Homegrown Kapampangan artists from Betis led by Wilfredo Tadeo Layug shine in this year’s ManilArt national art fair satellite exhibit in Villa Viatarit in Betis, Guagua, where it features a religious theme.
The satellite exhibit is dubbed “The Layug Legacy and Betis Ecclesiastical Art,” which will run until October 23. It is being held at Layug’s museum in the woodcarving district of Betis, a former town in Pampanga. The National Committee in Art Galleries (NCAG) said that this is the first time that ManilART has organized an exhibit with a religious theme. (Read: LOOK: This Pinay Wows Paris With Her Oil Paintings)
Featured artworks and unique style
The exhibit features the best-known works of Layug and emphasizes his contribution to Betis and the national ecclesiastical art scene. There are about 20 works of various sizes by Layug and several Kapampangan artists from Mandukit Anluagui of Sta. Ursula, including some works of Layug’s brother, Edwin Layug.
The displayed artworks show the various stages in the evolution of Layug’s unique styles like “estofado” that he learned through an apprenticeship in Spain. It also includes the development of his other artistic expressions, such as painting and carving.
He presents to the public, especially to the Kapampangans, the transcendence of his artworks to other mediums that are both Filipino and Spanish-inspired.
When he began sculpting at five years old using clay, Layug created the image of Our Lady of Palo. The image was used by Pope Francis in the Holy Mass in Tacloban. (Read: Civil Engineer Tells Eye-Opening Stories Through Artworks)
Layug is the first Filipino to establish the first-ever Filipiniana-inspired altar dedicated to St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Blessed Pedro Calungsod at the prestigious Pontifico Collegio Filippino. He has done significant retablos, including the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Nueva Ecija, the St. John Cathedral in Lingayen-Dagupan, San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod, and Cathedral of the Immaculate Concepcion in Urdaneta, Pangasinan.
In a report from the Inquirer.net in 2016, Layug received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For the Church and the Pope) medal that the Pope gives to laypersons for their exemplary service to the Church. During the same year, Layug was granted the Presidential Medal of Merit from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Layug was also named Outstanding Guaguaeño for sculptor, Most Outstanding Kapampangan for ecclesiastical art, and Best Actor in the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) for “Dukit,” an autobiography as an artist. (Read: Licensed Teacher Uses Coal, Taal Ash in Making Beautiful Artworks)
In its 13th year, ManilArt observes the theme “Continuing Legacies.” It takes place at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, and Taguig City from October 13 to 17, resuming its regular programs and schedules.
For more information and updates, visit their official website.