MANILA, Philippines - There was a time, not long ago, when art was seen as a stuffy endeavor reserved for the rich. Let’s admit it, the art scene can be quite intimidating. There are too many esoteric works that interest only the art-educated, the museums and galleries can be exclusive, and some of the price tags are mind-boggling. An artwork done by an established name can easily fetch an arm and a leg. But the organizers of Art in the Park are changing the face of Philippine art. By gathering 40 of the best galleries, art schools, and groups in the country, some outside Metro Manila, good art can be had for everyone. By capping the price at P30,000 and holding it in the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati, the Philippine art scene can be inviting. Art in the Park happens today from 2 p.m. to 12 midnight.
Below is a cheat sheet of some of the galleries you can expect today:
L’arc En Ciel Gallery
The gallery is known for its classical realist work, which curator Elaine Herbosa says has “no distortions, no angst, no lies.” It is home to an inclusive group that meets every week to paint. The booth will feature works by Carla Kim, Miguel Buhay, Ditas Dominguez, Maridi Nivera, Margie Villonco, Pilar Quiros, Connie Quirino, Stella Kim, Nina Herbosa, Jacqueline Hess, Stephanie Honrado, Desiree Colyer, Tess XB Loanzon, Lina Racho, Lea Calanoc and Elaine herself. Herbosa’s daughter Mia will also show her work, which sold out last year before the start of the event, as well as Alfred Galura, the group’s best watercolorist.
The country’s first and only organization dedicated to creating and promoting illustration for children will present work from Jomike Tejido, Jonathan Ranola, Pergy Acuña, Jamie Bauza, Angela Taguiang, Rommel Joson, Frances Alvarez, Aldy Aguirre, Jenny Jasmin Lacay, Yas Doctor, Raine Sarmiento, Iori Espiritu. Ang INK is known for its masterful use of color, thanks to its 70-strong members from different design fields.
Blanc is home to some of the country’s best contemporary art, thanks to its “tightly curated shows” lauded by critics here and abroad. Past exhibits have shown a wide variety of artists and schools of thought — from bleak portraits to avant-garde explosions of color. The booth will feature work from Arturo Sanchez Jr., Jonathan Ching, Ronald Caringal, Kadin Tiu, Renato Barja Jr., Janet Balbarona, Buen Calubayan, Jaime Pacena II, and others. The lineup stays true to the Blanc spirit, by supporting artists with unique visions and skills.
Art Informal is the bastion of multimedia art — from sculpture and painting to pottery, installation, and performances, all to promote Philippine contemporary art. The booth will feature works from AK Ocol, Bea Alcala, Cian Dayrit, Eugenia Alcaide, Dave Lock, Erwin Leano, Gigi Lapid, Jia Estrella, Ling Quisumbing, Maxine Syjuco, Allan Balisi, and Ernest Concepcion.
Tin-Aw promotes works from both up-and-coming artists and established ones, with its art management program handling the affairs of Alfredo Esquillo Jr., Ferdinand Montemayor, Joy Mallari, and Mark Justiniani. Tin-Aw is renowned for its interest in the history and experience of the Philippine condition. The booth will feature the aforementioned artists and over 30 contemporary artists. The booth will also feature books about Santiago Bose, and giclee prints of Mallari, whose “Entwine” was featured as Art in the Park’s official image this year.
Studio 1616 is composed of 16 young artists, most of them award winners, receiving citations from MADE, Shell–NSAC, Petron Art Competition, PLDT–DPC, and many others. This will be their second time to show at Art in the Park, and according to head Yeo Kaa, their artworks are more mature and serious. The booth will sell artwork by Johanna Helmuth, Levin Paras, John Marin, Erick Villarruz, Keb Cerda, Yani Unsana, Aiya Balingit, Jayvee David, Dale Erispe, Jett Osian, Jeje Alvarez, Roy Rosatase, Ciron Senerez, Pow Marin, Lui Manaig, and Yeo Kaa herself.
Art Verite has represented some of the best names in Philippine art, from National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Bencab, and Arturo Luz to upstarts such as Elmer Borlongan, Kiko Escora, and Marina Cruz. Art Verite has nurtured a number of game-changing names, but actively seeks out the next big thing in art. For Art in the Park, the booth will present works from: Manny Garibay, Lynyrd Paras, Joven Mansit, Julio Austriam, Hermes Alegre, Solomon Capili, Lawrence Borsoto, Dems Dela Cruz, Jerson Samson, Dexter Fernandez, Dexter Sy, LJ Abiola, Neil Pasilan, Froilan Calayag, Michael Villagante, Reynaldo “Pogs” Samson, Ed San Jr., Emard Canedo, Henri Cainlet, Jake Catah, and Leomar Conejos.
Silverlens began as a photography gallery in 2004, until it branched out to all forms of media in 2008, encompassing contemporary art. Their gallery has been so extensive in their exhibits that they have partnered with museums and art fairs in Singapore, Busan, New York, Miami, Hong Kong, and many others. For Art in the Park, the gallery will feature works by Africa, Chati Coronel, Corinne De San Jose, Christina Dy, Dina Gadia, Jacob Lindo, Luis Lorenzana, Hanna Pettyjohn, Yasmin Sison, Rachel Rillo, Raul Rodriguez, Ryan Villamael, Jay Yao, and MM Yu. In 2012, both Villamael and Gadia were listed by Rogue magazine as two of the six artists to invest in now.
Mendez Big And Small Art Co.
The Mendez Big And Small Art Co. is home to both emerging artists, which the owner Dr. Joel Mendez says keeps the gallery challenging, persistent and unprejudiced. The exhibitions focus on innovative contemporary art, showcasing various media and themes. As a testament to their liberal outlook, the Mendez Big And Small will feature the work of over 40 artists, including Dr. Joel Mendez himself. The pieces are realist portraits, both haunting and quirky.
TutoK Art Core, Inc.
For this year, TutoK Art Core, Inc. will be partnering with The Filipino Visual Arts and Design Rights Organization (FILVADRO), a collective management organization that helps artists with copyrights over their works. The two will launch its registry program, allowing artists to document the records and movement (provenance) of their pieces between collectors. The TutoK booth will still sell the crowd favorite, TutoKahon, a box set containing five works on paper from five different TutoK and FILVADRO artists. Some of the artists included are Ocampo Flores, Egai Talusan Fernandez, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Emmanuel Garibay, Joey Cobcobo, and Rolando Acuña.
Vinyl on Vinyl
Vinyl on Vinyl is an offbeat platform that promotes experimentation from street, contemporary, pop surrealism and designer sculpts. In previous years, the gallery has kept the offerings extensive, but this year, they are focusing on artists that best represent who they are. This year’s colorful pieces are from: Iyan De Jesus, Gabby Tiongson, Ramona Gaston, Anjo Bolarda, Ungga, Kris Abrigo, Tokwa Peñaflorida, Soleil Ignacio, Chalk Zaldivar, Ren Quinio, Bjorn Calleja, Dennis Bato, Niccolo Cosme, Patch Quinto, and Rai Cruz.
Young Artists Studio
Young Artists Studio, with vMeme, is bringing together a group of artists who integrate advocacy in their work, presenting “a culture of hope and freedom for art, artists, communities, and our society.” The booth will feature work by Francisco M. Verano, Ernie Patricio, Marika Constantino, Veejay Villafranca, Federico “Boy” Dominguez, Crown Dolot, Resty Flores, Kristian Jeff Agustin, and Billijin Carle Esguerra.
CANVAS is known for its annual Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Contest and the Looking For Juan program, a show set around social themes and concerns. The CANVAS booth will feature works from Tammy Tan, Farley del Rosario, Palma Tayona, and Leonard Aguinaldo, along with the group’s famous children’s books and balikbayan box bags, made from banners from their previous shows. The group is currently raising funds to give one million books to one million children.
Secret Fresh holds the most colorful, most provocative art from some of the most talented artists. Some of the artists they have been featured are Nemo Aguila and JP Cuison. They also sell sculptures and toys, and are active in graffiti, comics, film, animation, music, architecture, fine art and design.
Espasyo Siningdikato is what its members call “an abode of passionate and creative souls.” The sense of camaraderie is heartfelt, as proceeds of the sale will help with the medical expenses of Lirio Salvador, who met an accident a year ago. The pieces range from paintings to prints, photos, and sculpture from 37 artists.
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