Filipina-Canadian Painter Makes U.S. Debut at Philippine Center in New York

  • Page Views 6405
  • Last Tuesday evening, a crowd braved heavy rains to gather at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue, where a Filipina-Canadian visual artist debuted her first solo exhibition outside of Canada. Esmie Gayo McLaren, a Vancouver-based painter, presented over a dozen watercolor paintings of figures, landscapes and scenes of everyday life.

    The show, titled Expanding Horizons, represents McLaren “expanding into the world”, she explains, both as her solo exhibition artist, as well as her global travels, which she had started doing more frequently in recent years. These travels brought her to the Philippines. “It is a celebration of a land I had rarely experienced, a foreign land because I left it early in life,” explained Ms. McLaren, who moved to Canada when she was twelve. Having grown up in North America, “visiting the Philippines, you’re almost like a tourist,” she said.

    Her Agoo Harvest series of paintings depicts rice workers in the farmlands surrounding her family’s home in Ilocos. In one painting, one woman waits for her share of the rice next to a worker operating a threshing machine, while in the foreground, a laborer approaches them carrying freshly-cut stalks.

    One wall of the exhibit depicts scenes from a trip to France. Lavande features rows of lavender planted in front of Sénanque Abbey in the south of France. McLaren explained that the monks sell lavender products to help pay for the monastery’s upkeep.

    Well-wishers and art lovers surrounded McLaren throughout the evening, including Consul General Claro S. Cristobal, who called her “a pride of the Filipinos.”

    McLaren is also a self-described “flamenco enthusiast,” and three of the most colorful paintings of the exhibit are of different styles of dancers.

    Expanding Horizons is presented by the Lenore RS Lim Foundation for the Arts, which is registered in the Philippines and has sponsored numerous exhibits in New York and Vancouver. Ms. Lim, herself an acclaimed artist, met McLaren six years ago in Vancouver, where they worked on projects together to promote Filipino culture, artists and their works. When Lim mentioned her New York-based foundation, McLaren thought it would be “so cool” to be able to exhibit in New York. Planning for the exhibit began in 2016.

    Lim said of McLaren, “I observed that she is not only a good artist, but she is also passionate about connecting communities and women’s issues.”

    Ms. McLaren and Ms. Lim also both have works currently displayed at the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, in an exhibit titled Essence, which celebrates the roles, struggles and triumphs of women. Produced by Ms. McLaren, Essence first opened in North Vancouver and was invited to travel to Ottawa by Her Excellency Ambassador Petronila P. Garcia.

    Expanding Horizons is on display at the Philippine Center New York, 556 Fifth Avenue, until September 28th. McLaren’s work can be found at Jeunesse Gallery of Fine Arts in Vancouver, and online at https://esmiegayomclaren.com

    by Paul Gullas

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 11 October 2019
      1 week ago No comment

      RICHARD, SARAH TO TAKE VIEWERS ON THEIR WEDDING JOURNEY

      Details on their wedding to be revealed on various ABS-CBN shows… Fans are invited to Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati’s journey to forever as the showbiz couple will soon appear in various ABS-CBN shows and other Kapamilya multimedia platforms to reveal details about their much-anticipated wedding in March 2020. ...

    • 11 October 2019
      1 week ago No comment

      MAJA SALVADOR WINS BEST ACTRESS AWARD IN 1st ASIA CONTENTS AWARDS

      Only winner from the Philippines! Maja Salavador bagged the first ever Best Actress award for drama in the 1st Asia Contents Awards held in in Busan, South Korea, for her portrayal of the lead character in the hit Philippine TV series, “Wildflower.” Salvador, who is also the lone winner ...

    • 11 October 2019
      1 week ago No comment

      Movie Review:The Men’s Room

      Boys Night out! Please don’t confuse the title The Men’s Room with your local WC. Even though there is a bit of washroom/locker room style dialogue in This drama that would be completely missing the point. Watch and learn as a group of some 25 or so Norwegian men ...

    • 11 October 2019
      1 week ago No comment

      Movie Review: The Rabbi Goes West

      Wagons Ho! Religion can be a source of good or evil. Out to make amends and spread the good word of God is a free-spirited messenger on a perilous mission in The Rabbi Goes West. Straight from New York to of all places remote Montana our bearded one takes ...

    • 11 October 2019
      1 week ago No comment

      JUDY ANN’S MUCH-AWAITED TV COMEBACK TEACHES LOVE FOR FAMILY AND FORGIVENESS, FULFILLS WISHES IN “STARLA”

      A timely offering this Christmas season… The much-awaited television comeback of Judy Ann Santos brings another heart-tugging story about hope, love for family, forgiveness, and granting the heart’s deepest wishes in the primetime teleserye “Starla,” which premieres on October 7. The series follows a father-daughter relationship and a mission ...

    %d bloggers like this: