“Artes Ti Ilocandia,” an exhibition of more than 35 paintings of 26 local artists and six junior artists, was launched recently by the TIMPUYOG, a local chapter of the Art Association of the Philippines.

The TIMPUYOG, an Iloco term for unity, is a newly-established artist group based in La Union but composed of artists like painters, draftsmen, and sculptors from La Union, Benguet, and parts of Pangasinan.

Among the affiliates of the art group is the Rilloraza family whose members all have the same burning passion for arts.

The father, Joel, is a graphic designer and photographer while Olive, the mother, is a teacher by profession but an artist by heart. Both dreamt of becoming architects but now they are unselfishly providing inspiration and support to their five children who also pursue their love for arts.

Joel Zaccarree, Jr., an 18-year old artist and eldest among his four siblings, is an achiever both in academic and non-academic activities. He started with charcoal painting when he was 14 and later on pursued graphite portraits, acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings, and pastel landscapes. Joel is also into photography, videography, and digital arts.

At present, aside from being a member of the TIMPUYOG, he is also an active member of the Batang Pinoy Artist, the youngest member of the Artists Guild of La Union (AGLAUN), International Artist Association and Batang Pinoy.

A younger sibling Jewel Reign, 16, is in the art of calligraphy and excels in photo journalism on top of other academic and non-academic recognitions.

Meanwhile, Jeril Vonn, 13, Jio Jame, 11, and Jedd Ryle, 8, are junior artists of Timpuyog and are also recognized in the field of arts in their respective schools for winning various competitions.

Owing to the artistic skills of their ancestors from the Difuntorum and Rilloraza clans, Olive Rilloraza said, “I feel so blessed and thankful with all the achievements we have right now… to God and the people behind our success… we will continue inspiring our children to join contests and showcase their talents and skills.”

During the launching of the TIMPUYOG and their group exhibit at the Rose Bowl Steakhouse and Restaurant here, Rey Resurreccion, renowned artist from Luna town who served as one of the events’ guests, said he envisions La Union to become the center of arts and culture in the Ilocandia.

“Whenever I conduct exhibitions abroad, I get a positive feedback from fellow Ilocanos who are so proud of the artistic talents of the younger generation and the appreciation of foreigners with the works of the Filipinos,” Resurreccion said.

Resureccion, a descendant of Doña Laureana Novicio Luna, mother of Juan and Antonio Luna, added, “Keep painting, doing your work and honing your skills and someday, among these new generation of artists, we can produce a National Artist from the region.”

“We believe each artist has his or her own forte with regards to arts thus, the TIMPUYOG aims to develop the uniqueness and individuality of artists and to raise awareness on social issues by conducting exhibits on such theme,” Reynaldo Niro, the group president, said.

TIMPUYOG aims to preserve the cultural heritage not only in the region but the nation as well through the showcase of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and handicrafts. (PIA)