Multi-awarded Artist Chito Maravilla Shows Works at Newton Cultural Centre September 2 to 30, 2015
Multi-awarded Artist Chito Maravilla Shows Works at Newton Cultural Centre
by Wilbur Victoria
A solo art show, called “ Maravilla B.C.”, (means Marvelous British Columbia) by artist Ferdinand ‘Chito’ Maravilla will be held at the Newton Cultural Center , Surrey, B.C.this summer. The show will feature Chito’s new and old works like “The City’s Fireworks Display”, The Vaudevillians, “Migrating Birds” (White Rock), and “ Love in 26 Languages “.
“The City’s Fireworks Display” is an acrylic on wood painting that was inspired by the Stanley Park and English Bay landscape, capturing the energy of the people and the beauty of the city. This painting represents the artist’s collective thoughts of events rendered in a whimsical manner.
“The Vaudevillians” is an oil on canvas painting, and is about a unique group of seniors from Surrey who spearheaded a vaudeville show, inviting young performers to participate. Chito was inspired as he watched the performance filled with singing, dancing, and laughs all for a good cause. Chito painted them to pay tribute to their artistry.
“Migrating Birds”, oil on canvas, is Chito’s first painting created during his early years in Canada. Chito painted how he envisioned the place (without even seeing it first). The scene shows the sand cast in gold as the birds all perched facing the tide, whether they’re looking back or moving forward. The rock form is like a monumental piece which symbolizes liberty.
“Love in 26 Languages” is a painting made by Maravilla in 2014. The 52” x 23” wood-mounted painting depicts words such as “Amore “, “Pag-ibig”, and “Die liebe“, all playfully scattered around a box of burnt sienna boldly highlighted by a splash of white that becomes a window to a sky, and balanced off with a sprinkling of bright images such as a sun-like form stuck in the middle with a pin, as if peaking into the room, and a leaning moon in a yellow-orangey crescent form, waiting to play with the sun. The painting was inspired by a moment in Chito’s new life in Canada when he took a Skytrain ride one day and heard so many languages and gestures of love. He transformed this experience into a mixed-media painting where squiggly letters represented intonations, the mix of materials equated multiculture, and the splash of colors conveyed the romance and positive energy.
Ferdinand Maravilla, or Chito as called by friends, started doing art as long as he can remember. Born in Manila, Philippines in 1965, 5th in a family of seven kids, Chito’s parents Elias and Glynna saw that their boy had a penchant for forms and colors. He was encouraged to pursue this line, and was enrolled in an arts workshop for kids sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). He was also brought to galleries and museums around where he saw paintings like the “Spolarium” by Filipino painter Juan Luna. This painting, won a major prize for Juan Luan in Spain in 1884 is about 14 x 24 feet in size , and became a major influence for Chito. He also saw paintings of Pablo Picasso who is now Chito’s favorite artist..
Buoyed by his many art awards as a young boy, Chito later studied Fine Arts in college majoring in Advertising. He then worked for a prominent ad-agency Campaigns and Grey and became an art director in no time. Chito shares that the ad agency work trained him more on the focus on details, and in using the power of images to communicate a strong message. The advertising stint also honed his understanding of architecture, the flair of fashion, and styles of story-telling. Harsh deadlines also taught him about discipline.
In 2002, Chito and his family, wife Jenny and two sons Franco and Miguel, moved to Canada. The beauty of British Columbia moved him to put more time in his art. “It’s now or never.”, Chito says about picking up his brushes and pencils again. “ This time it’s personal”, Chito adds. “ It’s not about style, but about stories, my story . The place I live in and how I see it.”
“ I want to paint the social nature of my new home and life here in Canada. What you will see in my art is the uniqueness of how I see things and what excites me. All wonderment. Most are whimsical in nature. The play and delicate balance of man and nature. Very much like Canada ”, Chito reveals.
Maravilla’s works have been featured in many venues like the Vancouver International Airport, Surrey Art Gallery, Newton Cultural Centre, Surrey Public Library, Vancouver Public Library. One even hangs in the office of MP Jinny Sims’ office.
The Newton Cultural Centre is located at 13530-72 Avenue, Surrey B.C.. The show will be from September 2 to 30, 2015.
Awards and Recognition Received by Chito Maravilla in Canada:
Honourable Mention for “Skytrain Fashion” .
(Juried Art Exhibit /Arts Council of Surrey at Surrey Art Gallery / June 2014 )
Merit Award & People’s Choice Award for “Her Shoes” .
( Arts Council of Surrey at Newton Cultural Centre / March 2014 )
1st Place for “Shadows of Green Timbers”
(Arts Council of Surrey at Newton Cultural Centre and displayed at the Surrey Public Library / February 2014 )
Finalist for “Downtown Vibe”
(Juried Art Exhibit/ Arts Council of Surrey at Surrey Art Gallery / June 2013 )
First Place Winner & People’s Choice Award for “Dance the Night Away”
(Juried Art Exhibit/ Arts Council of Surrey at Newton Cultural Centre / 2013 )
1st Place for “The City’s Fireworks Display”
Juried Art Exhibit/ Arts Council of Surrey at Surrey Art Gallery / 2011 -”
15 artworks displayed at the Vancouver International Airport ” Human + Nature and In-Transit” (November 2012 – October 2014)