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In her own place




AVANT-GARDE artist Ronna Manansala.

An artist’s blood runs in her veins as she is the granddaughter of National Artist Vicente Manansala but has created her own path and carved a name in the world of visual art.

Simple and unassuming, Ronna Manansala is an avant-garde artist who loves to paint ballerina and flamenco dancers, just like one of her influences, the 19th to early 20th century French painter Edgar Degas whose works mostly revolve around the subject of dance.

Aside from Degas and her lolo Vicente, Manansala also looks up to Amedeo Modigliani, an early 20th century Italian sculptor and painter who specialized in modern art, and 20th century Mexican surrealist Frida Kahlo as those who made an impact on her as an artist.

To date, she has participated in about 50 solo and group exhibitions in and out of the country, showcasing her oeuvres done in the Impressionist and Expressionist styles.

These exhibitions include the Art Association of the Philippines Anniversary Celebration in Rizal Park, Manila in 2011; Philippines Fine Arts Exhibit at the United States Embassy in Manila in 2014; Filipinas Art and Lifestyle at the Powerplant Mall in Makati in 2015; Manila Art in SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City in 2018; and Legacy Exhibit at Robinson’s Galleria in Quezon City in 2019.

The Swan and the Swans (2018).

Her works were featured in the Filipinism international group exhibits in 2011 in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom as well as in the Life of Dr. Jose Rizal in Europe group exhibits in 2014 in Austria, Italy and the UK.

“I started painting professionally in 2010 but I actually started painting even before I learned to write my name,” she said.

Her weekend stay and vacations spent at her grandfather’s home in Binangonan, Rizal surely left an imprint on her as an accomplished artist.

Dance of Art (2018).

Manansala took up Fine Arts, major in Advertising, at the College of the Holy Spirit and has a master’s degree in Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School.

In art, she said, continuous study and experiments are needed particularly in the artistic environment in the country.

“It is not easy,” she said, adding that there are many talented artists in general but the market is slim.

“My art is me and I find myself unique in my own ways,” she said.

Dance with the Butterflies (2020).

“I want to continue to learn, to inspire and be inspired by people, environment, emotions — anything from tangible to intangible,” she added.

For Manansala, her love of her chosen field is a never-ending process, a life-long dedication to beauty and creativity.

“I want to continue doing my art from the heart,” she quipped.

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