Get to know these two talented artists – Ehrlich “Firechill” Ocampo and Pete Velasquez – who are showcasing their artistry locally and internationally. Ocampo has recently been amazed and received a standing ovation from the judges in America’s Got Talent as he continued his mission to provide awe-inspiring performances to his audience.
Gateway Gallery exhibited the works of Pete Velasquez a renowned architect turned visual artist, titled Phid-DRAW. Velasquez’ 11th solo exhibit displayed the Filipino maiden bearing classic names from a bygone era: Mariposa, Paraluman, and Marilag.
Ehrlich ‘Firechill’ Ocampo’s unique circus act
Ehrlich “Firechill” Ocampo is set to become one of our country’s national treasures as he continues to inspire and innovate with his unique Levi wand circus act.
The former Cirque de Soleil performer combines the softness of dance with the marvel of magic in Levi wand performances, where a wand seemingly floats in midair as Firechill dances around and moves. It is a stunning exhibition of grace and modernity – one that appeals to all audiences regardless of nationality.
The judges at America’s Got Talent confirmed this, calling Firechill’s act “flawless” and “unique”. Howie Mandel was even heard saying, “That is an art form that I don’t think we’ve seen. I’ve been here for a long time. That was beautiful. I loved it.”
Despite the recent recognition, however, Firechill has been honing his art for years. His journey is an awe-inspiring and heart-warming example of how passion and to determine can manifest in success. Against the wishes of his family who encouraged a more standard career route, Firechill knew that he wanted more from his life: to reveal a magical world one dance step at a time.
Even after all his hard work to become a skilled performer, his journey was still filled with several challenges. When he received a job opportunity for the Cirque de Soleil, he needed three weeks of seafarer training, several dozens of documents and certificates, and was even denied a visa once. Still, he persevered and did whatever he needed to pursue his dream of being a circus performer.
He trained with the best circus performers all around the world and developed his unique act where he dances around a levitating wand. As he told the judges in America’s Got Talent, “I am here fighting for myself, my family, my friends, my community, my country.”
The proudly Filipino artist says that kababayans should have more opportunities to develop their skills, as many of our countrymen have the talent, but not the opportunities or resources to expand them. He calls all local creatives to stay true to their truths, and find a way to showcase their passion.
Firechill is also the author of “The Boy Who Dreamt Of Flying”, a heart-touching fable of a boy who weaved a dreamcatcher to catch his dreams of flying. Inspired by his own life, the book is filled with wonderful imagery, imaginative characters, and timeless truths. Through this story, Firechill hopes to foster a community of inclusion, where everyone accepts each other, misfits, freaks, and weirdos alike.
Further expressing himself in various mediums, Firechill is also a renowned visual artist. His original works evoke an almost perceptible sadness mixed with hope, as his subjects are often depicted reaching out for their dreams despite adversity.
For more information about Ehrlich “Firechill” Ocampo, contact A-List & Partners Consulting Group Inc. at email@example.com.
Pete Velasquez’s 11th solo exhibit
Pete Velasquez, architect turned visual artist, is one of the more prolific artists in the country today, even during the pandemic. Known for his idyllic scenes of the country and her maidens, in drawing and painting, Velasquez never tires of capturing his experiences through paintings or drawings.
In his 11th solo exhibit, Pidh-DRAW, Velasquez displays modernist techniques in producing classic images on canvas or paper using line drawings and tonal renditions of objects or forms. In the imaginative world of artist Pete Velasquez, figurative expressions are celebrated and were produced through pure imagination and keen observations.
In this exhibit, Velasquez portrays the Filipino maiden bearing classic names from a bygone era; which may sound too old-fashioned for the young generation of today. The maidens of Velasquez bear exquisite names such as Mariposa, Paraluman, and Marilag; names that epitomize old-world values such as industry, faithfulness, and purity. His maidens remind us of our great-grandparents, who led lives of sacrifice, dignity, and respect for farming and the good Earth. He identifies himself as an artist and a farmer, and his name Pete, in Filipino is Pedro (Pihd-Draw), connecting him to the traditional women featured in the exhibit.
Velasquez takes inspiration from the outdoors and loves doing plein air (outdoor) painting by the river bank, or anywhere that his folding Brompton bike may take him. Other days, he would use his Vespa, an Italian scooter that makes his outdoor painting sessions an inspired, elevated experience. His love for Vespa manifested in his art, as seen in the Vespa series, situating the Italian classic in a Philippine backdrop of traditional terrains, culture, and lifestyle.
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