The PKL Prize
The Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism revives in essence and spirit the Kalaw-Ledesma Award for Art Criticism first launched in October 30, 1990 with Cesare Syjuco as its first prizewinner.
In 2013, the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism was launched by the Kalaw Ledesma Foundation, Inc. (KLFI) in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University and Philippine Star to encourage and to recognize anew outstanding scholarly research, insightful and in-depth writing/ criticism in the field of the visual arts. The prize was awarded to Carlomar Daoana in August 2014 at the Ateneo Art Awards and in commemoration of Purita Kalaw-Ledesma’s 100th brith anniversary.
Purita Kalaw-Ledesma believed that art criticism was a vital force in the development of culture. She realized that the strongest movements or tendencies in the visual arts were almost always accompanied by equally strong critical awareness – e.g. the Neo-Realist group of H.R. Ocampo, Manansala, Legaspi, Tabuena, et al. An informed, well-researched, and impartial criticism raised the standards by which artworks were judged.
The Kalaw Ledesma Foundation believes that the objectives of the Award are as relevant today as it was when it was first launched. While there are a number of awards given for the visual arts, there is none for Art Criticism. This award aims to fill a much needed vacuum.
The Award also pays tribute to Purita Kalaw-Ledesma, an alumna of the UP College of Fine Arts who was in her own right an artist, art patroness and prime mover of the Art Association of the Philippines, which today remains the biggest art organization in the country. Her involvement in the history of Philippine Art in her time has had a deep impact on the development of Filipino artists, art critics, and the direction of art movements.