Small studio in Sunnyside celebrates Filipino Heritage month with exhibitions and readings

Bliss on Bliss Studio hides behind a black gate and in the basement of an apartment building. The building’s facade is unremarkable, but once inside the smell of incense, the paint brushes on the wall, and the mural show that this is a realm of creativity.

Friday marks the fourth week of exhibitions and talks with local Filipino artists for Filipino Heritage Month. Ged Merino, in his early 50s, opened his private studio to Filipino artists last summer. He recently teamed up with Queens Poet Lore Paolo Javier to curate and create the series, called “Ebolusyon: A Gathering of Contemporary Philippine American Visual and Literary Artists.”

This evening two resident artists talk about their process and exhibit their works. Collage artist Marietta Ganapin specializes in the diminutive, taking pieces from brochures and postcards of her favorite works and creating elaborate mandalas from them. Artist Ernest Conception presents his mural and conceptual drawings about “Tolongest,” a character and story that was inspired by an old 1970s Filipino western film.

Though Filipino Heritage Month is nearing its end, Merino hopes to continue allowing artists to use the artists space, especially because of the unavailability of outlets and networking opportunities for young Pinoy and Pinay artists.

Merino also speaks about his thoughts on Filipinos emigrating to other countries and their ability to assimilate, as well as how Filipino folklore and his parents influenced his artistic endeavors.

Merino about the inspiration to start Bliss on Bliss studio.

Merino about Filipinos emigrating.

Ged Merino on his parent’s influence on being an artist.

Ambience track 1

Ambience track 2, violin