The annual National Student Art Competition, conducted by the Directory Philippines Corporation (now re-branded as YP) and PLDT, has just launched their new theme for the year. Students across the country will be competing with each other to see who among them will have their entry make it to the cover of the Yellow Pages to be seen by millions of Filipinos.
Throughout the years, the artistic medium used in the annual competition has undergone some changes. In keeping with the times, the 28th Visual Arts Competition (VAC) is still using photography as the medium of choice. This year, the organizers want to set a more personal and emotional scenic tone with its new theme: “Scenes from my hometown”, in contrast with last year’s widely viral theme of “It’s More Fun”.
“We want a strong local flavor this year,” Ricardo D. Bautista, DPC President, said. “We’re expecting a bumper crop of photographs, each one capturing the unique beauty, charm or character of that town or city that a student has learned to call—or has always known to be— home.”
PHOTOGRAPHY AS MEDIUM
The Visual Arts Competition didn’t always employ photography as a medium. For a good time, the VAC used everything from oil paints, acrylics and mix medium to create wondrous pieces of art. It was about 3 years ago that the organizers decided to break that streak. “With photography, we aim to broaden the spectrum of the participants,” says Mr. Ruben Tangco, VP for Corporate and Marketing Communications of DPC. And, boy, did they!
Ever since they changed the contest medium from traditional (painting, mix-medium) to photography, the entries jumped to the thousands. With a renewed interest in photography (thanks to lowering prices of DSLRs and superior imaging technology used in today’s mobile smart phones), it makes perfect sense to continue and see how the youth adapts to the visual art form of photography.
One of the contest winners from the 27th VAC, Marc Henrich Go, an Architecture Major in the University of Santo Tomas (UST), had been making the rounds in social media as of late. His winning entry, “Take the Plunge” was picked up by the Department of Tourism, one of the VAC’s partners, and used in the welcome brochure that people get at the airport. The same photo was afterwards picked up by the International Herald Tribune and given a full page spread.
What’s wonderful about the VAC is how you don’t know where your photo will take you. Marc didn’t win the grand prize but it had been given extra mileage beyond what the contest originally intended. That’s also the case with some of the top 50 finalists as this year the 28th VAC opens its arms to photography strongly by producing 4 different types of promotional posters. These posters are distributed to various schools and institutions (and are pretty eye-catching as well, if I do say so myself). In fact, we liked them so much that we’re giving away a couple here at Unbox. 😉 More details on that later on.
So how does one enter in the VAC? Here are the details from their press release:
The contest is open to all students, 15-24 years of age and currently enrolled in any local school. Each student can submit up to three entries, either in full color or in black and white. To qualify for the major prizes, any entry must have an 8” x 12” portrait orientation with a resolution of at least 10 megapixels. All entries must be uploaded to the contest’s website, www.visualarts.ph,between Oct. 16, 2012and Feb. 7, 2014 (up to 11:59pm).
The grand prize winner will take home P80,000 in cash, a special trophy designed by sculptor Impy Pilapil, and a Canon EOS 550D digital camera. In addition, his or her school will receive a P25,000 donation from DPC and PLDT, plus a Canon PIXMA printer. The next three major winners and their respective schools will receive similar prizes.
The top 50 finalists will automatically win P5,000 in cash, and their works will be put on display at Gateway Mall. Among the top 50 pictures, the public can select their favorites for the People’s Choice Awards—one each for Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao—via online voting through the competition website.
The People’s Choice will also receive a sizeable cash prize as well as trophies and goodies from Canon. All in all, the prizes are pretty sweet but, more than that, it’s the thought that your work will be seen and appreciated by millions that really pulls people to join the competition.
We sat down with Marc Henrich Go who attended the 28th VAC launch to talk about how his experiences (and triumphs) when he joined the 27th Visual Arts Competition.
For more information LIKE them on www.facebook.com/visualartsph