Friday, September 28, 2012

Philippine Art to the World

 Ronald Ventura's Crack in the Hull is the banner painting of ManilArt 2012
More than 40 art galleries, about 500 artists, more than a thousand artworks, and more than 10,000 visitors are expected for the ManilArt 2012, the “first and only annual international art fair in the Philippines,” according to Imelda Loste, owner of Gallery Nine and head of the National Committee on Art Galleries (NCAG) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the government agency for arts and culture which is one of the organizers of the event.
Co-organized by the Bonafide Art Galleries Organization (BAGO), ManilArt will be held from Oct. 3 to 6 at the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.
Loste related that ManilArt started in 2009 at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, as a “one-stop shop and showcase of the best the visual arts in the Philippines have to offer.” Through the years, ManilArt has grown to be one of the major events in the local cultural landscape, gathering different galleries under one roof and including lectures, workshops and many other activities.
Last year, ManilArt had 24 galleries and drew a record of about 7,000 visitors to the NBC Tent. This year, organizers make the art expo bigger with 46 galleries participating, spread out on 2,800 square meters of exhibition space, and hope to double last year’s number of visitors. Participating galleries include Boston Gallery, L’Arc en Ciel, Looking for Juan, Art Circle Gallery, Art Verite, Art Cube, Mendez/Big & Small Gallery, Gallery Big, My Little Art Space, Leon Gallery, Arte Pintura, Galerie Joaquin, Galerie Raphael, Renaissance Gallery, Archivo Galo, Artes Orientes, Quattrocento, Galleria Duemila, Village Art Gallery, Blue + Gray Gallery, Gallery Nine, Galeria de las Islas, Chelra Art Gallery, 371 Art Space, Tam-awan Artists’ Village, Galerie Nicholas, Galerie Astra, Galerie Stephanie, Jiv Manila Art Gallery, Fete @ The Gallery, Galerie Anna, Galerie Francesca, Galerie Y, Republikha, Paseo Gallery, M Art Gallery, Altro Mondo Gallery, Moon Dragon Art Gallery, Mariyah Gallery, Art for Space and Secret Fresh.


Heraldo Corpus's Karmic Reaction (36 x 48, acrylic on canvas, 2010)
            The major activities at this year’s ManilArt include a by-invitation-only gala night on Oct. 2, a walking tour around the expo by Fatima University Gallery’s director Robert Bjorn Santos; an art auction featuring works reinterpreting the jeepney; and an international night with attaches, diplomats, artists and other art industry personalities. The International Night on Oct. 4, 7 p.m., allows the foreign diplomatic community as well as expats to survey the best of Philippine visuals art in the hope of getting international exposure for Filipino art and artists. On the other hand, the jeepney art auction on Oct. 5, 5 p.m., is in partnership with the Jeepney Arts Festival, where as many as 30 artworks in various media featuring redesigns and reinterpretations of the iconic Philippine jeepney are on auction. The walking tour will take participants through the participating galleries and key artworks, revealing interesting insights on featured pieces and allowing interaction and discussion between gallery curators or even the artists themselves and the participants. The tours are set for Oct. 3 (for bloggers) to 5 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.).
Workshops, demonstrations and lectures are also scheduled for the four-day event. Lectures include such topics as copyright law by Precious Leano (Oct. 3, 2 to 4 p.m.), the Cultural Center of the Philippes’ 13 Artists Awards by Victoria Herrera (Oct. 4, 2 to 4 p.m.), and preventive conservation by Lyn Yusi-Olazo (Oct. 5, 2 to 4 p.m.). The art workshop will focus on character design, which is great for budding artists who want to go into animation and comics. Set for Oct. 4 to 5, 10 p.m., the workshop will focus on how a character personality affects his/her shape and how shape says something about a character. Hobbyist can also join to improve their drawing skills.
            This year’s featured artist is Ronald Ventura, whose Grayground was sold for more than US$1 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 4, 2011. His Crack in the Hull is the banner painting in the ManilArt 2012 poster, and some of his works will be featured at the Mendez/Big and Small Art Co. booth. This expresses ManilArt’s belief that the Filipino artist can make it big in the world and organizers hope that ManilArt will pave the way for that.

Titat Ledesma's Pandora's Offspring (20 x 20 inches, oil and fabric on canvas)

Tickets to the gala night on Oct. 2 is P2,000 and the general admission tickets are priced at P200 (adult) and P150 (student). Children seven years old and below are free of charge. There will also be discounts for groups and senior citizens. For more information, contact mobile number: 0922-8223369, telephone number: 910-8016 or fax number 470-2319. E-mail to or visit Web site

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