Issue of April 7, 2019
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Artist debuts exhibit to feature comic book heroes
by SPB

Jed Steven Cunanan, a rising artist in Baguio, will hold an international baccalaureate art exhibit at the Sky Pavilion of Paragon Hotel and Suites in Baguio City on April 10.

The exhibit will showcase 10 of his studio outputs from his IB Art HL incorporating DC comic book superheroes and anti-heroes in famous paintings. It includes a seven-foot build-up sculpture inspired by “The Dark Knight Returns” movie of his beloved superhero, Batman.

These studio outputs are a part of his requirements in the rigorous International Baccalaureate Higher Level Courseat Brent International School-Baguio of which Jed is the lone candidate for school year 2018-2019.

Jed’s theme springs from his love of DC comics’ superheroes, particularly those created by comic book artists Jim Lee, George Perez, Dave McKean, and Greg Capullo and his newfound interest in modern art. 

He manifested his interest in painting in Grade 8 and went on to develop his genuine appreciation for modern art in The Visual Arts Preparatory Program of Brent School in Grade 10.

Jed received his first comic book from his dad, the Justice League of America: Heaven’s Ladder, where he was introduced to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Flash. From then on, Jed continued to collect comic books delighting in the various super heroes he came to know very well.

Referring to these comic book characters, he said, “I bear witness to their evolution from the childhood characters to the modern day versions of themselves.” This is very evident when you engage in a conversation with him about his paintings. He knows each character like the back of his hand.

In 2018, Jed opted to take IB Art HL and started working on his theme before embarking on intensive art production, assimilating different painting techniques and styles from famous practitioners like Georges Seurat, Robert Rauschenberg, Jackson Pollock, and Edgar Degas.

During the time Jed was working on his paintings and sculpture, he was under the expert and able supervision of his Art teacher, Robert Joaquin. Sir Bob, as he is fondly called, graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, College of Fine Arts in 1987.

An artist himself, he is responsible for four murals, two at the University of the Philippines Diliman Main Campus, one at Dela Salle Green Hills, and another at Brent International School in Baguio City.  He handles the International Baccalaureate Visual Arts candidates of Brent International School since joining the school in 2005. Being the lone IB Art Higher Level candidate this school year, Jed had Sir Bob to himself.

The one-on-one team up enabled Jed’s mentor, known for his dedication and expertise in the subject, to closely monitor Jed’s research work, art production documentation along with other major requirements in IB Art HL Program like the 20-page comparative study, 25-page process portfolio, and 700-word curatorial rationale which will be sent for assessment to an overseas IB examiner in April before a final assessment by a select panel of art experts in Cardif Wales in May. 

Jed will graduate from Senior High in May and will enter the University of Sto. Tomas to pursue further studies in the line of arts.

Jed’s works will be unveiled on April 10 at 6 p.m. at the Sky Pavilion of Paragon Hotel and Suites. A number of special guests, including well-known Filipino artists, comic book artists, and art enthusiasts, are expected to grace the occasion of his first art exhibit.

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