FRANCISCO M. VERANO (b. 1938), known to his peers as Paking, graduated with a degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Known to innovate and explore alternative materials such as bamboo and sawdust, Verano has exhibited extensively both locally and abroad. His works are now part of private and institutional collections such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and GSIS Museum for his landscape paintings, National Commission on Culture & the Arts and Cultural Center of the Philippines for his Bamboo Fugue Series, among others.
Sir Paking has received several awards; among them First Prize in Sculpture, given by the Art Association of the Philippines (1959) and Best Landscape Award in the 24th AAP Annual Art Competition (1971). He has also worked as an advertising professional since 1962. He has helmed the Creative Arts/Marketing Communications department of several reputable companies, including Planter’s Products, Inc. (1977-1980); Mobil Awards for Philippine Art, Mobil Oil Philippines (1980-1981); and in 1991, he set-up his own advertising and public relations company. He has likewise received recognition in the field of advertising, winning the Award for Excellence in Advertising Art in the
First Philippine Advertising Congress in 1969. He was president of the UP College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation (1983-1991) and was president of the Saturday Group in 2003.
With almost seven decades of painting, sculpting and reinventing forms and medium as sculptural figures made of adobe, clay, wood and sawdust, landmark monuments in bronze and adobe, landscapes that incorporate household objects for texture, and abstract pieces that he describes as non-figurative fragments of landscapes, the artist embodies a life-long commitment to art. At 84 years old, Sir Paking has come full circle from seasons of vibrant collections and larger-than-life monuments to muted tones and subdued strokes that suggest that the simplest may be the most insightful and the most uncomplicated may be the most meaningful. In this new collection, he presents the very act of creating art as a method to reach a state of calm and peace.