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Maharlika Art Exhibit

Del A. Bermudez II was born in the Philippines on November 11, 1942 and immigrated to the United States in 1971 to join his family in Mercer Island. He grew up in a family handicraft business, which he helped to manage while a student at St. Louise University, Philippines. Their products were being exported to the US and first introduced at the Seattle Center and at the Pike Place Market.


In 1963, Del auditioned for the Bayanihan Philippine National Folkdance Company and was joined in the world tour in 1964, which led him to do a research of the various indigenous dances of the Philippines after the world tour. This endeavor was done with then Secretary of Education Alfredo Roces. With his experience with the Bayanihan dance company, Del choreographed some folk dances for various organizations. He also designed outfits using hand-woven fabrics from the Cordillera and Ilocos regions.

He retired from being a choreographer and a folk dancer before he came to the US. In 2003, a self-taught artist, he pursued his art in Seattle. He began creating computer-generated documentary art works of the Philippine artisans’ works and established Hands and Tribes of the Philippines in Seattle. His current works are focused on the Philippine mythical bird, the sarimanok.


The use of palette knife or brush was restrictive in most of his strokes which motivated him to research for an instrument to achieve his painting requirements. A sewing needle was the instrument of choice to render his oil paintings, thus the birth of Needle Painting. The Sarimanok Series goes in a variety of compositions of birds in flight, butterflies and fishes.

Olivia Zapata was born in the Philippines and migrated to the United States in 1970. She has a degree in Foreign Service from the University of the Philipines, but art has been her first love and interest since her grade school years. After coming to Seattle, she pursued a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising Art. Olivia has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for 35 years and started painting in watercolor and acrylic 19 years ago.


Olivia sees art as her passion for translating her inner visions to reality. For her, art is real, and the concreteness of this activity frees her imagination. She loves the vibrant and vivid hues of watercolor and acrylic, which she utilizes in many of her paintings. As a graphic designer and illustrator she works in realistic and figurative forms, and these have influenced her style of painting. Lately, she has been exploring more abstract forms of art and combining these with graphic elements and colors, creating some attractive, playful and whimsical figures.


A subject of many of her paintings is about women—images of women, spirituality, and feminine perspectives on issues of peace and justice. “Women are: beautiful, complex, simple, creative, mysterious, peaceful, spiritual, real, graceful, free spirit, enigmatic, meditative, sacred, faithful, vulnerable, fascinating, feminine.” Olivia sees women as multifaceted and colorful, with many stories and gifts — and would like to share these with other people through her paintings.


Olivia is a member of the Columbia City Gallery Artists’ Cooperative in Seattle. She exhibits her paintings at the gallery four times a year. Olivia can be reached

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