Artist and curator Izabela Oldak of Poland.
Photographer and artist Ana Galan of Spain
German visual artist Alfred Banze
International mixed-media artist and photographer Michael Vincent Manalo of the Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY–At least three foreign artists have arrived in Tacloban city ready to deliver the much-needed support for its local art scene thru “Balay Kalamragan” literally House of Enlightenment, a special artist-in-residence program in Region 8.

So said Atty. Anna Veloso-Tuazon, organizer of the event, who identified the three international artists as Ana Galan from Spain, Alfred Banze from Germany, and Izabela Oldak from Poland. Oldak will be the program’s guest curator.

Known for her mixed-media, public art and land art in Europe, Oldak is the initiator and curator of Beyond Time/ Poza czasem international art residency program, made in collaboration with Bielska BWA Gallery in Bielsko Biała in Poland since 2011.

Alfred Banze specializes in intermedia and participatory art productions while Ana Galan is into portrait photography. Galan is known for her “life affirming project,” Viv(r)e la vie!, that looks at couples from around the world, particularly in Spain, Finland, and the United States.

Filipino artist Michael Vincent Manalo who also helped conceptualized the Balay Kalamragan residency will join the group.

Participating visual artist and art historian at the University of the Philippines Tacloban campus Prof. Dulce Cuna expressed elation over the event, adding she hoped that “with arrival of foreign artist there would be a syncretism or uplifting of new Waray visual art genres in our culture.”

“Some culturatis averred that the visual art scene in Leyte has stagnated all these years…There is a need for new exposures, trends in expression and even a “Sungdu-an” of sorts, between our local art forms and the European,” she noted in a round-table discussion.

Balay Kalamragan is located deep within the lush, bucolic fields of San Miguel, in Leyte, a 45-minute ride from the Tacloban city.

Artist and Kasikasi Art Association member in Tacloban Dante Enage, who carries the tradition of Tuba painting which the late Leo Villaflor left as a legacy, also expressed support to the program, adding the event will give them opportunity to collaborate works with known artists abroad.

Also qualifying in the program are local artists Geraldine Ocampo, Felix Catarata, Ian Chris L. Mejarito, Archimedes F. Prisno and Butz Eguia.

The artist-in-residence program will be focused on traditional medium. Artists are expected to finish their works on November 15.

Atty. Tuazon said the program aims “to increase community awareness towards art and help make art an integral part of society.” The program is a philanthropic in nature, she added.

“We are searching for emerging to established artists from around the world who have an interest in exploration and production of collaborative work. One presentation during the residency, an artwork to be left at the residence and final project or exhibition at the end,” said Atty. Tuazon on what they request from the participants.

Atty. Tuazon also supervised the Bahay ng Sining in Quezon City.