Paintings by Filipino-Canadian artists “Grupo Cinco” being showcased at Philippine Consulate in Toronto

One better way of spending the winter season is indoors, while appreciating paintings by local Filipino-Canadian artists.

The heART of the Season ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Consul General Orontes Castro with honourable guests.

“The heART of the season” painting exhibit by Grupo Cinco had its ribbon-cutting ceremony last December 6th. The exhibit was proudly sponsored by the Philippine Consulate in Toronto where the event is being held.

What makes this exhibit amazing is its creators and of course, its purpose.

Surrounded by these amazing paintings from landscapes, portraits, architecture, and abstract, are the great creators called Grupo Cinco. These five artistic individuals have come together and was able to create such masterpieces regardless of their differences on techniques and perspectives about art.

(L-R) Frank Tonido, Nelia Tonido, Michelle Chermaine Ramos, Gene Lopos, and Frank Cruzet

Frank Cruzet, Michelle Chermaine Ramos, Gene Lopos, Frank and Nelia Tonido, have different styles when it comes to painting, but what brings all of them together is their love for their Filipino culture.

This group is even more inspiring knowing that some of them have totally different full-time jobs.

According to Edna, the exhibits main purpose is to promote art and culture especially to the younger generation. This has been an opportunity to promote home grown Filipino artists in Canada.

Through this event, people will know that Filipinos are not only limited to work on medical related jobs like what we were stereotyped for, but they can also excel in the world of arts with their world class talents.

Michelle Ramos is the youngest in the group. She says that arts help her meditate since it requires focus and patience. She adds that it’s a good form of self-expression.

“I don’t really like to limit myself when it comes to style or themes. But I want to explore more on Filipino culture. I want to explore history in terms of strong women in Filipino culture.” Ramos says.

One of her paintings include a Gabriela portrait. She’s interested in researching more about Filipino history and is planning to make a series of painting involving strong women. Right now, she’s looking for ladies who are interested to be her models. You can reach her through her Facebook account.

For Gene Lopos, President of Philippines Artists Group, his passion and love for painting was an unexpected discovery. He’s a full-time architect and when work feels tough, he goes down to his basement and paint. He says it’s his stress reliever. Lopos believes that the there’s a need for the younger generation to be exposed to art. He encourages them to join community art centres as this can help them discover hidden talents.

You’ll be surprised to hear about Frank Cruzet, a former Makati police who migrated to Canada. He specializes on landscape paintings and shares that he created his first painting way back 1974. When they paint landscapes, they go to the actual site and paint on location. “Without art, this whole world is nothing.” Cruzet says.

The 75 year-old artist who had 62 years of experience in painting is a member of about five arts group in the GTA. He currently teaches art to seniors at a Filipino Centre in Scarborough.

All these artists shared different stories of how their journey began. It takes a long time before you can say that you are an artist.

“The heART of the season” painting exhibit will run until the first week of March 2020. You can visit it at the Philippine Consulate in Toronto, 160 Eglinton Ave. E.

Watch Filipino TV’s On The Spot for the event’s highlights and interviews with the artists.

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