Artist paints 86 classmates for grand reunions

Community News & Features Jan 25, 2019 at 3:51 pm
Jojo Sabalvarro-Tan (right) stands before her completed watercolor paintings of classmates.  With her are Jun Balauag,  a visiting classmate from California and wife Baby.  (Photo: Rudy Tan)

Jojo Sabalvaro-Tan (right) stands before her completed watercolor paintings of classmates. With her are Jun Balauag,
a visiting classmate from California and wife Baby.
(Photo: Rudy Tan)

Multi-talented artist and book author Jojo Sabalvaro-Tan embarks on a project, painting in watercolor 86 classmates of the University of the Philippines Preparatory School Class 65 for its grand reunions starting Feb. this year (for the 65th Anniversary of UP Prep) and next year (for the 55th Anniversary of UP Prep ’65).

The Philippine Reporter reached by phone Sabalvaro-Tan in her Florida home to tell us what made her take on this project which has generated a lot of excitement from her classmates all over the world. Here is what she says:

“I was suddenly driven to do sketches of my high school classmates to commemorate our entry into our seventh decade. Most of us have just turned or turning 70. To me, it’s a milestone. Having met most of my classmates when we were around 10 years old and still retaining our friendship at the age of 70 is amazing.

“So while the muse is actively nagging me on, I made a bold move to ask my classmates to send me recent headshots that will help me sketch them. I say, bold because I was not sure how it would be received and bold since I am voluntarily setting myself to fail since I have not done a project of this scale and, to tell the truth, I don’t really know how to paint actual likenesses of people I know. It scares me since I know it will be subject of much criticism.

“It turns out, the class embraced the idea. Even with a relatively short period of time to submit their photos, it spurred immediate action and reaction and it worked, we got to our target number of submissions days before the deadline. Most surprising is we started looking and finding long lost classmates and reconnecting with them. Hopefully, it will increase the number of attendance at our class activities.I am really loving this project.

“While sketching each classmate, I can have a one way conversation with each one and reminisce about the good times we spent together in high school and college. The project is so much fun for the memories it brought back.”

Editor’ note: Download link to Jojo Sabalvaro-Tan’s illustrated article dedicated to UP Prep 65, titled: “Watercolor Journeys and High School Reunions”

http://philippinereporter.com/2014/07/11/watercolor-journeys-and-high-school-reunions/

View Sabalvaro-Tan’s blog:

http://passporttocreativity.blogspot.com/

(MAG)