Essence celebrates women’s struggles

North Vancouver, B.C.

Five Filipino artists seek to respond to violence against women in group exhibit

By Ted Alcuitas

An eclectic mix of artists will show their works in an attempt to respond to the violence and harassment women suffer.

‘Essence’ will provide a creative dimension to the multifaceted character and spirit of women by highlighting in vivid colours and shapes, their roles, struggles, and triumphs, a press release says.
Presented with the cooperation of the North Vancouver Community Arts Council and MELD Arts, it will be held at CityScape Community Art Space
335 Lonsdale, North Vancouver from April 27 to May 26, 2018
An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 26, 7-9 pm.
The idea of the exhibition came as “a seed about 2 years ago when there was so much fear, especially among women in the lower mainland due to violence against women at UBC campus and near skytrain stations,” says lead artist Esmie Gayo McLaren.

Educational component of the show:
• “A Printmaker’s Journey: Balancing Art, Family, and Community”
Lenore RS Lim, artist and founder of the Filipino Music and Art Foundation in BC, will be doing an art talk about her series on comfort women, her mother’s influence, and the process of printmaking. Date: May 12, 2018 (Saturday before Mother’s Day), 2:00-3:00pm 

• “Essence of the Arts for Social Justice: Why the Critical-Creative Matter Now More Than Ever” Through Essence partnership with UBC’s GRSJ, Associate Professor Leonora Angeles of UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning and The UBC Social Justice Institute will talk about women’s issues.
Date: May 19, 2018 (Saturday), 2:00-3:30pm
All talks will be at CityScape Community Art Space.

The Essence exhibit travels to the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa later in September 2018, incorporating the works of two members of the city’s artistic community, Melanie Yugo and Kristina Corre. 

The Vancouver-based McLaren holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the University of Alberta and an Art Certificate from Emily Carr University. Combining volunteer work and painting, her art “resonates her spirit as artist, woman, and global citizen.”
Print artist Lenore RS Lim’s series Comfort Women depicts the resolve of women forced into sex slavery by the Japanese in World War 2 to overcome their shame and will to survive.
Lim received the Pamana ng Pilipino Award Presidential Award for Filipino overseas in 2004 and the Outstanding Professional Award for Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in 2005.
She recently held an exhibition with renowned artist Juvenal Sanso at San Juan City in the Philippines.

Finding her voice in her canvas, Pamela Gotango seeks to “ impart her reflection through subtle provocation.”
The Switzerland–based Gotangco characterizes her style as figurative, feminine, and arbitrary, oftentimes bordering socio-political arguments. She champions equal opportunity for women and draws insight from their role in society. A popular artist, Gotangco balances her exhibits between the Philippines, Switzerland, France, and USA. Essence is her first exhibition in Canada.
Admitting the complexity of his multiple relationships of the women he cares about, Chito Maravilla makes his paintings simple exploring this in Essence. The Surrey-based Maravilla was a art director at Campaigns & Grey Advertising in Manila before imago rating to Canada in 2002. He started work as a playground designer and is currently a graphic design for Smartfilms. One of his recent designs is a mural at the BC Children’s Hospital.
Styling himself as a renegade artisst, Danvic Briones’ initial works were heavily influenced by surrealism, the subconscious, and Salvador Dali. Fine Arts school, however, led him to another path: printmaking (collagraphy). His works show the blurring and sharpening of boundaries between the roles and stature of women and men in present society. The recipient of several awards, he exhibits in Asia, the United States, and Canada.

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