“We are all born artists.” Only an inner-directed artist will say otherwise.
A born winner, the creator of “Ang Supremo” (the Bonifacio sculpture in Bonifacio Global City) is vivid. Character and soul shine through the patina of his years, resembling one of his maquettes. He says, “Walang mali sa art.”
Ben-Hur Villanueva, grade school art teacher for three decades at the Ateneo de Manila moved up to Baguio in the early 90’s to devote his time as a fulltime artist and fulfill his advocacy of sharing his art. Joining fellow artists, Santiago Bose, Kidlat Tahimik and BenCab, they etched the Baguio Arts Guild, which brought that certain energy to an already highly cultural place. He made Arko ni Apo (Ark of the Lord) fronting the Tam-awan Village his home and studio. He shares his life with wife Dolores, or Lolit to him. They are blessed with eight children. One of them is his junior, Bumbo, also a visual artist, an awarded poet and an environment advocate.
During the Villanuevas’ revisit to Norte, I meet sir Ben-Hur and tita Lolit, Bumbo and his wife Arlene and their two children, Baba and Baguio, through my niece Lesley and her husband Architect Jeffrey Acob.
It may sound far-fetched, but the sculptor teaches unsighted people art. He closes his eyes while teaching, perhaps helping put tactility into eloquence.
There will be times in your life that a falling feather will touch your heart. Ben-Hur Villanueva, that one big bundle of talent, left me nothing but words to live by.
Jazz For You and Pas de Deux are just two of Villanueva’s 3D creations of varying sizes, marked with sinews and quasi-movement (at least to me).Artwork of Bumbo.Chancing upon parish priest, Fr. Bong Lamprea, of the St. Augustine Church in Paoay.
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014