How does one become an artist? Does art come calling like a voice in the wilderness? Insistent, commanding. Does the urge to create art appear like a burning bush out of the vortex of the mundane, seeding one’s spiritless heart with a feverish flame? How does art become flesh?
For Andrei Solmirano, the muse arrived early: as other kids were playing with toys, Andrei as a 10-year-old child was always immersed in art materials and art books. Painting was her hobby during weekends, holiday breaks, and when she got home from school. Art became a path to escapism, a way for her to recreate the things around her that caught her attention: sunsets, flowers, the beach, and — for Andrei, the most beautiful at all — her grandma’s garden. From landscapes and seascapes, she would later on paint portraits of people and pets as well dabble in abstracts. Those abstract textures gave her — according to Andrei herself — “complete freedom” and allowed her to be “playful” with colors with “hints of imperfection.”
The girl, who comes from a musically inclined family, also loved singing. That muse overpowered the other muse. Andrei pursued singing as a part-time career — from doing gigs during family reunions and college programs, to appearing in big events. Painting took a backseat as she took on various jobs in the corporate world. But in 2020, the voice in the wilderness, that burning bush reignited Andre’s love of art. As a New Year’s resolution, she took up the brush again.
That gesture led us here: opening on Jan. 16, Monday, at Robinsons Land ARTablado in Robinsons Galleria is Andrei Solmirano’s exhibition titled “Yadah to the King: Celebration through Art and Music.”
Andrei explains, “Yadah, taken from the Hebrew word for “hand” or yad, means ‘to throw, extend, or lift hands in thanksgiving and praise.’” For this self-taught artist from Caloocan City, art has become an expression of her faith and an “invitation for others to lift their eyes and experience God’s love and goodness.” Art is also a reminder for Andrei to be humble and that miracles do happen.
It is fitting that the artist is exhibiting at Robinsons Land ARTablado since the gallery has become a platform for artists with humble roots and who have gone on to do miraculously impressive art.
“This is a surprise blessing for 2023. Amazing,” she shares. “It is an answered prayer. It is a testament to ArtAblado as a supportive platform for new artists such as me. It feels like home.”
“Yadah to the King” is a collection of artworks that celebrate God – who He is and what He does: (1) The lion for the “Lion of the tribe of Judah to display His absolute authority and power over all creation”; (2) Abstracts reminding us that He is our firm “Foundation” and the chief “Cornerstone”, that He is King but He chose to be a humble “Carpenter”, that just like in the mount of “Moriah” He still provides, that just like in the “Sea of Galilee” miracles still happen; that there’s “Open Heaven” for those who believes and trusts Him; (3) Florals reminding us of our identity – we are loved, beautiful, valuable and more.
Ultimately, what Andrei Solmirano aspires for her art to be able to do is admirable.
“Let my art cause you to dream and hope,” she concludes. Art should “spark joy, faith and inspiration.”
Sparking, kindling ineffable feelings the way Art — or an entire universe unfolding with a single brush stroke — opens up to a child for the first time.
* * *
Established in 2020, Robinsons Land ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing the Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging artists to freely express themselves through art and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work.
To date, ARTablado has over 40 exhibitions and hosted over 300 artists.