Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kopi Talk Lakbay': Visions of life's journey

MANILA, Philippines - For impressionist artist April Gamboa Villacorta, the journey counts more than the destination. Whenever she travels, she marvels over how the faintest scale and shadings turn into trees and golden rice fields. Completely enamored with her surroundings, she often has no clue how to go back to places she's been. Only visions from the journeys remain -- the visions that defined her journey.
In her second one-woman show entitled 'Lakbay' (journey) opening today, January 9, at the College of Arts and Sciences, Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija, Villacorta depicts eye-catching visions of Filipino gaiety, custom and lifestyle that piqued her attention during her many trips to her native Nueva Ecija.
Growing up, the University of Santo Tomas Fine Arts graduate had always been fond of observing how local folks earn their living. During long bus rides to and from the province, she had a window seat view of these people's patience, dedication and hard work. From then on, she aspired to recreate on canvas their colorful vivacity that gave meaning to her artistic journey.
A modern impressionist painter, Villacorta played with vivid colors and thick brush strokes to illustrate the rich panoramic vistas along country highways. From sprawling rice fields to vendors sorting out produce, she incorporated her creative aesthetic in mimicking mundane country life to create an engaging marriage of folk and impressionist art.
"It took me a long time to come up with this exhibit," said Villacorta, who is also a florist and decorator. "I owe it to the Creator for giving me the wisdom and guidance to finish it. I was inspired by local country scenes but I wanted to portray these in my own imagination."
Villacorta initially wanted to entitle the show 'Lakbay Diwa' (dream or imagination) but she chose 'Lakbay' because it signifies her taking flight into cultivating her art and doing more exhibitions, this time in Los Angeles where she now resides.
In this exhibit, she's fulfilling her long time dream of sharing her talent and inspiring fellow artists, especially the younger generation. She shared, "I want to inspire the way I was inspired. It's one of the most wonderful gifts I can impart to young artists especially the ones from Nueva Ecija."