Art as Felt Realities

Sometime in 1980, I interviewed then recommended to hire Reuben Abaya Pagaduan (RAP) to work in our Editorial/Art Department. He brought a classy style to the graphic design and layout of Health & Home magazine, books, and other publications printed by Philippine Publishing House. 

I am pleased to know he is now the Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Adventist University of the Philippines. His quality of fine arts teaching, leadership, and practice is proven by his students who have won first and other top prizes in national art competitions in the Philippines.

RAP is a wholistic life artist. He sees art as visual symbols of invisible but felt realities. His personal mission is defined by his art statement that I gleaned from his resume, as follows:

“Evident in my art are visual symbols (inspired by semiotics) of realities – realities that we don’t literally see but feel in our everyday existence. My art is unique in the sense that it portrays not the objective reality of things but the unseen realities. My continued search for the unseen reality of man is what fuels me to create my art – this continuous searching for man’s reality to answer the “why?” that makes man so important in God’s sight and in society. I draw my full inspiration from the walks of everyday life by observing and making the most out of whatever opportunities I encounter. I use ordinary, discarded, unused and broken materials to turn personal concepts and philosophies into works of art. A life that is symbolized by a square, representing the four-fold principles of life, the mental, physical, social and spiritual. Thus, my art portrays the invisible realities of man, making it visible through visual symbols. All of the symbols revolve around the fact that life is full of concerns, principles and wisdom, and how we relate and associate with our fellowmen as an integral to our living.”

RAP’s vision of art has been evident in the many roles he has done as an art educator and practitioner. His works run the spectrum of creative works – art exhibitions, published articles, logo, book, and magazine designs, and photo art exhibits. He has been lecturer and resource person in many communications seminars through the years.   

RAP is one of the featured artists during the coming “I-MIGRANT Group Art Exhibition” on October 5-31, 2018 at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library of San Jose State University in San Jose, California under the auspices of the GLOBAL ARTISTS’ CREATIVE COLLABORATION FOR EMPOWERMENT (GACCE). He is a member of the governing board of this organization whose vision is “To integrate the arts towards multi-cultural community building promoting social justice and equity.” (GACCE) is a State Registered Art Organization fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

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