|Araceli Limcaco Dans "Self Portrait with Calado" location unknown|
Araceli Limcaco Dans (b.1929) is one of the most famous living artists in the Philippines. Limcaco Dans is known for her exquisitely detailed still life paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic, most of which feature an intricate kind of lacy fabric made in the Philippines called calado. The creation of this cloth involves a type of drawn-thread embroidery.
Limcaco Dans studied art first at Sta. Rosa College, then went on to the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts, where she was mentored by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo, one of the most celebrated artists in that country. An outstanding student, nonetheless, Limcaco Dans strove to find her own voice and also, to have that voice be representative of her nation. She succeeded in this by turning to still life and making unusual compositions often featuring the lacy cloth known as calado, the production of which is native to the Philippines.
“...I did not want to be like Amorsolo and so forth. I had to look for myself.
I found myself in still life. Not many people around the world do still life.
And I looked for original ways of doing still life.
Why does everything have to be on a table? Why always fruits and flowers?
Why not rags, objects inside old cartons?"
She has exhibited at museums and galleries world-wide and received numerous awards. She is also highly respected as an educator, a field in which she has worked concurrently with the fine arts, for most of her career. A coffee table book about her life and work was published in 2010 entitled Araceli Limcaco Dans: A Celebration of the Life and Works of a Filipina Artist. Limcaco Dans and her husband have ten children!