ARTablado puts spotlight on Mallari family

In art, talent can be elusive and enigmatic. Ephemeral, even. A divine gift, perhaps?

Yet, when we peer into the lives of certain families, it becomes evident that artistic talent can flow like a river, passing seamlessly from one generation to the next.

In the case of the Mallari family, it helps that the patriarch is a selfless mentor eager to share his talent, wisdom, and experiences with his siblings, cousins, neighbors, and — later on — his children.

The art of the talented Mallari family is on view until Nov. 15 at Robinsons Land ARTablado, Level 3 of Robinsons Galleria.

Salinlahi” showcases three generations of creative expression from the patriarch, Ambrocio “Ambo” Mallari, to his eight children and grandchildren.

Mallari started painting at age 12 while tending to the family’s carabao on their farm in Capas, Tarlac. He honed his skills during his teenage years by painting movie billboards in Manila.

In 1975, he started painting on canvas — going from painting stills of FPJ-Dolphy flicks to whatever topic he found interesting, like still life, rice fields, etc. In 1983, he worked overseas, joining other Filipino artists in Israel to create paintings on velvet cloth.

For the elder Mallari, art is not a solitary affair. He wanted to share that gift, the feeling of dabbing paint onto canvas and creating an entire universe. His seven daughters and one son developed a keen interest in art, leading to collaborative painting sessions within the family.

His overarching influence touched his grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, imbuing them with the same passion for art.

“Masaya ako dahil hinasa nila at ibinahagi ang kaloob na talento ng Diyos. Kayaman ito para sa aming lahat,” Mallari, called “Tatay Ambo” by the younger members of the clan, beamed.

His daughter, Wencezyl Mallari, said, “Hinubog po ni Tatay Ambo ang aming talent sa pagpinta. Kaming mga anak niya na tinuturuan niya, nakakapagturo na din po kami sa aming mga pamangkin — para sa mga susunod na henerasyon sila naman po ang makapagturo.”

Another daughter, Wessa, said, “We grew up on realism, but our Tatay Ambo allowed us to discover our style and identity. Through his guidance and love, we discovered ourselves, developed our style, and continued building our identity as an artist.”

Wencezyl and her brother, Weriel Mallari, have gained recognition for their unique painting styles, participating in art exhibitions in the Philippines and abroad.

The elder Mallari won the grand prize in the Representational category in ARTablado’s first painting competition, “Create,”  last year.

Himig sa Hapong Tahimik by Ambrocio Mallari

The Mallaris chose  “Salinlahi” to underscore the family’s captivating narrative of creativity and passion, linked like a chain from one generation to the next.

 “Napakalaking prebilehiyo para sa amin ng pamilya ko ang makapag-exhibit sa ARTablado. It helps us showcase our talents and convey our artistic message to viewers to appreciate the beauty of life, the beauty of Filipino art even more,” Wessa also said.

Salinlahi” is the Mallari family’s first exhibition outside Central Luzon. They favored ARTablado as the venue because it is inclusive and provides opportunities to artists outside the fringes of the Manila art scene.

Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) supports the ingenuity and artistry of Filipinos by allocating spaces at Robinsons malls in Antipolo and Ortigas for art exhibitions. ARTablado’s impact has been instantaneous for art community members who have been pining for a platform where every artist — from the up-and-coming to grizzled veterans such as Tatay Ambo — gets to shine.  

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Established in 2020, Robinsons Land ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado,” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging artists to express themselves through art freely and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work. To date, ARTablado has mounted numerous exhibitions and hosted over 400 artists. 

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