AAG announces the new shortlist for Ateneo Art Awards 2019

Jul 22, 2019

Now on its 16th year, the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) and its partner institutions continue to give recognition to contemporary artists and art writers through the annual Ateneo Art Awards (AAA). To present the new batch of shortlisted artists and writers for this year, a media launch was held at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-la Plaza in Mandaluyong which coincides with the initial opening of the Ateneo Art Awards 2019 exhibit.


The Ateneo Art Awards – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art was first established in 2004 in honor of visual artist and AAG’s first benefactor, Fernando Zóbel (1924-1984). This award recognizes young and upcoming Filipino visual artists under the age of 36 whose works were exhibited within a one-year period, between May 2, 2018 – May 1, 2019.

Celebrating the best of contemporary art in the country, the Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art are given to three (3) artists from a shortlist of twelve (12). Selected by a jury, the 3 artists will be eligible for international artist residency grants funded by Ateneo Art Gallery and its partner institutions: La Trobe University in Bendigo, Australia, Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore, and Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

A total of 85 nominations were received after AAG’s call for nominations last March 2019. These nominations were submitted by museum and gallery directors, artists, curators, art writers and art educators residing in the Philippines. In alphabetical order, the twelve (12) artists shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards 2019 – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art are:

  • Zean Cabangis - Somewhere, Anywhere (Artinformal Makati)
  • Lesley-Anne Cao - The hand, the secretary, a landscape, (Cultural Center of the Philippines)
  • Keb Cerda - Super Nardo: False Profits (Untitled, Art, San Francisco, USA)
  • Ronyel Compra - Lutâ: Imprint of Lola Masyang’s House in Forest for the Trees (Fundacion Sansó)
  • Doktor KarayomIsla Inip in 2018 Thirteen Artists Awards (Cultural Center of the Philippines)
  • JC Jacinto - A Crack in Everything (Artinformal Makati)
  • Lilianna ManahanFrame in The Garden of Earthly Delights (Aphro, The Alley at Karrivin)
  • Krista Nogueras - Lake Predicament (Artinformal Makati)
  • Archie OclosLupang Hinirang in 2018 Thirteen Artists Awards (Cultural Center of the Philippines)
  • Henrielle Baltazar PagkaliwanganTimestamps (Finale Art File)
  • Jel Suarez - object reader (MO_Space)
  • Costantino Zicarelli - Years of Dust Will Build A Mountain (Artinformal Makati)

Aside from the 3 winners, one (1) artist from the 12 shortlisted will be the recipient of the Ateneo Art Awards- Embassy of Italy Purchase Prize. Started in 2018, the said award is a partnership between AAG and the Embassy of Italy which seeks to help the Embassy compile a collection of Philippine contemporary art while providing a new award incentive to further promote Philippine contemporary artists.

AAG has also launched a People’s Choice poll at Shangri-la Plaza ahead of the Ateneo Art Gallery run of the exhibition. The said poll was first done last year for Ateneo Art Awards 2018 which garnered a total of 225 votes from museum visitors. In the AAA People’s Choice poll, visitors are invited to vote for their favorite shortlisted exhibition. This year, the poll was opened early to encourage mall-goers to check the exhibition and cast their votes onsite through the voting tablets provided at the Grand Atrium.

The artist with the highest number of votes by August 18 will be given an AAA People’s Choice certificate. He/she will receive special items from Ateneo Art Awards partner, Times Trading Inc., one of the premier distributors of Artline, Derwent, Pebeo and other school and office products in the country.


In honor of art writer and Art Association of the Philippines founder, Purita Kalaw-Ledesma, the Ateneo Art Gallery and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Inc. (KLFI) established the Ateneo Art Awards – Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism in 2014 to encourage art writers and to get art criticism into the public sphere. This award provides exposure and opportunities for winning writers to be contributors to a national newspaper or an international art magazine

AAG and KLFI announced the list of local exhibitions open for review as early as November 2018. This year, four (4) writers made it to the shortlist. In alphabetical order, the shortlisted writers for the Ateneo Art Awards 2019 – Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism are:

  • John Alexis Balaguer – Everywhere is Here: The Museum as Heterotopia in Mark Lewis Higgins’ Gold in Our Veins (On Gold in our Veins: Mark Lewis Lim Higgins at the Ayala Museum)
  • Janina Gwen Bautista – “Nasaan ka na, Mara-bini?” Drawing Out Women and Comics Out of the Periphery (On Nasaan Ka Na, Mara-Bini? Francisco V Coching Centennial Exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines)
  • Jeckree Mission – A Confrontation with Gendered Bodies in Southeast Asia (On Gendered Bodies in Southeast Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila)
  • Mariah Reodica – Saltwater Trajectories: Bisan Tubig Di Magbalon, and Viva Excon as Cartographer (On Bisan Tubig Di Magbalon (Don’t Even Bring Water) at Viva Excon Capiz 2018)

Two (2) winners will be chosen for the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism who will each contribute to The Philippine Star and ArtAsiaPacific Magazine. The winner for the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize – The Philippine Star will be awarded a regular column under “Platforms” in the Arts and Culture section of the newspaper, while the recipient of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize – ArtAsiaPacific Magazine will contribute to the bi-monthly publication for one year. The new shortlisted entries will also be added to the Vital Points: Essays from the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism, a blog site dedicated for all shortlisted essays of Ateneo Art Awards.

Apart from the said publications, the 2 winners will also contribute to Perro Berde, an annual publication of the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes. Perro Berde provides Filipino and Spanish artists, writers, and cultural researchers a venue for interaction and cultural dialogue. The contributed essays are published in English or Filipino and translated in Spanish.

The Ateneo Art Awards 2019 exhibit is now on view at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-la Plaza from 17 July – 25 July 2019. The show will then be moved to the third floor of Ateneo Art Gallery in Areté from 6 August – 27 October 2019. Winners will be announced at the awarding ceremony set for August 18, Sunday, 4PM at the Suthira B Zalamea Lobby, Soledad V Pangilinan Arts Wing, Areté in Ateneo de Manila University.

ArtSpeak talks and workshops with the following shortlisted artists will also be held on the following dates and venues. Admission is free for all activities.

  • ArtSpeak with Lilianna Manahan and Jel Suarez - July 20, Saturday, 4PM - 6PM, at the Grand Atrium, Shangri-La Plaza
  • Hand-building Ceramic Workshop with Krista Nogueras - August 31, Saturday, 9AM - 12NN, at the National Bookstore Atelier, 2F George SK Ty Innovation Wing, Areté
  • ArtSpeak with Doktor Karayom and Archie Oclos - September 5, Thursday, 2PM - 4PM, at the Ben Chan ArtSuite, Ateneo Art Gallery

The Ateneo Art Awards is co-presented by Ateneo Art Gallery, Shangri-la Plaza and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Inc.; in partnership with Areté, The Philippine Star, ArtAsiaPacific Magazine, Artesan Gallery + Studio, La Trobe University, Liverpool Hope University, Metro Society, the Embassy of Italy, the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, and with support from Artline, Derwent, Lamy and Pebeo.