Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Pahiyas Art Society

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The Pahiyas Art Gallery was opened in May 2022 with the inaugural exhibit of upcoming and established artists from Lucban and other towns in Quezon province. The first exhibit was still on going when we received an invitation to the first Rizal Day National Art Fair in Manila. It was an invitation that is hard to resist and a rare opportunity for these artists to experience and participate in an art fair outside their hometown.

Though we were only a second choice, the first group of artists from Lucban declined to participate in the said art fair citing many hurdles and seeing the event as not so “prestigious”, we readily accepted the invitation. Initially, we used the name Art Club of Lucban for the group, borrowed from the name of the club established by my father, Fernando Cadelina Nanawa.

Our group, aside from the national art fair, had participated successfully in various exhibitions at the gallery and outside of the town. Almost every month, various artworks have been showcased notable of which are “Baybayin, and Sinaunang Sulat Pilipino” at the Pahiyas Art Gallery and “Sining at Kalinangan ng Kalilayan” held at SM City Lucena in August 2022, “ReImagining”, a satellite exhibition of the Manila Art Fair 2022 held at the gallery and recently at the first Gateway Art Fair in October 2022 where our group emerged as the top grosser in artwork sales besting 10 other established art groups from Metro Manila, Rizal and other provinces.

It was during the Gateway Art Fair where we decided to drop the name Art Club of Lucban and instead coined Pahiyas Art Society. Pahiyas is synonymous to colors and the fact that most of our artist members are from Lucban, it is very fitting to be its name as it also aptly represents the various artists and their artworks of myriad shapes and colors.

The original Art Club of Lucban, established in December 1962 has a long tradition of worthy art projects and exhibits, leaving a legacy no other group can surpass up to this day. They were the ones, as young as high school students and some just graduated from college, mounted the 1963 Arts for Commerce and Industry Festival in May of 1963 which is the precursor of the now popular harvest festival in Lucban, the Pahiyas Festival. Keeping and remembering their legacy, it is but proper to leave the group, especially their name intact and untainted.

The Pahiyas Art Society, born in haze and still at its infancy has yet to be organized formally and officially. We had just opened our membership to all interested artists, both upcoming or established ones to join us in a spirit of camaraderie and love for the arts. Come January 2023, we will hold our first general membership meeting, elect our officers and formulate plans for the coming year.

With the pandemic and Covid 19 disease waning and allowing events like art exhibits and fair to be staged once again, we are looking forward for a brighter, colorful and prosperous year ahead for Philippine arts and the Filipino artists.

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