Lino Villarruz, Visual Artist

By Charie Albar

Visual artist Lino F. Villarruz graduated with a degree of Fine Arts from the University of Santo Tomas. A founding member of the Arts Association of Capiz (formerly Capiz Arts Council) and its Visual Arts Director in 1995, Villarruz has received numerous art awards throughout his career including the Capiznon Artist Award. He comes from a musical family and was a guitarist for the band he formed with his brothers in his teenage years. He lives in Roxas City with his wife and children.

How did you know you wanted to be an artist?
In high school I liked drawing so much and found I was good at it. So it was easy for me to decide to study fine arts in college.

Who are your artistic influences?
The artists I admire most and who have influenced my work are Vicente Manansala, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Mauro “Malang” Santos and Pablo Picasso.

How would you describe your artistic style?
My style of painting can be described as a combination of the style of the painters I admire most with my own flair added to the mix. I love to do abstract designs.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
My family has always been my inspiration.

What medium do you prefer best?
I prefer oil on canvas as the right medium for my style. I find it easy to blend colors with it. I also use acrylic in some of my paintings.

How has your style changed over the years?
I was not able to express the kind of art I studied right after I graduated from the university. Art appreciation was in its infancy during those years and modern art was not understood yet. It wasn’t until I worked with Ang Panublion Museum in Roxas City when the Capiz Arts Council was organized. As its Visual Arts Director, I was given a chance to introduce modern art to the public.

What do you think of the art scene in Capiz?
The art scene in Capiz is growing and local artists are beginning to connect with artistic activities in the bigger cities like Metro Manila.

What is your dream project?
It has always been my dream for Roxas City to have a big art gallery, if not an artists’ village.

What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
It has been my desire to enhance art awareness and appreciation in Capiz.

How would you like people to perceive your art?
I hope people will remember me and my art as a moving factor to promote Capiz as an art-loving community.

*Charie Albar is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger. The founder of Balay ni Charie Foundation, a grassroots organization that gives school supplies to the children in Capiz, she divides her time between Capiz and California.