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Art through emotion; Riverside man showcases Filipino culture

By in Press Enterprise on January 4, 2018

By Patrick Brien

Eliseo Silva had what he calls a magical and joyous childhood filled with love, culture and art as he grew up in the Philippines.

His parents owned two bakeries, a restaurant, a mini mall, the first night spot and the only movie theater in their town of Paranaque. Art helped Silva overcome shyness in school as teachers asked him to create visual aids on chalk boards.

“Art gave me a voice and a power to occupy large spaces, which my own limitations as a shy child had made unattainable,” says Silva, now 45.

By the time he was in fifth grade, he began teaching himself how to paint in acrylics and oils. He won every art competition he entered. But growing up in a Philippines that was ruled by Ferdinand Marcos and martial law affected Silva in a profound way. His family participated in the protests supporting the failed election campaign of childhood hero, opposition leader Ninoy Aquino, Jr.

  • Artist Eliseo Silva has recently completed the “Colton Crossings Mural Project” on La Cadena Drive in Colton. (Photo courtesy of Eliseo Silva)

  • Artist Eliseo Silva (Photo courtesy of Eliseo Silva)

    Artist Eliseo Silva (Photo courtesy of Eliseo Silva)

  • Artist Eliseo Silva's Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Panama mural in Unidad Park, Los Angeles celebrates the role of Filipino people in that city. (Photo courtesy of Eliseo Silva)

    Artist Eliseo Silva’s Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Panama mural in Unidad Park, Los Angeles celebrates the role of Filipino people in that city. (Photo courtesy of Eliseo Silva)

  • Pictured is artist Eliseo Silva's Boy with Camera, mixed media on manila folders from 2003. Photo courtesy of Eliseo Silva)

    Pictured is artist Eliseo Silva’s Boy with Camera, mixed media […]    

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