Issue of July 7, 2019
Mt. Province
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‘Salonpas’ artists open exhibit at Fred’s
by Pigeon M. Lobien / PNA

Six “aging” artists from Baguio mounted another month-long exhibit July 3 at the Fred’s Gallery in Barangay Greenwater, Baguio City.

Noted Baguio artists Roland Bay-an, Fredi Agunoy, and Salvador Cabrera are joined by Mario M. Calub, Camilo Santiago, and newcomer Carlos Oseo in the “Emerging Figure,” an exhibit that will continue for a month.

The 64-year old Bay-an leads the exhibit with his series of Ibaloy women on display as the veteran artist traces his roots anew in the exhibit with his friends and painters they fondly call the “Salonpas” artists.

“Salonpas because we are a bit veteran and usually need that band to battle aching joints or muscles,” said Bay-an, the oldest of the original three that include Agunoy.

Agunoy, an architect, dabbles in sculpture with his works also on display at his family-owned Fred’s Apartelle where the gallery and the exhibit are staged.

Agunoy was recently with the Dingalan Artists Guild in Dingalan, Aurora where they staged a festival at his farm in the said town that is now the arts group’s village.

He is also into pintula, a funny lyrical painting, some of which he puts on display in the Emerging Figure exhibit.

Among his works on display is “Isda ni Juan” which is coupled with some verses that include this: “Tatay ko ‘wag kang magalit/Sa kapirasong isda at pusit/Sa dagat na maalat/Aking nalambat,” roughly translated, “Father don’t get mad/With the few fish and squid/From the salty sea/I netted.”

Cabrera is a nephew of national artist Benedicto Cabrera and his works reflect the Cabrera style which his father Salvador Sr. started and made popular by the national artist.

The octogenarian Santiago is a retired police general who only comes to Baguio to paint with his Salonpas friends.

The youngest member is Calub, another architect who teaches at the Saint Louis University School of Architecture.

“I was just a hanger-on and lucky enough if I get to buy a Bay-an work at a very, very friendly price,” said Calub, who last year succumbed to the lure of brush and paints and the proddings of Bay-an and Cabrera.

“Now I paint in my spare time and with these guys,” said the mind-50-ish architect.

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