BY MARIVIR MONTEBON
For someone who did not have any formal training or schooling in visual arts or painting, she has gone a long way to celebrate her foray into international art exhibition via the huge group art exhibition called ART TAKES TIMES SQUARE, touted as the most immense exhibition of arts in New York City for 2012.
Organized by a US-based company called Artists Wanted, the ART TAKES TIMES SQUARE competition will present artists from around the world an opportunity to display their works on a massive scale on the most iconic billboards of Times Square on June 18, 2012.
Bisai submitted nine pieces from her art oil and acrylic portfolios, for which online viewers “collected” (or voted for) her pieces and in reaching the requisite number of votes at 77.
She received a premium entry to the VIP Viewing site where her works, along with thousands of art by other global artists will be displayed on the massive LED billboard screens of Times Square.
The same competition will also see the “highest collected” artists awarded with $10,000 in cash as grand prize.
Delighted that her works are included in this massive group exhibition in Manhattan, Bisai is humbly gratified to be selected as one of the few Filipinos that perhaps managed to enter the challenging art contest. “ I know there are so many great artists vying for the top prize, just being here and getting my work exposed to a larger audience and a bigger venue is more than enough for me.”
A self-taught artist who started dabbling in arts at a young age, Bisai has always been fascinated with palettes, paints and paintbrushes. She started with caricatures and sketching then experimented with charcoal and progressed onto mediums like acrylic, oil and quite recently coffee.
In 2010, her piece, a part of the Kinamut ni Bisai series entitled “Ladies Club Arabia,” was recognized as one of the Top 5 artwork for the first Best of Asian Art (BOAA) competition in Singapore, besting over 125 other entries from all over Asia.
In one of the hotels she worked in UAE, Bisai in 2001 painted a wall mural of the hotel’s staff cafeteria as a token of her talent for being a part of the five star hotel’s opening team.
It was from that time on that Bisai Ya’s creative works were slowly exposed to media and public activities. Her works were often written about, reviewed and featured in local UAE publications.
A member of select art groups in Philippines, Bisai Ya shunned away from turning professional and instead became an art hobbyist where she is comfortable at being a Sunday painter (one who paints on weekends) being a busy home school mom to her sons Angelo and Miguel, and who are now also taking the creative inclination on themselves.
Bisai counts Vincent van Gogh, Freida Kahlo, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso as having influenced her painting style. Her vivid use of palettes and playful strokes are few indicators of the kind of art she paints.
Her passion for art has resulted to her setting up an online art gallery ‘Bisai Art Café” where emerging artists can exchange works, promote art exhibits, trade art and conduct online art auction to aid charity groups and individuals in their art related events and initiatives.
In May 2012, through her online gallery also organized the first ever Online Art Auction for the student alumnae of her high school alma mater Cebu’s Colegio dela Inmaculada Concepcion’s class 1986 to benefit the Breast Cancer Treatment care of one of the member.
Bisai Ya gathered a total of eight oil and acrylic pieces, which were auctioned off, to the highest bidder online. Bisai Ya’s piece will be joined by works of emerging Filipino women artists namely Glenda Demafeliz, Yolanda Cabuco. Joan Honoridez, Marivel Galang, Jo Balbarado, and Ella Hipolito in the ongoing auction that ends on June 5, 2012.
“I am yet to learn many things about painting and my humble knowledge is not enough and I am just as excited to paint each time. Competitions such as this give us avenues to launch our pieces and network with fellow artists. That’s all I ever wanted and anything else above that are bonuses. I thank God for making me no different than what I am now. To God be the Glory,” Bisai gratefully says.