Manuel Baldemor’s “Symphony of Flowers” blooms at Philippine Center Gallery

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NEW YORK CITY – The gallery of the Philippine Center in New York was bathed in a burst of colors shaped in the delicate silhouettes of petals and leaves as Manuel Baldemor's latest exhibit "Symphony of Flowers" opened on May 16. 

About 60 art lovers and members of the Filipino community were on hand to catch a first glimpse of the world renowned artist's sixth exhibit so far in New York City at a reception to officially inaugurate the event. 

Mrs. Eleanor de Leon led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, together with Baldemor, Philippine Center Manager Kira Danganan Azucena and the artist's close friend and former Philippine Cener Manager Gavino Abaya.

In his remarks, Baldemor paid homage to flowers as an indispensable element of the Filipino landscape, and as a window towards finding one’s soul and inner peace. 

“A simple flower…has a certain peace and tranquility you can take into yourself,” Baldemor said. “(They) are universal, and a symbol of love and peace. They speak directly to our hearts and have their own secret and unspoken language of diplomacy.” 

On Wednesday, Baldemor hosted an art workshop for the Philippine Center employees and their families, where participants had a chance to color original black-and-white drawings of flowers by the artist. A select group, led by Consul General Mario L. de Leon Jr and Mrs. Eleanor de Leon, also lent their hands in finishing a painting by Baldemor depicting the Filipino festival Flores de Mayo. 

Baldemor last held an exhibit of his works at the Philippine Center in July 2015, which showcased, among others, a collection of 6-foot scrolls that depict scenes of life in the Philippines. While in New York, he hosted a similar workshop for the Philippine Center employees and their dependents, and facilitated an artists’ interaction activity where five of the most prominent Filipino artists in New York, namely Edgar Doctor, Angelito David, Cesar Delos Santos, Ronald Cortez and Lorina Capitulo, together produced a painting depicting scenes of the Philippines. The painting was donated to the Philippine Center. 

A multi-talented Filipino artist, Manuel Baldemor is a painter, sculptor, print maker, writer and book illustrator. He was born in 1947 in Paete, Laguna, a place renowned for wood carvers. He has held one-man exhibits in many cities all over the world, and his works have been displayed in a number of important institutions including the United Nations Headquarters in New York. For 18 straight years, his works have been reproduced in UNICEF’s Christmas greeting cards. 

"Symphony of Flowers: Aquarelle Paintings by Manuel Baldemor" is organized by the Philippine Consulate General in New York, and runs until 27 May 2016.