The search is on for outstanding young talents in visual arts. The 44th Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC) is now accepting submissions for the country’s first and longest-running student art contest.

The tilt is open to college students currently enrolled with at least 12 units. There are five categories to compete in: Oil/Acrylic, Watercolor, Sculpture, Digital Fine Arts, and Calendar in oil/acrylic. Except for the calendar category, all competition categories are open-themed to inspire subject explorations among participants.

The Calendar category represents a special place in the history and heritage of NSAC because in 1951, Shell turned its search for a subject for the 1952 calendar into a national art competition exclusively for students. This year’s calendar theme, “Alamat Noon Para Sa Ngayon,” engages young artists to creatively re-imagine Philippine mythical characters and stories such as Mariang Makiling, Bernardo Carpio, Ibong Adarna, and others. The theme is envisioned to give new vibrancy to the country’s rich and colourful folk tales that reflect time-honoured values.

Pilipinas Shell’s advocacy of youth development in art has been nurtured for forty four years to the point that an award from Shell has come to mean that the student artist has genuine talent. Through the years, NSAC’s previous winners have included National Artists Jose Joya, Ang Kiukok, Bencab, Fred Aguilar Alcuaz and other Filipino contemporary masters. Up to P50,000 cash are at stake for the grand prize winners, plus cash and medals for the other winners. A special grant in support of the Faculty Development Program is also awarded every year to schools of the first place winners.

Entries will be received at the following locations on July 21, 22, and 23, 2011: Shell depots and installations outside Metro Manila; Gallery Orange, 2/F, Lopue’s Annex, Mandalagan, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; Museo Iloilo, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City; Anthill Fabric Gallery, Pedro Calomarde corner Acacia Sts., Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City; GENLUNA Gallery, 90 Davao Medical School Drive, Bajada, Davao City. On August 4, 5, and 6, 2011 contestants must submit entries at the Shell Art House, 698 Aurora Blvd., New Manila, Quezon City (in front of St. Paul’s University).

Organizers of the 44th NSAC express their gratitude for the sponsorship of the following institutional partners: Air 21, Canson Artist Papers, Winsor & Newton, Lefranc & Bourgeois, National Book Store, Ayala Museum, Shell V-Power, Shellane, Shell Helix, GENLUNA Gallery, Anthill Fabric Gallery, Museo Iloilo, and Gallery Orange.

Those who would like to access the detailed competition rules can call 577-1633 or visit