In the midst of a pandemic, Shell Art tilt theme touches on hope

in the midst of a pandemic shell art tilt theme touches on hope - In the midst of a pandemic, Shell Art tilt theme touches on hope

ENTRIES are now welcome for the 53rd Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC), with the theme corresponding to the COVID-19 crisis: Hope In Our Art.

“Art can inspire creativity, provoke thought, and empower people to make a change — and that is how it gives hope,” said Serge Bernal, Jr., Vice-President of External and Government Relations of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC), during a webinar on Aug. 25. “Young artists often have a fresher vision and an untarnished idealism. We believe that they can influence the country towards a better and brighter future. Shell continues to invest in programs that promote social development because we believe in the power of the Filipino youth.”

“As heralds of the visual arts, how will you spark hope in the hearts of Filipinos amidst the challenges we face as one nation?,” says the official announcement for the 53rd competition. “Now more than ever, our nation needs enablers who will not just ignite creativity to many but can also bring hope and show resilience amidst the adversaries that we are battling.”

“Using your brush, hands, pen, and technology, show us how you envision a resilient nation,” it says, and goes on to suggest what the students may wish to illustrate: “A nation guided by servant leaders and modern-day heroes; a nation with enhanced education system, strong transportation and infrastructure implementation; a nation strengthened by solidarity and communal efforts; a nation that advocates for sustainability and safeguards the environment.”

The contest is open to college students who are currently enrolled in a duly recognized college or university in the Philippines for the academic year 2020 to 2021 with at least 12 units.  The contest is also open to college students who have enrolled in a duly recognized college or university in the Philippines in any of the semesters for the academic year 2019 to 2020 with at least 12 units, with Senior High School and graduates of the academic year of 2019-2020 not included for eligibility. Entries are accepted until Oct. 11.

Students can win up to P60,000, a gold medal, and a plaque for First Prize. In addition to that, “The respective college or department of the first prize winners will get a special grant worth P20,000 in  support of the Faculty Development Program,” according to the contest mechanics. The Second Prize Winner will win P40,000, a silver medal, and a plaque; and the winner for Third Prize will win P30,000, a bronze medal, and a plaque. Contact for inquiries regarding submission  of entries.

“We have seen through the years a multitude of talent in the entries we have received, since its inception in 1952. We have since gathered a roster of acclaimed alumni, some of which went on to become National Artists,” said Shell’s Mr. Bernal. Among them are Jose Joya, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Ang Kiukok, and Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera. “More than a source of pride, these artists have given us a sense of purpose, an appreciation of history, and the value of nation building.”

Mariles Gustilo, Senior Director, Arts and Culture of Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI) said that Shell has donated the winning entries since 1952 to the Ayala Museum in 2017. Those entries, according to her, now form the core of the Philippine contemporary art collection.

This year, instead of a physical exhibit, entries will be featured in a virtual exhibit. While this is also a selling exhibit — there will be a virtual auction, with half the purchase price going to the student and half to charity — the winning entries will not be sold, but will instead be donated to Ayala Museum.

For complete contest mechanics including details on the exhibit and auction, visit — Joseph L. Garcia

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