Art Watch: Memoirs, an artist’s visual diary

At age six, she discovered her love for the arts. At 18, she pursued Fine Arts as a degree. On her 58th birthday, she mounted her first one-woman exhibit. What is in between is perseverance, patience and passion as a painter; dedication as an art teacher; a fighter who beat the odds and rise above the challenges; and tons of love as a daughter and mother. Each role she took was like adding another shade on the palette. With each episode along the way, whether it brings joy or heartache, her colors become more vibrant. 

It took time for Mary Anne Tan-Guinoo to finally nod to a solo exhibition. Many have asked why— her followers, family and friends, students, collectors, peers. She may have taken a break from the local art scene when she started a family and moved to Norway, but she never let go of the brush. Moving back to her hometown, even with several other hats she had to wear - daughter, teacher, businesswoman- her presence in the art circle is felt. She would take part in regular group exhibits and art fundraising projects, and her pieces find new homes to brighten. 

Those acquainted with the artist would know Mean has enough in her trove to draw inspiration from and fill a gallery on her own. Only Mean knew when her right time was. It is now.

Mean’s first solo exhibit happened with the encouragement and backing by her mentor, and a life-long dream for an artist to have one. What is essential is that MeAn managed to muster the courage to take a significant step along her journey as an artist.

Memoirs is a visual diary of the artist, her life experiences expressed in colors bursting on 50 artworks. Each piece tell a story that can fill a hundred pages if expressed in words— a flower that reminds of her childhood, blooms that brings her back to her mother’s greenhouse, an array of blossoms she encountered in parks and gardens in Norway, dancers honing their craft in a studio, sunsets and landscapes she fell in love with while traveling, her family, her children. All these memories bring her warmth and joy, which she now passes on to her audience through her canvases.

Memoirs, Mean Tan Guinoo’s first one-woman show, is dedicated to her children. 

Memoirs exhibit is ongoing until July 24 at the Art & Resource Center Library & Gallery of La Herencia Davao, F. Torres Street.

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

(Left) Big Peonies. Oil on canvas. 24" x 18". 2022
(Right) Red Roses. Oil on Canvas. 24" x 18". 2022
(Left) Marivi's Paradise. Acrylic on canvas. 12" x 9". 2022
(Right) Secret Garden. Acrylic on Canvas. 12" x 9". 2022
(Left) Fields of Gold (Remembering Sting). Acrylic on canvas. 16" x 12". 2022
(Right) Autumn in Leyeune. Acrylic on canvas. 16" x 12". 2022
(Left) Ballerinas On Stage. Oil on canvas. 16" x 16". 2022
(Right) At The Studio. Oil on canvas. 16" x 16". 2022

(Left) Three Pink Flowers. Acrylic on Canvas. 11 1/2" x 9". 2022
(Right) Feathery Flower At Eden. Watercolor on paper. 7" x 7". 2022
(Left) The Red Flower (At The Dining Hall). Watercolor on Paper. 7" x 7". 2022
(Right) Lilies. Watercolor on Paper. 7" x 7". 2022

(Left) Red Flower. Acrylic on canvas. 12' x 9". 2022
(Right) Pumpkins. Acrylic on canvas. 12' x 9". 2022