Harvest-themed painting contest draws 160 entries

BY ERIC T. LORETIZO

A unique kind of ‘revolution’ participated by young visual artists from the local governments of the Second District took centerstage in Cadiz City with no less than Mayor Salvador Escalate Jr. and the LGU bankrolling the arts competitions to provide exposure and hone the skills of promising talents.

Late last week, Earl Von Salcedo, a 22-year-old freelance visual artist, earned the nod of distinguished judges that included renowned artist Charlie Co, and Tristam Miravalles, Cezar Arro and Hill Benitez, for his surreal acrylic on canvas entry, entitled, “The Dreamy Rice Fields”, that won for him the P40,000 grand prize, a trophy and a certificate.

A total of 160 artists from Cadiz, Sagay and Manapla, aged 18-and-above, joined the Second District CaSaMa Painting Competition 2022 anchored on the theme, “Harvest”.

The event served as among the highlights of the city’s Charter Day celebration that culimanates July 4 with the inauguration Monday of newly-elected officials led by Escalante.

Salcedo, who graduated visual graphic design and animation from Cedar College, hopes to become a professional animator someday.

He is veteran in local arts contests during the pre-pandemic period, joined on line events during the someday onset of the COVID crisis, where he won several top prizes.

Salcedo said his 20×24 inches work depicts a scene in a dream that contains different characters

The woman represents the ethnic tribe whose members preoccupy themselves with harvesting fruits and vegetables, and they come down from the uplands to sell their produce in the city.

The farmers, with empty stomachs, are striving to harvest rice grains to provide for their families and their children’s education.

Members of the public appreciating the entries to the contest*

The children who, instead of playing, have become fishermen at a young age in order to support their studies and needs.

“We all have different timelines, different battles, and different paths to choose. We may have experienced the darkest times in our lives, but we should view them with a silver lining. We all chase our dreams and hope for a good harvest and a brighter tomorrow,” Salcedo said.

In second place was Reynald Esperancilla, who home a trophy and P30,000 awarded by Escalante, the panel of judges and other city officials.

Organizing the competition was Hibalag Group of Artists founder J.R. Ledesma.

Rounding out the Top 5 were Mae Ann Barcenilla, third; Santiago Onatin, fourth, and Allen Descalsota, fifth, who each received trophies and P25,000, P20,000 and P15,000, respectively.

The sixth to 10th finalists, who were given P10,000 each were Mark Kineth Casindac, John Quincy Hervias, Joven Dionaldo, Rusty Quiachon and July Ladra.

Escalante also picked 20 more entries called the Mayor’s Choice.

Each received P5,000 cash as a consolation prize.

For renowned Bacolod-based artist Charlie Co, it was difficult to judge fellow artists, especially that there had been many outstanding submissions.

He also commended the initiative of the Cadiz LGU and the support given by Escalante to promising talents, adding that he hopes that more local chief executives in Negros Occidental will do the same.

Constant exposure, he continued, is important to further hone local artists’ skills such as bringing them to art museums, galleries, interact with their peers, attend workshops and lectures as well as regularly join competitions.

Co said he shared similar advice to the Cadiz City mayor, who promised to implement do-able suggestions even as he disclosed that Second District Rep. Alfredo Marañon III, had initially told him to bring local artists to exposure trips.*