The Cebuano art scene has been flourishing in silence; local artists have been showing their talents through the murals found all over the city, exhibiting their works in galleries or in malls, and having intimate gatherings that only a few know of.
In an effort to be more visible to the Cebuanos, artists have begun movements that all echo the same call: support local art.
One place in Cebu that has been an avenue for local artists to show their talents is at The Crossroads, a lifestyle district where things come alive through community and collaboration. Here, there is a showcase of some of the best local brands alongside art, design, and craft showroom-gallery spaces in a work-play community.
Just last July, the CEVOLUTIÓN was launched at the Crossroads. It is a public art series made up of murals done by six artists, namely: Golda King, DAOT, Lean Reboja, KIDLAT, Ronyel Compra and Ivan Zaldarriaga.
Take a walk around the Crossroads and admire the murals scattered around the vicinity, almost blatantly in your face to remind you that they’re there, just like the local artists striving to create a collective consciousness of their existence.
Also located at The Crossroads is the Qube Gallery, a premier art space in southern Philippines that initiates, creates, and showcases contemporary arts and ideas. Many artists have poured out their hearts (that is, their art) at this gallery.
Qube Gallery’s director, Dennis Montera, has an ongoing exhibit. Witness his twentieth solo exhibition, A State of Introspection. Based in Taiwan to finish his Doctorate in Creative Industries Design in the National Cheng Kung University, Dennis has been supported by the University of the Philippines’ Doctoral Studies Fund, as a tenured faculty of the Fine Arts Program of the University of the Philippines Cebu.
The year 2016 recorded the coldest winter in Taiwan. In this worst of circumstances, Dennis Montera created his gentlest paintings—the Winter Itch and Pinyin series. These featured muted color fragments layered translucently one upon another, all in stark contrast to his previous color-laden, highly-texturised body of works. This newfound aesthetic of sparsity, borne in a strange country, follows through in a collection of oeuvres for A State of Introspection.
The multitude of discourses he has been amassing as an artist, educator, art advocate, gallery director, among others, correlate to the density of layers piling on his abstractions on canvasses through the years that have defined his art practice.
Dennis continuously explores the definition of the painterly through experimentation of new processes introduced by new materials. Informed by an institution steeped in traditional representational art, his gesturals are arguably acts of aggression. He translates defiance as tactility of differences, integrating bitumen and texturizers with acrylic paints in his works.