For many Generals who actively travel around the city to get to school or work, they would have noticed over the past several weeks that the walls along some of the more well-travelled roadways have become a lot more colorful. This is thanks to the appearance of a multitude of very artistically crafted murals that have sprung up over several days. With styles ranging from comic to photographic, from mundane settings to surreal visuals, they have astounded and inspired every General that has laid eyes on them. They are the first batch of artwork for a new local art initiative.
This was a dream project that has been in development for quite some time. The first word of this came out on social media last December, courtesy of the City Tourism Council. What was announced was the GenSan Artscape Competition, calling upon Generals who were well-versed in the visual arts and mural painting to get to work on their hometown’s cityscape. There are prizes for the best participants to be sure, but the main objective of GenSan Artscape was to play its part in the beautification of the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, for the benefit of residents and visitors.
The road towards starting this great art project for GenSan began with an orientation for interested participant artists at the Sangguniang Kabataan session hall at the City Council Building on July 23. From there the artists were given until August 3 to present a finalized design concept for their murals, themed after “Food, Faces Festivities” and painted on tall walls (with their owners’ permission) that are visible and accessible to the general public, from pedestrians to commuters. Since then the visual artists, 75 in all and divided into 22 teams, went to work on their assigned locations with a will.
Since then, GenSan has seen and appreciated the fruits of their labors. Superb mural art of different subjects under the same theme have been created in different viewable locations: Caltex Lagao Branch, National Highway; Mabuhay Road near Jollibee Mabuhay; Brgy. Dadiangas North Hall; Holy Trinity College; Petron Gas Station and Husky Bus Line Bldg. in Bulaong; at least three along the main road of Dadiangas Heights; RDEX; Crown Bookstore; Dadiangas East Elementary School; and so many more. And while they were made to be appreciated, the artists know very well their works run the risk of being vandalized eventually, yet they pushed on and gave their best, for art’s sake. For this, we salute them.
Lest anyone forgets that this is a competition still, the final judging of the murals will be on September 4, with prizes courtesy of sponsors the City Mayor’s Office, Southern Union Hardware, and Boysen Philippines.
Image of GenSan Artscapes Competition Poster from Facebook