Eliseo Art Silva has been drawing since four yrs. old, painting since nine yrs. old and started receiving “chalkboard art” commissions in San Beda College, Alabang from 2nd-5th Grade. His first mural project was completed when he was fifteen years old and sponsored by Letran College (Alumni Association) where he completed his elementary education. He was selected to attend the prestigious Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) with full scholarship which was situated at the foot of a dormant volcano. It was at the PHSA where Eliseo decided to become a contemporary artist and cultural activist.
Silva's first city-funded mural project was the Filipinotown mural of Los Angeles, created when he was only 22 years old. Since then, he has completed over a hundred murals in both the East Coast and West Coast of the United States. He obtained a BFA at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and earned an MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine as a MICA and Skowhegan Fellow.
Artists Biography (2nd Version)
Eliseo Art Silva was born in Manila in 1972- the same year PH President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. A martial law baby, Silva completed his first mural on February 28, 1986 at the age of 14 - just a few days after becoming part of the EDSA People Power Revolution. He received his first commissioned public art a year later from Colegio De San Juan De Letran, while still a sophomore at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) which was built at the foot of a dormant volcano.
Silva emigrated to the United States at the age of 17 in 1989- the same year Marcos passed away in Hawaii. Silva was an undergraduate student at Otis College of Art and Design (then located in LA Koreatown), when the 1992 LA Riots erupted. He was 22 yrs old and a junior at Otis when he created his signature work: the Gintong Kasaysayan Filipinotown mural. The Martial Law era in the Philippines, the 1986 Philippine Revolution and the 1992 LA Riots shaped Silva’s work; and his art directly addresses the visual dehumanization of his culture by reconciling the history of his lineage with the history of painting.
Artists Biography (200 Words)
Eliseo Art Silva is a contemporary artist internationally known for the Gintong Kasaysayan Filipinotown mural, heralded as the largest, “most famous Filipino American artwork” (Ling, Austin, 2010) in the country. LA Weekly recognized the LA Filipino mural as one of the 20 iconic murals of Los Angeles. Silva was born in Manila, Philippines and graduated with full honors at the Philippine High School for the Arts. He immigrated to the United States at 17 and obtained a BFA at Otis College of Art and Design. He received his MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art and was recognized with a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Program Award. In addition to LA, he has also worked on public art commissions in Philadelphia, Seattle, Alaska, NY, and Vallejo, CA. Silva designed the Western Gateway to Historic Filipinotown, the Dap-ay learning circle with the terraced community garden at Unidad Park; and two award-winning floats for the Philippine participation in the Rose Parade in Pasadena to commemorate the Philippine Centennial. Eliseo’s most recent commissions include a series of paintings for the Mabuhay Credit Union in the City of Carson, CA and the ceiling/wall murals and paintings for the University of Pittsburgh’s Philippine Nationality Room.
I am a weaver of history and heritage. My artistic goal is to reconcile the history of my lineage with the history of painting. I believe art is the best way to document communities; providing an effective means for communities to connect, thrive and flourish in urban environments: inviting all to make the first step towards compassionate interaction.
I believe in the positive impact of large scale wall art because I am witness to the transformation of people involved in the creative process. Through my public art installations I want to experience new ways of expression, while incorporating new materials and techniques. I intend to foster my artistic vision while deepening my connection with the community.
My works are a reflection on heritage and history and the reverberations of the past in contemporary life; unearthing and innovating from the past to herald the future.