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Renowned Fil-Am Artist Nilo Santiago Exhibits Paintings of PH Historic Churches, Women’s Fashion

(L-R) Darell Artates, Public Diplomacy Officer of the Philippine Embassy and Sentro Rizal Washington DC Administrator; the artist Nilo M. Santiago; Dr. Bernardita Churchill, member of PALM Steering Committee and President of the Philippine National History Society; Ms. Mencie Hairston, community leader and artist, and founder of Mabuhay, Inc.; Ms. Rosalinda Yangas, member of PALM Steering Committee; and Mr. Jon Melegrito, community leader and one of PALM’s founders.

SENTRO Rizal-Washington D.C. and the Philippine Arts, Letters and Media Council, Inc. (PALM)  recently collaborated to mount an exhibition of the recent artworks of renowned Filipino-American artist Nilo M. Santiago at the Philippine Chancery Building in Washington to commemorate the 157th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.

A graduate of the University of Santo Tomas Fine Arts School, Santiago has been working for the past twenty years as an artist in the metropolitan Washington area: as a creative designer, a commercial printer, and a painter in various media. He is a winner of numerous awards in national competitions in the United States and served as the official illustrator of the U.S. Air Force for many years.

For this exhibition, which was inaugurated last June 20, Santiago showcases his works on “Philippine Historic Churches and Women’s Fashion at the Turn of the Century.”

“I wanted to preserve the look of those old churches in my mind and in my paintings which led to my Series on Historic Churches,” Santiago explained during his presentation.

“I am also glad to show the progression of women’s fashion through the ages in the Philippines. I am amazed by the materials like piña cloth and the incredible weaving and embroideries which took hours, days, or even weeks to accomplish,” he further said.

The experience of appreciating Santiago’s drawings of women’s fashion at the turn of the century is enhanced by the “Hibla ng Lahing Filipino” (Textiles of the Filipino People) exhibition featuring piña-seda cloths, which debuted in the United States on 10 June 2018.

The launch of Santiago’s exhibition is a result of the tireless efforts of PALM’s Steering Committee, which is composed of: history professor and culture enthusiast Dr. Bernardita Churchill; Ms. Lyta Sese; Ms. Arabella Harmon Horwitz, who turned over books to the Sentro Rizal Library; and Ms. Rosalinda Yangas, who introduced the artist at the exhibit launch.

In her remarks, Philippine Embassy Public Diplomacy Officer and Sentro Rizal Washington D.C. Administrator Darell Ann R. Artates outlined the upcoming activities of the center, including a possible film-showing in August, and the launch of the book “The New Filipino Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Around the Globe” on 27 September 2018 at Kramerbooks and Afterwords in Washington, D.C.

On behalf of Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, Artates also thanked the individuals and groups who continue to support Sentro Rizal Washington D.C. She cited Manila-based painter Celeste Lecaroz, and the youth-led advocacy group Project Saysay whose contributions of a portrait of Dr. Jose Rizal and ten portraits of great Filipinos, respectively, have considerably enriched the cultural resources of the center.

The exhibition of Santiago’s recent works and the “Hibla ng Lahing Filipino” piña-seda displays are open for viewing at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex until 16 July 2018, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except on weekends and holidays.


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