Ateneo Art Awards 2021: Call for Nominations and Entries

Mar 26, 2021


To further promote contemporary art practice and enrich the Philippine cultural landscape, the Ateneo Art Gallery and its partners give recognition and opportunities to Filipino visual artists below the age of 36 through the Ateneo Art Awards - Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art. Since 2004, outstanding works and exhibitions by young visual artists are duly recognized through this prize that honors and commemorates Fernando Zóbel de Ayala (1924-1984), the founding benefactor of the Ateneo Art Gallery.

While the program still aims to celebrate the best of contemporary art in the Philippines, the global pandemic has given way for the Ateneo Art Awards to transition into a biennial program. The Ateneo Art Awards - Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art are given to three (3) artists from a shortlist of twelve (12). Due to travel restrictions, winners will be eligible for local residency grants funded by the Ateneo Art Gallery in partnership with artist communities in Baguio, Quezon, Zambales, and Negros Occidental. The selection of residency grant recipients will be made by the host institutions.

The Ateneo Art Gallery also partners with the Embassy of Italy for the Ateneo Art Awards – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art. In line with the Embassy’s program to compile a collection of Philippine contemporary art, the Ambassador will select one (1) artist among the 12 shortlisted artists as recipient of the Ateneo Art Awards - Embassy of Italy Purchase Prize. This program provides the AAA an award incentive to further promote Philippine contemporary artists.


1. The artworks submitted for nomination must have appeared in a solo or group show within the twenty-four months preceding 2 May 2021 (from 2 May 2019 to 1 May 2021).

2. The nominated visual artist must be a Filipino citizen below 36 years old on the year of exhibition, specifically:

a. For exhibitions that took place between 2 May 2019 to 1 May 2020, the nominated visual artist must be below 36 years old on 31 May 2020.

b. For exhibitions that took place between 2 May 2020 to 1 May 2021, the nominated visual artist must be below 36 years old on 31 May 2021.

3. Visual art is defined, for the purpose of the Ateneo Art Awards, as paintings, drawings, original fine prints, photographs, sculptures, assemblages, installations, performance, and media-based works (sound, film, video, computer and other technologies).

4. Those eligible to nominate for the Ateneo Art Awards - Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art are former members of the Ateneo Art Awards Jury, museum directors or curators, gallerists, independent curators, professional visual artists (must have participated in at least one solo or group exhibition in a public venue), art administrators, art journalists, or art educators residing in the Philippines. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

5. Multiple nominations are allowed.

6. One form must be submitted PER EXHIBITION.

7. Visual documentation must be submitted in digital format. Please submit a Google Drive folder containing the videos and images related to the exhibition.

8. All nomination forms must be accompanied by visual documentation. Submissions must be in any of the following formats:

Digital images (in 300 dpi) (.jpg or .tiff)

Digital videos (.mp4, .mov, .wmv)

Links to video documentation online (links can be in a word document)

Documentation of still artworks in video is limited to a maximum of 2 minutes. While there is no time limit for time-based/video artworks or of video documentation of performance, we advise you to send the video 1-2 weeks before the deadline to give the AAG team enough time to check the video quality prior to shortlisting.

9. To better appreciate the exhibition, installation shots are recommended. Each nominated exhibition may be represented by at least six (6) and a maximum of twelve (12) installation shots. In the case of submitting a series nominated as one work, documentation for each piece in the series will be accepted.

Nominators may select representative artworks from the exhibition. It is recommended that all images of artworks submitted for consideration be labelled as follows:





DIMENSIONS: (In centimeters, height x width (x depth for 3D works). For time-based works, please indicate secs./mins/hrs. For installations, please indicate dimensions variable”.)

10. Only nominations with complete documentation and information listed above will be accepted.

11. Aside from the requirements listed above, the following additional information may be provided as part of the nomination:

a. Exhibition notes, if any, should accompany exhibit documentation, in both Word (.doc) and PDF formats.

b. Complete artwork list of the exhibition nominated. Please refer to item #9 for the required artwork information.

12. Nominators may accomplish the Call for Nominations form online and submit visual documentation at

13. Nominations must be submitted on/or before 11:59 PM of 31 May 2021.

14. All decisions made by the Jury with regard to the qualification of the nominated visual artist, the artworks submitted for consideration and the 2021 Ateneo Art Awards shortlist, winners and residency grants, are final.

15. The awarding ceremony is tentatively scheduled for August 2021. Further details will be announced through the Ateneo Art Gallery website and social media channels.

PDF DOWNLOAD: FZA Nomination Guidelines


To encourage the practice of art criticism and to broaden its reach to a wider public, the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes present potential writers with the opportunity to contribute articles on art and culture to a local journal, a national newspaper and an international art magazine.

With the theme Navigating Crisis: Arts and our Futures, the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes invite essays that reflect on crisis. The theme however, is largely honed by the protracted pandemic and its effects on various aspects of life, including arts and culture. For many individuals and sectors of the Philippine society, the repercussions of the said crisis remain to be acutely felt. While the development of vaccines for COVID-19 has shed some hope in surmounting the pandemic, many things remain uncertain. To be sure, the crisis has effectively exposed the fragility of life, the instability of cherished relations and previously held assumptions.

In response to the diverse entries received from the AAG x KLFI Essay Writing Prize, the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes will have English and Filipino categories. A panel of jurors will shortlist a maximum of six (6) writers from each category. From these lists, winners will be selected by the editors of the partner publications. Winners will be announced during the Ateneo Art Awards ceremony scheduled in August 2021.

Two winners will be selected from the English category. The winner of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for The Philippine Star will be awarded a regular column under ‘Platforms’ in the Arts and Culture section of the paper, to be published once a month with a total of 12 articles for a year. The winner of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for ArtAsiaPacific will be contributing to this bi-monthly publication, with a total of six (6) articles for a year.

This year, the Ateneo Art Gallery and the Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation have welcomed a new publication partner: the Katipunan Journal. One winner selected from the Filipino category will be awarded the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Katipunan Journal and will be contributing to this bi-annual research publication, with a total of two (2) articles for a year. In addition, the winning writer in the Filipino category will have his/her essay published in The Philippine Star in August 2021.

In addition to the opportunity to have their written work published, one of the winners will be selected and offered a month-long writer’s residency at Orange Project in Bacolod. The residency will give the winning writer an opportunity to immerse and interact with local art communities in the Visayas.

The Ateneo Art Awards-Purita Kalaw-Ledesma (PKL) Prizes for Art Criticism was launched in 2014 by Ateneo Art Gallery and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation, Inc. (KLFI). It was named in honor of Purita Kalaw-Ledesma, art patron and founder of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP). Purita believed in art criticism’s “vital role in the development of culture,” citing its capacity to “guide both artists towards new directions and public taste towards the best in past and current artistic output.”


1. Employees, whether full time or contractual, of the Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University, or Kalaw Ledesma-Foundation, Inc., are not allowed to participate.

2. Must be based in the Philippines.

3. Bloggers defined as writers of online journals, websites, or whose written work is published in electronic social media may join.

4. Writers who have been shortlisted in the past for the PKL Prize may still submit entries.

5. To avoid conflict of interest, the participants must not have a regular column and must not hold an editorial post in any broadsheet or local/international magazine. Regular columnists are not allowed to join but contributors, defined as any person whose written work is published with a byline but not identified as a columnist, may join.


1. Entries should be essays with no more than 1,000 words.

2. Entries must reflect the theme of the Program. The theme of the Program is Navigating Crisis: Arts and our Futures. While this is open to interpretation, the following questions may serve as a guide:

a. How do we navigate a crisis?

b. How might our values change in the process, including what we deem as essential and non-essential?

c. How have artists responded to crisis and how have their works evoked a sense of urgency or intimated the shape of art to come?

d. While still in the thick of this global pandemic, how do artists and cultural workers imagine the future? What might we gather from these imaginings?

3. The entry must be written on A4 sized paper. The font should be Arial, Times New Roman, or Book Antiqua, font size 12.

4. Entries must be submitted digitally as Word and PDF file attachments with no indication of the identity of the writer on the documents.

5. Entries must be submitted at by uploading the following file formats with the title of the entry as filename:

a. Entry in Word document format

b. Entry in PDF format

6. Only one original entry is allowed per participant. The essay should not have been published before in any printed or online platform. Any entry that has been submitted for consideration in any other writing contest before 31 August 2021 will be disqualified.

7. Deadline for submission of entries will be on 13 June 2021 (Sunday), 11:59 PM.

Copyright of the works of the shortlisted writers (including the winners) shall be held by the writer jointly with AAG and KLFI.

PDF DOWNLOAD: PKL Mechanics for Entries


The Ateneo Art Awards is presented by the Ateneo Art Gallery and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Inc., in partnership with the Embassy of Italy. For more inquiries, please contact the following:


Joseph Caligner, Exhibitions Coordinator | +632 8426 6488


Estela Bagos, Museum Education Officer | +632 8426 6488