Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just 10 Seconds of Your Time to Help Provide Books for Filipino Children

It's the last two days, our friends. And it’s a really really really tight fight for the additional $300 in bonus funding from Global Giving--- $300 that will provide books for 100 (out of the 3000 we’re targeting) schools, hospitals or directly to disadvantaged children throughout the Philippines!

But only the top five organizations will get that bonus, and while we’ve made up a lot of ground, we’re still outside the kulambo at number 6 (just 16 votes from number 5, 60 votes from number 4, and exactly 400 votes from number 1). < So we really need your help, and all it will take are a few clicks! Just click on this link:

Scroll down and look for the "facebook share". You’ll find it towards the middle on the right side of the page. Click on it, and share on your facebook walls. And that’s it, doable in 10 seconds!

Pretty please?! :-)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011



I made the bottles and jars around the year 2000, using glass paints, marine epoxy clay painted with acrylic, and added ornaments.

These are some of the results of that creative effort. Ever since then, each piece has given me an unexplainable and incomparable sense of pride and joy, maybe because I made then during a particularly vulnerable period in my life.

It interests me, now, how it translates on canvas. Was I able to show the essence of why these pieces move me? I wonder if and how it would affect viewers.

Framed in, they receive undivided attention.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

"Moving Still" opens at CANVAS' Looking for Juan Artspace in Serendra at 6pm on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. A portion of all sales from the exhibit will benefit CANVAS' Books-for-3000-Children Project.

Monday, April 25, 2011

We're In! But We Still Need Your Help!!!

We met Global Giving's two challenge thresholds - raising at least $4,000 from at least 50 donors - last Holy Thursday!

Thank you to everyone for your support. This means that we have now secured a permanent spot on GlobalGiving’s website, where we will have the potential to benefit from corporate relationships, exposure to a new donor network, and access to dozens of online fundraising tools.

We will do our very best to take advantage of this new capability to further enhance the effectiveness and impact of CANVAS as an organization.

In the meantime, we still need everyone's help.

For one, the $4,000.00 only gets us the invite to Global Giving, but the project itself, more importantly, still needs at total of $15,000 to ensure that at least 3,000 schools, hospitals or children directly, will receive copies of our books.

And second, we're still in the running for one of the five "Facebook Share" incentives from Global Giving. The top five organizations to have their Global Giving pages "shared" on Facebook will receive $300.00 each. We are currently running at number 6, about 150 votes from number 5.

Please help us win the $300 special prize from Global Giving for the most facebook "shares." Simply go to: Scroll down to the middle and click on the FB share button.

Please be assured that 100% of the donations & special prizes we receive will go towards books for disadvantaged children throughout the Philippines. Thanks! :-)

Saturday, April 16, 2011


In case you haven't donated yet to our 3000 Books for Children Project with Global Giving, or if you have and were thinking of giving more, please consider donating between 12:00pm of Tuesday (April 19) and 11:59am of Wednesday (April 20).

Global Giving just announced this 24-hour window as a BONUS period during which time all donations received will be matched by up to 15%.

As additional incentives, we have also decided that:

* Every $10 donation to our Project made online during this period will entitle the donor to one of our unique art totes. These are unique pieces of functional art from our Outdoor Banner Project. We will bring the bags to our Looking for Juan Artspace in Serendra where donors can then choose on a first-come, first-pick basis.*

* In addition to the bags, and in celebration of Earth Day later in the week, every $50 donation will also entitle the donor to a signed, limited edition It Takes a Village print** by Palma Tayona (image size: 11x8.25 inches, giclee print on archival paper, unframed).

To make your donation, please visit our Global Giving page!

Thank you for your support!!!

* Unfortunately, we cannot afford to mail the freebies - they will have to be picked up at our Looking for Juan Artspace in Serendra. :-)

* The original It Takes a Village artwork by Palma Tayona is a 5x4 ft. acrylic on canvas painting and may also be purchased. If interested, please send an email to for details. 100% of proceeds from the sale of the painting will also exclusively benefit our 3000 Books for Children project.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

WHY READING MATTERS (and why you should donate)

We still need your help with our Global Giving Project to raise funds to bring 3000 of our books to public schools, hospitals and children all over the Philippines. This video is our modest attempt to show why we think this matters.

To donate, please visit our Global Giving page.

Music credit: L'Arrivee by Ehma

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This summer, Artists in Residence, Inc. (AiR) in cooperation with Looking For Juan (L4J) Arts Space gives your children the chance to unleash their inner artisans and conjure the “Magic of the Masters” as they hone their skills under the tutelage of professionals in the Philippine art scene.

“Magic of the Masters” is an intensive 10-session art workshop for children who want to explore the wondrous world of art and create their very own masterpieces, which will then be showcased in a culminating exhibit at the L4J Art Space in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.

“Magic of the Masters” includes lessons in drawing, painting, sculpting and mixed media art, which will be conducted by multi-awarded artist Cathy Lasam; artist and practicing architect Jojo Ballo; and Jill Arwen Posadas, a published illustrator affiliated with Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan. All mentors have mounted several exhibits here and abroad.

Join “Magic of the Masters” now to avail of the limited slots.

Classes start on Easter Tuesday at the L4J Art Space. For inquiries, contact 425 6375 or 0917 587 8770 or 0917 880 2062; or e-mail us at

Artists in Residence, Inc.

Artists in Residence, Inc., or AiR, is a duly registered art services company composed of extensively trained and highly experienced practicing artists. We provide custom-made solutions for clients who require the kind of creativity and skill only true artists can give. We take great pride in our ability to provide these unique solutions within client-specific parameters, with the highest possible quality.

Who are the Artists in Residence?

Cathy Lasam is a multi-awarded cum laude graduate of the College of Fine Arts of UP Diliman. Her art studies include printmaking, oil portraiture and watercolour courses in the US. Cathy specializes in the creation of paperworks, or folded paper sculptures and installations, as well as oil and acrylic painting. She teaches drawing, painting and art history to students of all ages at schools and studios alike. Cathy has held solo exhibitions at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, One Workshop Gallery, 1/OF Gallery, and the Prose Art Gallery, has participated in group exhibits at the Donada Art Gallery, L4J Art Space, the Museo Arte de Contemporaneo Ateneo in Yucatan, Mexico, and the Gallerie Gavarni in Paris, France. As an artist, she was also a Philippine Delegate to the China-ASEAN Youth Program in Guangzhou, China, and to the HAO Asian Artists Summit in Sentosa, Singapore. Cathy is a member of the Philippine Art Educators Association.

Jojo Ballo is an artist and practicing architect who completed his Architecture degree at the Diliman, Quezon City campus of the University of the Philippines. He specializes in ceramic and acrylic painting, which he frequently pairs with poetry. His current work focuses on the creation of intricately-wrought, large-scale mandalas in acrylic, which are highly sought-after by art collectors and patrons. Jojo has taught various courses in creative thinking as well as drawing, painting and arts and crafts. He has held no less than six one-man shows at the Pinto Art Gallery, the Boston Gallery and the Shangri-La Plaza. He has likewise contributed to several group exhibitions at venues such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Big Sky Mind, One Workshop Gallery, L4J Art Space, and the Art Center in SM Megamall. Apart from being a curator, exhibition designer, and one-time gallery manager, Jojo now works with an architectural firm in Pasig City.

Jill Arwen Posadas has a Painting degree from the UP Diliman College of Fine Arts, as well as a Communication Arts degree from the University of Asia and the Pacific. Her art studies include painting and drawing workshops at the Galleries of Fine Arts and the Escuela sa Museo at the Ayala Museum, the Young Artist’s Career Workshop at the Pinto Art Gallery, and the Barlaya Illustrating for Children Workshop at the Vargas Museum. She specializes in watercolour, acrylic, oil pastel on acrylic and oil painting. Jill has mounted solo exhibits at the Boston Gallery, the OWG Creative Centre, 1/OF Gallery, and the Prose Art Gallery, and has joined group shows at venues like the CCP, the Ayala Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, Surrounded by Water, blanc art space and the L4J Art Space. Jill is also a published illustrator affiliated with Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang-InK), whose works have appeared in children’s books, magazines, newspapers, greeting cards and a Philippine postage stamp.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It Doesn't Get More Filipino than This!

This highly entertaining, sensitive and truly Filipino short film, "Creative License" won the top award at the US National 24-Hour Film Racing Tour 2010 in New York. As the name implies, the competition calls on filmmakers write, shoot, and complete a short film - all in 24 hours.

Now, this is the way to tell our story!

For a more in depth background on the film and the film makers, click here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lessons from the Triumph of Ronald Ventura

The dizzying heights that artist Ronald Ventura has scaled in just the few years that his works have been selling at the international auction circuit are almost unimaginable, especially probably for his earliest collectors. But his triumph yesterday is on a totally different plane, and enough even for those who don’t follow the arts to take serious notice. In case you hadn’t heard, yesterday, at the Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings auction in Hong Kong, for the very first time, a Philippine painting by a living artist (just 38 years old in fact!) sold for more than one million US dollars, a record for any Contemporary Southeast Asian Painting at auction.

What does it mean for Philippine art?

First and most obviously, it confirms that at least some of the international spotlight is firmly on the Philippine art scene. In part, this is a testament to the undeniable talent of this - and other - Filipino artists. Indeed, there has been growing regional interest in Filipino artists beyond Ventura. Geraldine Javier, Rodel Tapaya, Nona Garcia, Kiko Escora, to name a few, have also been doing exceptionally well in the international scene.

The interest is also due to growing global interest in Southeast Asian art in general. China and India - the two major Asian powers - have paced the growth of the art market in the region, and as the prices of their art have skyrocketed, collectors began to cast their eyes on other Asian countries where, presumably, worthy bargains would be found.

Vietnam - with its historical connections with the United States and France - garnered the early benefits. Indonesia and to a lesser extent, the Philippines have been following suit, and there is still much room for growth.

Ronald Ventura’s high profile achievement is sure to attract even more interest in Philippine art, and particularly, its young contemporary Filipino artists.

A second, more important result is that Ronald Ventura, again and increasingly, will continue to be an inspiration to the current and next generation of Filipino artists. This outcome is double-edged.

On the one hand, Ronald Ventura shines as an example that the Filipino artist can and should compete and stand comparably with the best that this planet has to offer.

On the other hand, young artists should tread cautiously when following in Ventura’s footsteps. It may now be a bit difficult but it is important to remember that Ronald Ventura was not an overnight international sensation. His triumph yesterday was the result of years of building a reputation and even more years of honing his craft. If there is a lesson that younger artists must heed from Ventura - it is that they must be prepared to pay their dues. Some of them may even be more talented than Ventura, but - as in all aspects of human endeavor - it takes more than talent to make it in the art scene. It takes time, hard work and not a bit of luck.

And most crucially, it takes integrity - the discipline and faith to paint for one’s self and to explore one’s art, and to never compromise, regardless of and certainly not because of what they think the market wants.

Now, let me share what I think Ronald Ventura’s success DOES NOT mean.

First, it does not mean that the success and noteworthiness of our Filipino artists can or should be measured by how well they do (or don’t do) at auction. While Ventura’s sale yesterday is undoubtedly and undeniably authentic, it is not a secret that auctions are sometimes gamed, with collectors and gallery owners sometimes bidding on their own artists in order to attract greater interest in their works. And there are many other important artists who will not - either by circumstance or by choice - be part of the art auction scene.

Moreover, the market can be and is often wrong. No less than the greats Onib Olmedo and Ang Kiukok were ignored for years before their geniuses were recognized and appreciated.

And second, yesterday’s sale does not mean that it is too late to own a Ventura. Well, for most of us, this Ronald Ventura may now be out of our leagues. But it is not too late - and indeed this is where the fun is - to find the next Ronald Ventura. Because he or she is definitely out there. The only difference is that, because of this Ventura, more people than ever, both here and abroad, will be looking.

The good news is that the places and the chances to make that special find abound. Every week, there are openings for group exhibitions and first solo shows. Galleries seem to be sprouting all over just waiting to be explored. Art in the Park, an annual affordable art fair that benefits the National Museum, never fails to yield treasures. Manilart - an international art fair where you will find nearly all the most credible and respectable galleries - is just around the corner. And, there are numerous art groups and associations to work with, as well as underground street and graffiti artists who explore the boundaries and edges of art.

The local visual art scene has never been as vibrant and chaotic and exciting and full of opportunity - for both artists and collectors alike.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Global Giving - Help Kids and Help Us! :-)

CANVAS has been selected by the GlobalGiving Foundation to participate in its Open Challenge, a fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations working around the world.

In order to succeed in GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge, CANVAS must raise $4,000 from 50 donors by April 30, 2011. If we meet this threshold, we will be given a permanent spot on GlobalGiving’s website, where we have the potential to benefit from corporate relationships, exposure to a new donor network, and access to dozens of online fundraising tools.

Please help us reach the threshold of $4,000 from 50 donors! Be one of the first people to make a donation through our GlobalGiving Page! Not only will your donation help to inspire children to read (and love reading!) but, it will help us take advantage of a long-term fundraising opportunity!

We’re also going to need your help spreading the word! You can help us greatly by simply going to and sharing our GlobalGiving Page on Facebook and Twitter. (GlobalGiving gives a special prize for the project with the most shares.)

Please forward this opportunity to others who you think might be able to help!

Thank you again for your support and continued confidence in us!