The 2018 Ateneo Art Awards Shortlist

Jul 18, 2018

The Ateneo Art Gallery, with its partner institutions, continues to give recognition to contemporary artists and art writers through the annual Ateneo Art Awards (AAA). In a media launch held at The Grand Atrium of Shangri-la Plaza, the Ateneo Art Gallery presented the shortlisted visual artists and writers for the Ateneo Art Awards 2018 – Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art and Ateneo Art Awards 2018 – Purita Kalaw – Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism.

2018 also marks new beginnings and a renewal of partnerships. Shangri-la Plaza has been a venue partner for the Ateneo Art Awards for the past 10 years, since 2008, and has reaffirmed its continued support for Philippine contemporary art. Ateneo Art Gallery also embarks on new partnerships with the Embassy of Italy for the Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Arts and the Embassy of Spain for the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism.


In honor of Ateneo Art Gallery’s first benefactor – Fernando Zóbel (1924-1984), the Ateneo Art Awards – Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art will be awarded to three visual artists who are under the age of 36 for their outstanding works exhibited between May 2, 2017 – May 2, 2018.

This year’s shortlist of 12 exhibitions was determined from a total of 89 nominations sent by various artists, curators, local gallery and museum directors, art critics, and art educators residing in the Philippines. A panel of jurors will select three (3) winners who are eligible to be invited to an international artist residency grants at Ateneo Art Gallery’s partner institutions namely: La Trobe Art Institute in Bendigo, Australia, Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore, and Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

This year the Ateneo Art Gallery welcomes the Embassy of Italy as a new partner for the Ateneo Art Awards – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Arts. In line with the Embassy’s program to compile a collection of Philippine contemporary art, the Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino will select one among the 12 shortlisted artists as recipient of the Ateneo Art Awards- Embassy of Italy Purchase Prize. This program provides the Ateneo Art Awards a new incentive to promote Philippine contemporary artists.

In alphabetical order, the twelve (12) shortlisted artists for the Ateneo Art Awards 2018 – Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art are:

  • Mars Bugaoan – Becoming (Artinformal)
  • Bea Camacho – Memento Obliviscere (MO_space)
  • Ronson Culibrina – Talim (Blanc Gallery)
  • Dina Gadia – Situation Amongst the Furnishings (Silverlens)
  • Johanna Helmuth – Makeshift (Blanc Gallery)
  • Ian Carlo Jaucian – Viral Automata (1335 Mabini)
  • KoloWn – Low Pressured Area (Cultural Center of the Philippines)
  • Robert Langenegger – Only Dog Can Judge Me (MO_Space)
  • Issay Rodriguez – … (Silverlens)
  • Ciron Señeres – Gray Horizon (Cultural Center of the Philippines)
  • Jel Suarez – Traces by Which We Remember (West Gallery)
  • Elias Miles Villanueva – What’s Left of It (Pinto Art Museum)



The Ateneo Art Awards – Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism was established in honor of art writer and Art Association of the Philippines founder, Purita Kalaw – Ledesma. With an aim to put art criticism into the public sphere, the Ateneo Art Gallery in partnership with the Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation will choose two winners 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, to be published twice a month or a total of 24 articles in a year while the recipient of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize – ArtAsiaPacific Magazine will contribute a total of six articles for a year to the said bi-monthly publication.

In alphabetical order, the six (6) shortlisted writers and special citation for the Ateneo Art Awards 2018 – Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism are:

  • Alec Madelene Abarro – An Organized Chaos: Navigating the Looban (On Urban Labyrinthat the Ayala Museum)
  • Juan Paolo Colet – Life in the Labyrinth (On Urban Labyrinthat the Ayala Museum)
  • Jayvee Del Rosario – Ossifying the Abstract (On Alfonso Ossorio: A Survey 1940 – 1989at the Ayala Museum)
  • Mary Jessel Duque – Pacita Abad: A Million Times a Woman, an Artist (On Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Sayat the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design)
  • Sabrina Jeongco – Pacita Abad Has a Million Things to Say (On Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Sayat the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design)
  • Jose Carlos Joaquin Singson – Bread and Circuses in Time Roiling and Churning (On Vic Delotavo: Posters for Philippine Cinemaat the Vargas Museum)

Special Citation:

  • Maria Lourdes Garcellano – Sinehan sa isang museo: Karatula O Obra? (On Vic Delotavo: Posters for Philippine Cinemaat the Vargas Museum)


Apart from its collaboration with the Embassy of Italy, the Ateneo Art Gallery begins a new partnership with the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes through Perro Berde, an annual publication that provides Filipino and Spanish artists, writers, and cultural researchers a venue for interaction and cultural dialogue. The name Perro Berde is a combination of the Spanish word Perro and the Tagalized word Berde, symbolic of the adoption of elements of Spanish language and culture in Philippine literary and social consciousness.

The two winners of the Ateneo Art Awards 2018 – Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism will contribute to its 8th edition, scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2019. Essays will be published in English or Filipino and translated in Spanish.

Perro Berde is published with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo or AECID), and carries on a tradition of Spanish-writing in the Philippines starting with Aviso de Noticias in 1806.

Apart from the print format, the AAG and KLF will also embark on a new online platform for the shortlisted and winning writers of art criticism prize. A blog site titled “Vital Points: Essays from the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism” will be launched soon to serve as a continuing venue for art criticism. Writers shortlisted since 2014 may submit essays for review by an editorial committee.

The announcement of the shortlists coincides with the public opening of the Ateneo Art Awards 2018 exhibit which will be on view at The Grand Atrium, Shangri-la Plaza from July 18 – August 3, 2018. The show will then be moved to the Ateneo Art Gallery from August 10 to November 4, 2018 in preparation for the deliberation of winners. The Awarding Ceremony is set for August 26, Sunday, 4PM at the Ateneo Art Gallery located at the Arts Wing of Areté, Ateneo de Manila University.

The Ateneo Art Awards is co-presented by Ateneo Art Gallery, Shangri-la Plaza and Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation; in partnership with Arete, The Philippine Star, ArtAsiaPacific Magazine, Artesan Gallery + Studio, La Trobe Art Institute, Liverpool Hope University, Metro Society, YStyle, the Embassy of Italy and the Embassy of Spain.