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A spark, a glow, then warmth

IT WAS the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic and post-pandemic eras that inspired Maria Victoria “Marivic” Rufino to put warm, meditative energy out into the world through impressionist paintings and functional art pieces.

It began with much struggle because Ms. Rufino was coming from a long hiatus, but she persevered until there was a colorful array of both totally new works and paintings which were started years ago but only just finished. Some were immediately displayed at exhibits in San Francisco, Madrid, and Paris.

Now, the Conrad Manila hotel has mounted 23 of her paintings and five of her functional art pieces, like lamps and dividers, in a new solo exhibition.

The 25th exhibit in the “Of Art and Wine” series at the hotel’s Gallery C is called “Scintilla: Dreamscapes,” and it showcases the artist’s watercolor and mixed media works centered on serene, nature-filled dreams and memories.

As a Filipino artist who has studied painting in both the Western and Chinese (Ling Nan) tradition, Ms. Rufino depicts the sky, sea, sun, mountains, and fields as picturesque vistas of harmonious, dreamlike quality.

“Art is my love and my passion. Nature is my inspiration, a divine artist and a spiritual and creative force that guides me on my life-long artistic journey,” said Ms. Rufino at the exhibit launch on Aug. 15. 

“I am just an instrument. I hope that my paintings will bring peace, love and compassion to the hearts of the viewers,” she added.

The word “scintilla” may mean spark, representing a burst of creative energy after a long pause, but it is ultimately the glow and warmth of Ms. Rufino’s desire for a peaceful world that lingers.

Fabio Berto, Conrad Manila’s general manager, said at the launch that the exhibit highlighting nature will surely elevate guests’ experience and provide a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila.

“It also reminds us [at Conrad] of our promise and commitment to filling the world with the light and warmth of hospitality, while taking utmost consideration of the environment through sustainable practices,” he said.

The exhibition, like all of Ms. Rufino’s shows in the past, will be for the benefit of foundations helping abused children and women. Part of the proceeds will go to the Child Protection Network and to the Marian Missionaries of the Philippines.

“Child protection and environmental care are my personal advocacies, and I am delighted to further strengthen that with this exhibit,” she said.

“Of Art and Wine: Scintilla: Dreamscapes” is on view at Conrad Manila’s Gallery C until Oct. 21. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

Joseph Emmanuel Garcia

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