DAGUPAN CITY — In fitting memory of its son who was hailed as “Father of Modern Arts” and declared as one of the country’s national artists in 1976, Dagupan City, through its council, passed an ordinance on Wednesday declaring every 23rd day of December as “Victorio Edades Day” in the city.
The ordinance was sought by the executive committee of the last Dagupan City fiesta that conducted an arts contest and exhibit in honor of Edades, which will soon become a yearly fiesta activity.
Officials said this yearly contest seeks to encourage more youth in the city to paint and hopefully discover new ones who will take the place of Edades.
Incidentally, some of Edades’ most famous works and bibliography are now on display at the Dagupan City Museum in a hall exclusively named after him.
In moving for the passage of the ordinance,Councilor Jeslito Seen said because of Edades’ extraordinary achievements, highlighted by his extraordinary courage against the usual style of painting, he continues to bring honor and pride to his place of birth–Dagupan, even after his death.
Born on December 23, 1895 to Hilario and Cecilia Edades in the little barrio of Bolosan, Dagupan in Pangasinan, Edades carved his name when he introduced modern arts in the Philippines during the time of Amorsolo when paintings then were said to have similar themes.
This was after returning from the United States where he took up architecture and his Master of Fine Arts in Paintings at the University of Washington in Seattle, through a one-man show on modern arts he put up at the Philippine Columbia Club in Ermita, Manila.
Despite the shock he caused in the arts circle by his introduction of a different style, Edades remained with his artistic creativity against the usual arts he put up to this day which continues to bring honor and pride to the place of his birth.
Edades helped organize the University of Pangasinan Department of Architecture in 1930 and became its acting head.
In 1935, he was appointed as director of the UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts. As head of the College, he was able to steer UST as the forerunner of Modern Art.
In 1938, Edades opened up the Atelier of Modern Art at M.H. del Pilar, Manila together with Diosdado Lorenzo and Galo Ocampo. In 1940, he also organized the School of Design with Juan Nakpil.
Edades spearheaded the formation of the “Thirteen Moderns”, which included Carlos Francisco, Galo Ocampo, Diosdado Lorenzo, Vicente Manansala, H.R. Ocampo, Anita Magasaysay,Legaspi, Demetrio Diego, Ricarte Purugganan, Jose Pardo, Bonifacio Cristobal, Arsenio Capili and himself, in order to form a cohesive unit of artists who were in search of a modern style.
Among Edades’ famous artworks are The Sketch (1928), The Builders (1928), Interaction with Carlos Francisco and Galo Ocampo 1935) and Kasaysayan (1979).
Before his death on March 7, 1985, Edades won various awards such as Pro Patria award during the Rizal Centennial Celebration in 1961, Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award during the Araw ng Maynila in 1964, and the National Artist Award in Painting in 1976.
Seen said it is but fitting for Dagupan City to pay homage to Edades, a Dagupeño who has done great service to his country through the arts. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com