress.
Serge C. Bernal, Vice President for Corporate Relations at Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, delivered opening remarks to officially start the return of the face-to-face event, “After 3 years, we’re finally here, finally in person celebrating our Culminating Activity. It’s very heartwarming to see people milling around artworks talking about their passion for art.”
Ms. Mariles Gustilo, Senior Director of the Arts and Culture Division of Ayala Foundation Inc., welcomed the students into the gallery and praised the resilience of artists in growing despite the pandemic, “We have all experienced the challenges and changes the global pandemic has caused over the last 2 years, but we also know it did not stop art from flourishing, nor thwart the creativity of our young Filipino artists.”
Through a recorded video, Dr. Rene. R. Escalante, Chairman for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and National Historical Commission of the Philippines, acknowledged NSAC’s contribution to nation-building by supporting young Filipino talent, “The National Commission for Culture and the Arts highly commends Shell Petroleum Corporation’s annual effort in honing our young Filipino visual artists’ crafts. We applaud Shell for being a platform for these students to celebrate their accomplishments and talents by nurturing them through the competition.”
Mr. Dennis Marasigan, Vice President and Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, quoted Tolstoy in expressing the importance of art in facing the pandemic, “Art is a means of progress towards perfection. Without art—and this was proven during the pandemic—mankind could not exist. Art is a way of communicating emotion but actually with the ultimate objective of uniting humanity through mutual understanding […] for us to better understand each other.”
The winning artists per category are as follows:
Digital Fine Arts
- 1st place: Earl Marie Pabinguit from Cebu Technological University
- 2nd place: Louise Gabrielle Abing from Mindanao State University General Santos
- 3rd place: Xymon Cadric Calayag from EARIST
- 1st place: Densen James Almeda from University of the Philippines Cebu
- 2nd place: Marko Sarmiento from Polytechnic University of the Philippines
- 3rd place: Clark Myer Arquio from University of the Philippines Cebu
- 1st place: Merlo Mahinay from University of the Philippines Diliman
- 2nd place: Luke Eidref Agapito Berja from Polytechnic University of the Philippines
- 3rd place: John Romer Pavilando from Tarlac State University
- 1st place: John Michael Flores Ramos from Tarlac State University
- 2nd place: Shara Mae Chan from De La Salle University
- 3rd place: Kaila Mae Faustor from Polytechnic University of the Philippines
You may show your support to the young artists by purchasing these artworks. You may find the buyer’s guide below to find out more.
For updates on the virtual gallery, please follow Shell’s social media pages and website.