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From left, Zeny Avila, Lenore R.S. Lim, Deputy Consul General Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek, Consul General Cecilia Rebong, Rene Ner and Fiel Zabat.

 

The Philippine Center Management Board (PCMB) and the Philippine Consulate General New York recently launched the book, “Art at the Philippine Center New York,” on Jan. 13 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Center.

The event was graced by artists, art aficionados in the Fil-Am community, artists featured in the book, PCMB board members, Philippine ambassador to the UN Libran Cabactulan, and other friends of the Philippine Center.

Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Willy C. Gaa, the chairman of the PCMB, in his remarks to the guests, noted, “Through the years, the Philippine Center in  New York has gathered works of Philippine masters, as well as of new and promising artists. The works contained in this book represent the vast array of Filipino artistry and talent, the richness of Philippine culture and the beauty of the Filipino soul.”

Consul General Cecilia B. Rebong, PCMB vice chair, and whose idea, initiative and resourcefulness made the publication of the book possible,  acknowledged the work of the editorial team and all those who helped in the development and production of the book.

Lenore R.S. Lim was the over-all coordinator and book designer Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, the writer and curator, and Rene Ner, the photographer.

“Libreng mangarap,” said the consul general, after sharing with the audience that it was always her dream to document the rich art collection of the Center.

“And now, 36 years after the collection started, the book is finally here!”

The book is the first-ever documentation of the rich art collection of the Center acquired since 1974 when the Philippine Center was inaugurated.

Lim, now president of the Society of Pilipino American Artists (SPAA), noted that the book can be considered a valuable resource on modern and contemporary Philippine art, and it was her wish that people will get copies of this valuable material.

Of 83 featured artists, nine are national artists: Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, +Ang Kiukok, Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, +Jose Joya, +Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, +Vicente Manansala, +Jerry Elizalde Navarro and +H. R. Ocampo.

Also featured are artists with distinct artistic achievements and exhibition history.

The book was published by the PCMB with support from the Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation.

It is available at the Philippine Center Office, c/o Ms. Zeny Avila, at 212.575.4774.

Complementing the book launch is a special art exhibit at the Center on the collection featured in the book.

The rarely seen art works can now be viewed by the public until the end of January after which they will go back to the offices in the Center.