The first winner of the “2020 Portfolio Artist Prize” is the young Filipino artist Issay Rodriguez. An art grand of PhP 300,000 was given to her in an intimate ceremony at the “Drawing Room Gallery” on December 14, 2020 in the presence of the project’s creators: art enthusiast Italian Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino and collector Hugo Bunzl together with Cesar Villalon (Director of “Drawing Room”) and representatives of the Silverlens Gallery which is the gallery that represents Issay.
The project consists of a portfolio containing limited edition works by 10 well-known avant-garde Filipino artists: At Maculangan, Gina Osterloh – Osterloh, Kawayan de Guia, Kiri Dalena, Manny Montelibano, Neal Oshima, Paul Pfeiffer, Poklong Anading, Wawi Navarroza and Yason Banal.
Through the sale of the portfolio, entitled “2020”, funds were raised that allowed prizes to be given to a limited number of up and coming artists chosen by a special jury.
The substantial difference between the 2020 portfolio – artists supporting artists and other similar ones in these unprecedented times, is the amount of the award. Each chosen artist will receive PhP 300,000 as grant.
The idea of the creators of the prize was to try to significantly affect the work of each chosen artist who with this sum will be able to develop a project of particular importance or financially support himself/herself during an artistic residency abroad or simply be able to count on an amount large enough to allow him/her to continue working in the studio without the worry of having to sell.
The project was made possible thanks to the indispensable collaboration of “Drawing Room Gallery”, Angel Velasco Shaw – who was the Director of the project – and Katya Guerrero who impeccably took care of the operational and logistic part relating to the production of the portfolio.
The first recipient of the 2020 portfolio project art grant — Issay Rodriguez is a multidisciplinary artist whose current practice focuses on projects that deal with themes on humanism and ecology, which sometimes touch on sociology and anthroposophy. Through arts-based research and community engagements enabled by artist residencies and inter-disciplinary collaborations, she is able to work on projects that allow her to think about how thoughts, emotions, or values can be explained or materialized through art and technology. She also creates drawings and cyanotypes. Issay has had several solo and group exhibitions including the 47th International Venice Biennale, Art Fair Philippines 2019 & 2020, and Silverlens Gallery. In addition, she has received prestigious residencies at Belles Artes Projects, Asia in Darwin in Indonesia and was most recently awarded an artist residency at GasWorks in London.
The hope of the creators of the award and the portfolio is to be able to continue selling the portfolios in order to deliver more awards, possibly the next two by the end of January 2021.