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Art Talk by Maria Victoria Herrera

Me and my classmates participated in a seminar-like-art-talk at the UCC FEU last Feb 21, 2013.

The speaker on this event was miss Maria Victoria Herrera. She teaches Art History and museum-related courses at the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University. She is a freelance curator and collections management consultant, and served as director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines‘ Visual Arts Unit from 1995 to 1997.

During the talk, she discussed various topics that was very useful to us art students and also other courses related to art. She taught us the venues of interaction which consists of artists run spaces, where there's no stress on selling art compared to galleries, they are self artists, when talking about budget, they look for projects to sustain. Additionally another venue is the world known internet. You can post your artworks there and more people can see and find it. She said that Facebook was the popular choice.

Additionally, she discussed topics about mediators of art and arbiters of taste (e.g. gallery spaces, new approaches in gallery management, active role of auction houses, art competitions which is a really great way to motivate new art students, new generation of art collectors where she discussed that there are young collectors and counting up which is a great sign for the art market, art awards like Ateneo art awards which is also a great big thing in the art world)

Basically, she discussed important points to us which was really helpful. The art market today is large and we, as students who are major in painting, is very happy, but also challenged at the same time.

Moreover, I’ve discovered more contemporary artists like Roberto Chabet, Junyee, Peewee Roldan, Ling Quisumbing, Manny Montelibano, Felix Bacolor, Kiri Dalena, Mac Valdezco, Nona Garcia, MM Yu, Ryan Villamael, and Nilo Ilarde. Ronald Ventura was also featured, and I already knew his works from his exhibit at the Vargas Museum on our Art Theory 2 class. But what I didn't know is that his 40 million peso artwork was auctioned as one of the highest! I respect him very much and he's an inspiration to my career. All of these artists are mind blowing! And they are Filipinos mind you~

This installation art was by Felix Bacolor, and was said to be bought by a Singapore museum. It was said that these wind chimes were bought at Divisoria. Imagine this and the electric fan doing their work, it must've been magical!!! Too bad I wasn't able to see it. This was my most favorite feature during this art talk!

All in all the seminar was very interesting and Miss Herrera was a good talk! I've learned and realized so many things in just a small amount of time. I'm not sure if the talk was an hour, more or less. And most of the artists she featured were not really painters, they were just magnetized by art and can produce art without brushing out paints but colliding objects and doing installation artworks. All of it serves another boost of inspiration to me.

This video is not related about the talk at FEU, it's s a video showing how dedicated she is on her speeches:

This was also not said on her talk, but to get a glimpse of her curate works, view this Exhibition article post. She also has her own book
Thanks for reading!!!


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Protected Under The Sun, An Installation Art Gone Performance Art

Our project was supposed to be an installation art, but due to some unexpected university rules we cannot exhibit our project which was to hang our work at the pavilion of our campus. So our installation art kind of became a performance art where my group mate is holding the umbrella full of pins!!! The experience was priceless though, and was quite fun!

This was our description for our installation art and was also layout by me. It was printed in A3 format so that when we roam around in campus they can understand the meaning behind our project. Full information and readable texts below.

About our concept

These were our inspirations that led us into creating our installation art. At first we were targeting a budget safe project so we tried thinking about some objects within our house, and we made it a point that we’ll use a broken umbrella rather than just throwing it out on the trash bin. When we thought about umbrella the first thing that came to mind was women using it to protect from the sun’s harsh rays that was why the title became “Protected By The Sun.” And then we tried to flick in some issues and the idea of freedom of speech came out, thus the title has its own double meanings.

“Protected Under The Sun”
By Diana B. Santos, Mamaril, Magbitang, Tecuico


Broken Umbrella, Pins, Nylon Ropes, Newspaper cut-outs, Memo Pads, Tapes


The theme of our installation is about freedom of speech under the umbrella. It may sound different but the title is bound to be a double meaning topic. Protected by the sun is yet another myth by most of us, and in our art you are not protected. There are pins that can leave you scars, words that can kill you, truths that we have yet to believe, and many more under that umbrella.

The issues that we want to impart is about how people’s thoughts varies, how we are blinded by the lies, how “protected” we are in the society, and the ideas are countless.

The materials we used are quite simple they can be seen inside our house. The umbrella symbolizes protection from the sun and rain and also from the truth; the newspapers mainly shout our current issues and the journalists’ freedom of speech; memo pad for interaction with the viewers; and the pins are indication of leaving scars both internally and externally to us. We used our materials like this because it’s more meaningful and leaves attraction to our minds. Even though our concept is a mixture of protection, danger, and freedom of speech it somehow still recognizes harmony in our society, without control from the government and from the powerful social classes it would look more like chaos, and without it is a description of impossibility.

Our umbrella is full of pins which is quite edgy and harmful when you’re supposed to be protected, but that’s the case. Since most of us don’t have the freedom of speech we have to go through the needle literally. No pain, no gain. You need to sacrifice to be able to achieve something worth bigger. And participating in our installation art would only do a smaller damage that anyone can participate into, and hopefully this little experience can be a great teacher to an individual. Due to this, we believed we achieved our commentary on the issue we want to impart about freedom of speech.

When we were actually doing the installation art, we discovered that our first plan of material usage didn’t quite went well so we researched our way through and solved some glitches. The process was kind of hard because of the materials, but all was worth it.

We want our audience to receive our installation art as something worthy of importance because each of us has a voice and sometimes you just need to see it to hear and listen to it. We also want them to interact with our installation art and have this in mind, “Would you dare to get hurt just to say your thoughts?

The real deal, walking around with art

This was our finals exam slash project, and it requires comments from the audience so we need to find them to complete our task. We roamed around school and successfully caught their attention!

Our installation art turned performance art! Our work is the one with the umbrella!!!
I was quite shy doing all the speech, but I have to boost myself up. I approached people who were obviously not busy and kindly ask for a little chit chat and my group mates followed thereafter. I informed them about our installation art and what they needed to do. Our installation art was an interactive one and they are required to participate.

This is me talking to the audience! :D
They can write anything on the memo pad, be it about our university, our government, or personal things. We provided memo pads for them to write onto and we also prepared a sturdy board for them to write with ease.
Our first batch of audience was a success! All of them were really engaged with our project. But to our second batch, they were really just an average interest to our work. Nevertheless, it went really well.

“Would you dare to get hurt just to say your thoughts?”


Click picture for higher resolution

These were the written speeches that were hanged onto our umbrella. Quite good messages actually. I'm not sure but some of the memo pads were blown away by the super duper luper wind, too bad but oh well~!

Focus Group Discussion

It was really fun and a great discussion with the participants, our questions were:

  1. Did you understand our installation art?
  2. Do you appreciate installation art?
  3. Were you impressed or upset when you saw our installation art?
  4. How do you feel after interacting with our installation art?
  5. Did we achieved our “freedom of speech” concept?
  6. Did it caught your attention?
  7. Do you have any suggestions or comments about our work?
Most of the answers were positive! And I am proud of our group work because it went well. Also most of them suggested that we should use a bigger and COLORFUL (what?!) umbrella. Anyways, it was really fun getting to know new people and learning their insights!

All in all, it was yet another memorable activity of art and work for our course subject Art Theory II under our most amazing Professor Rosario. I can't help but appreciate all of these activities I never would have imagined written in our curriculum. It was priceless! All the fun, laughter, and workmanship are just some of the numerous evidences of learning this wonderful subject. I'm not overreacting as this would be our last activity. I'm just being overjoyed but sad because it might be the last!

Thanks for reading!