My family had the privilege of seeing and conversing with one of our country's pride: Mr. Ben-Hur Villanueva at his home and studio - Arko ni Apo. He is a Filipino sculptor, painter, educator, lecturer, and art entrepreneur based in Baguio City, and was one of the artists who first established the Baguio Arts Guild.
Sir Ben-Hur is best known as a sculptor, working with brass, metal, and wood.
His well-known sculptures include:
Kapit-Bisig - a commemorative Narra wood sculpture of four figures locking arms, which was presented by President Corazon Aquino to the Filipino people on the first year anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution.
Among Supremo - a sculpture of Andres Bonifacio at Global City, Taguig City
Thy Will Be Done - A sculpture at the campus of Saint Paul University Quezon City
St. Aloysius Gonzaga - A sculpture at the campus of Saint Louis University in Baguio city
Risen Christ - A statue at Caleruega, Nasugbu, Batangas
Statue in Botanical Garden, Baguio
He still holds regular art exhibitions around the Philippines, and also occasionally exhibits in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Helsinki, and Havana.
Villanueva spent 30 years teaching arts at the Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. In interviews he says this experience convicted him of the importance of the school motto, "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam" (For the greater Glory of God and A Man for Others). “Every individual has his/her artistic inclinations and propensity be it visual, music, dance, literary, or fashion and so he/she has the right to enhance and utilize it creatively,” he is quoted as saying. “Sharing it with others is what makes our life more meaningful and blessed.
Keeping these beliefs in mind, Villanueva moved to Baguio City upon retiring from teaching at Ateneo. He put up an arts workshop, Arko Ni Apo (Ilocano: Ark of the Lord), and he started spearheading various art-related activities catering to a people ranging from professionals, educators, students, young artists, television/film writers and directors, street children, to various religious groups.
(Source: Wikipedia and the Master Artist himself, Ben-Hur Villanueva)