Shell Inaugurates 55th National Student Art Competition, Promotes NFT, Crypto Art, Digital Adoption

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Editing  by Nathaniel Cajuday

For its first leg, Shell Petroleum Corporation’s 55th National Student Art Competition (NSAC) Virtual Art Interact spearheaded the event with a timely talk that taught aspiring artists to embrace innovations while showcasing their talent in art.

In a media release, the firm noted that the workshop taught participants to embrace and adopt multimedia, non-fungible tokens (NFT), crypto art, and other digital innovations as the next step to creativity, “both in the art world and greater society.” The Virtual Art Interact explained to emerging young artists and past winners how their non-traditional canvases can inspire visions of the future. 

“Sobrang interested talaga ako [I’m really excited] to learn about NFTs and how it can apply to my art practice in the future,” one of the participants, Studio artist Veronica Peralejo, shared.

For this year, the theme of the competition is dubbed “Sulong Sining,” or“Art Advances.” The speakers of virtual interaction are the “digital-savvy artists” Jopet Arias, Crypto Art PH co-founder, NSAC Alumnus, and Winner; Aldrine Alarcon, Multimedia Artist; and Andrei Pamintuan, Creative Director of FringeMNL and Pineapple Lab.

“The theme really encourages students to share their creative talents and showcase the bright future that they envision through the arts. Sulong Sining also embodies Shell’s role as the country’s partner in nation-building under the overall campaign of “Keep Moving the Philippines Forward,” Serge Bernal, PSPC Vice President for Corporate Relations, expounded.

The discussion revolved around topics from pre-historic art and its evolution in modern times, the exploration of crypto art, to virtual or augmented art experiences. 

Moreover, Virtual Art Interact also taught the participants how minting and NFTs play a key role in the ownership of artworks and accommodating investors and buyers online, another consequence of the digital revolution.

“As society progresses, so does art distribution and ownership… Now, anyone in the world, with the use of Web 3 and the internet, we can start a new revolution of what art is and how we can explore the beauty and grandiosity ng mga bagay na pinapahalagahan natin [of the things we value],” stated Arias, explaining how the new tech surpasses the restrictions that traditional art has. 

Consequently, Alarcon added that the rising digital art opportunities are empowering artists to break through traditional boundaries.

“Bago ka makapasok sa mga galleries, kailangan mo ng maraming portfolio at connections [Before, as an artist, you’d need a portfolio and connections to have an exhibit in art galleries.]. But by the power of web 3, hindi mo na kailangan lahat yun, kasi [you don’t need that anymore because everything is] decentralized. This breakthrough also impacts regional markets, expanding the influence of the artist beyond his immediate community,” he explained.

Further, they highlighted that aside from breaking boundaries another “kind of breakthrough that digital art achieves is capturing the motion of images and making them timeless, which was shown in Arias’ one-hour workshop on animated Graphics Interchange Formats (GIFs).”

“Finally we can capture the dimension of time in art and one of the easiest ways to capture it is through GIF. Any artist can explore it and how to capitalize the moment,” he stated.

On the other hand, Aprille Tijam, Senior Manager of Exhibitions and Collections at Ayala Museum, affirmed that the so-called traditional art world does need to look into the new kind of online art form.  

“It’s something the museum industry is also trying to understand because it impacts several layers of managing in terms of collections and the art forms being presented… We are all trying to adjust to the many new innovations especially when the pandemic struck and we all pivoted to online and virtual programming,” she explained.

By the end of the event, Alarcon encouraged young artists to join the new art age and go along with the wave.

“Ginagawa ‘yung pag-initiate ng Web 3 community because we enjoy art – both physical and digital. So para sa mga papasok dito, sa mga students, sa mga bago lang, enjoy nyo lang siya. Kung nag-wawatercolor ka, acrylic o photography, ang digital art huwag natin itsapwera,” he concluded.

[“For those who want to enter art, the students and newbies, just enjoy it. If you are doing watercolor, acrylic, or photography, don’t put digital art aside.”]

Last September, The prestigious gallery Galería Paloma curated digital artworks of 12 artists, including Virtual Interact guest Jopet Arias— from the Philippines and Singapore and launched their exhibit 1/1 on September 23 in line with the Crypto Art Week Asia (CAWA) event. (Read more: Galería Paloma Launches Exhibit 1/1, NFT ‘The Twelve’ for CAWA)

Other Filipino artists and galleries also participated in CryptoArt Week Asia (CAWA), a festival of art, music, performance, and experiences. (Read more: Filipino NFT Artists and Galleries to Participate in CAWA2022)

The longest-running visual arts fair in the Philippines, ManilART, also featured NFTs in its exhibit through crypto exchange Binance, aiming to promote and expand digital literacy in the Philippines. (Read more: ManilArt Features NFTs with Binance)

What is NSAC?

Shell National Students Art Competition is an art contest that began in 1951 during the collective effort of rebuilding the country in the postwar years. It served as a platform to celebrate the accomplishments of young visual artists and open to them various opportunities in the art world. Since 2020, it has annually held the Shell Virtual Art Interact to further champion visual art in the country. 

NSAC also held two legs of Virtual Art Interact: “Rooting Your Work in Philippine Folklore and Mythology” on October 29; and “Designing Your Future / How to Make a Living from Your Artistic Practice” on November 5, 2022.

This article is published on BitPinas: Petroleum Firm Shell Inaugurates 55th National Student Art Competition, Promotes NFT, Crypto Art, Digital Adoption

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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