Lolita Valderrama Savage: when Art and Beauty unite
BY FILOMENITA MONGAYA HØGSHOLM, WORLDSCAN
December 3, 2013- January 2, 2014 Palazzo Medici-Riccardi , Via Cavour 1 Florence, Italy
Lolita Valderrama Savage is probably the most international Philippine-born artist. She has exhibited in many prestigious places the world over. Herself a lover of Nature, she paints to express manifestations of Nature’s wonders: its seasons, its pace, its reality. Lolita’s faith in Nature includes believing that there is an order in it which is simple. And where the human being has his/her humble place indeed, in this order dictated by nature. Yes, the individual has his/her own unique spot in this awesome place we call The Universe.
A multi-lingual artist, she was formally trained to speak English, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, French and German aside from her native tongue Tagalog, Manila-born Lolita’s own place in the art universe was secured when, after receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Royal Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, the oldest Catholic university in Asia (est. 1611, ed.) she was granted a scholarship in 1973 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence Lolita attributes her artistic learning and discipline to Professor Silvio Loffredo of the Accademia.. Here, she received her Licenza in Pittura (a licenciate in fine arts). It was also in Florence -at the Palazzo Strozzi that Lolita exhibited her first paintings,as part of an international group in 1975. This was followed by many one- woman and group art shows many places in Europe, for example outside of Italy, such as Sweden where she lived -and studied under her beloved mentor,Prof. Staffan Hallström until her formal move to the USA in 1980 where she married Frank Savage with whom she has three children: Fredrik Antoine, Grace Erlinda, and Frank Alexander.
Early on. Lolita’s commitment to art was always combined with her passion for the aforementioned languages, diverse cultures, and a dedication to humanitarian causes. She worked at the United Nations after moving to the US in 1979, and has always actively involved herself in local as well as international organizations. While residing in Stamford Connecticut, she was member of the Board of Directors of Stamford Art , where she chaired the First Scholarship Benefit Art Auction in l987, and again in 1989, to provide scholarships to young talented artists in Stamford and neighboring community schools in Fairfield County. Lolita also chaired the First International Cultural Festival for the Westover Magnet School in Stamford in 1991: a week long celebration of cultural heritages, the aim of which was to stimulate awareness, sensitivity, better understanding and tolerance of all cultures present in the community. She served as judge for Black History Celebrations under the Stamford Schools’ Art competition, at the Stamford Center for the Arts; she supported other community organizations like The Forum for World Afffairs, the Stamford Historical Society, Alliance Francaise, the YWCA of Greenwich, The Urban League of Southwestern Connecticut, and served on the boards of The Friends of the Ferguson Library and the Stamford Cultural Development Corporation.
After 38 years abroad, Lolita finally exhibited in her native Philippines in 2011 at two major art museums, the AYALA Museum and the University of Santo Tomas Museum of Science and Art. In 2012, she received the Totus Tuus Award and the The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Award in Visual Arts from her alma mater, the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines.
Presently, Lolita serves as Honorary Chairperson for The Foundation for Filipino Artists Inc., and sits as Board Member of the MA-YI Theater Company, two non-profit organizations, which promote Asian-American art and artists in New York City. . In Connecticut, she serves on the Board of the Namaskaar Foundation, promoting Indian and I.nternational dance and music. The Thumbelina Fund for Children of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. .Further, Lolita is a member of the American International League, L’ Associazione Culturale Giovanni Papini di Firenze and the Societa delle Belle Arti Circolo degli ArtistiL’ Casa di Dante in Florence, Italy.
Her newest major exhibit scheduled from December 2013 to January 2013 will be at the Palazzo Medici Museum, the former residence of the Medici Family, the great patron of Renaissance Arts. A selection of some 30 of her most significant paintings until now, will be on display at this prestigious venue.