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Art returns to the Park

AFTER four years, art is returning to the Jaime Velasquez Park in Makati City.

There will be art exhibitions, live performances, and live sketching sessions at the 17th edition of Art in the Park on March 19 (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Entrance to the art fair is free.

The 2020 edition of Art in the Park was just days away from opening when the first COVID-19 lockdown was imposed, leading to its cancellation. Subsequent iterations in the years that followed were held online, with a hybrid online-onsite version last year. With the end of the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, the art fair — which focuses on affordable art — is finally returning to its original home at the Jaime Velasquez Park.

FEATURED ARTISTSEvery year the art fair highlights a small number of artists whose works are shown in special exhibits scattered in the fairgrounds.

This year’s featured artists are Filipino social realist painter Manny Garibay, interdisciplinary contemporary artist Bjorn Calleja, and mosaic artist Kabunyan de Guia.

“Even established artists like Mr. Garibay thinks of it as a venue where he can experiment,” Art in the Park co-founder Trickie Lopa told members of the press on March 8 at the Pablo Bistro in Makati City.

Mr. Garibay will be debuting a series of small works, head studies painted on dibord aluminum, at the special exhibit at the art fair. The pieces also showcase his mastery and control over the oil medium.

“Mr. Garibay wants to see how much of a master he is over oil and if he can make it do [what he wants] on a ground like aluminum,” Ms. Lopa said.

Meanwhile, Bjorn Calleja will show a series of charcoal and graphite portraits and ceramic sculptures. The exhibit, called “Dirty Hands,” showcases the artist’s exploration of the relationship between figuration and abstraction.

“I prepared six large-scale drawings and three ceramic sculptures,” Mr. Calleja said of his works in the exhibit which were made from charcoal. “It’s a play on the human form and how I experience my humanity in art-making.”

For his exhibit, Kabunyan de Guia pays tribute to his brother, photographer Kidlat de Guia, who passed away last year in Madrid, Spain. His installation, Kidlat Ngayon!!!! Isang taon na paglalakbay as soul, is a lightning bolt or kidlat-inspired shrine where visitors can light candles as a tribute to his brother’s memory.

FLASH MOB POETRY, DIGITAL ARTThe art fair also hosts a number of special performances including the Cavite-based art collective Titik Poetry’s flash mob poetry which they call Sikya or inspiration in Tagalog.

Artist and Titik Poetry founder Verlin Santos said that their group will be performing the piece by blending with the audience then each member will recite lines of encouragement, and they will come together at the end of the piece.

“We want to champion spoken word to a bigger crowd,” Mr. Santos said in English and Filipino.

Complementing the day at Art in the Park, motion graphics artist Isaiah Cacnio will be projecting his work Beauty in Chaos, a digital painting featuring infinitely complex patterns.

Meanwhile, NFT (non-fungible tokens) works in honor of cartoonist and National Artist for the Visual Arts Larry Alcala will be on view at the Globe Platinum Lounge. It will also feature projects by digital artists Bjorn Calleja, Black Eyed Freaks, Bored Punks of Society, Distort Monsters, Mustachioverse By Ownly, and Planktoons.

NATIONAL MUSEUMProceeds from Art in the Park continue to benefit the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, in support of its projects and programs for the National Museum of the Philippines and its network. Since 2006, more than P25 million from Art in the Park has been allocated by the Museum Foundation of the Philippines for its projects.

This year’s edition will feature 60 exhibitors, ranging from galleries to schools to art groups, who will set up their booths and show their art at the park.

They are Ang INK, Arnold Art Collection, ART for Space Gallery, ART LAB: Atelier Cesare & Jean Marie Syjuco, Art Toys PH, Art Underground, Art Verite Gallery, ArtBeat Collective, Artery Art Space, Association of Pinoy Printmakers,  Authenticity Zero Collective, the Avellana Art Gallery, Boston Art Gallery, CASA San Miguel Foundation Zambales, Cevio Art Haus, Cornerstone Pottery (EJ Espiritu), De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, FA Gallery / ILCP Art Space, Fuse Projects;

Galeria de las Islas, Galleria Paloma, Galerie Anna, Galerie Artes, Galerie Stephanie, Imahica Art Gallery, isTorya – Rodel Tapaya and Marina Cruz, J Studio, Jon and Tessy Pettyjohn,  KASIBULAN – Kababaihan sa Sining at Bagong Sibol na Kamalayan, KOMIKET, Kulay Art Group, Kuta Artists Group, L’arc en Ciel Atelier;

MAG, Manila Collage Collective, MONO8, Museum Foundation of the Philippines, Nineveh Artspace, Orange Project, Pangasinan Group, Parokyano ng Malabon, Qube Gallery, Redlab Gallery, Resurrection Furniture,, Sheerjoy, Sierra Madre Gallery (Joey de Castro), Space Encounters Gallery;

The Mighty Bhutens, The Thursday Group, Tin-aw Art Projects, Triangulum, TUP Manila, UP Artists Circle, UP College of Fine Arts, Urban Sketchers Manila, Village Art Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, vMeme Contemporary Art Gallery, White Walls Gallery, and Ysobel Art Gallery.

As the day goes on, visitors can refresh themselves and refuel with the selection of food and drinks that will be available at the venue. The food booths will include One World Butcher, 8Cuts, Rafik Shawarma and Pizza di Grazia, Yuan’s Paella Plus, Authentic House of Curry, The Kitchen, Maryland ChickAn, Tita Letty’s Pinoy Deli, Odd Café, Tattooed Baker, Culinary Exchange, Merry Moo, Picolé Healthy Ice Pops, Justainable Juice, Stanford Shaw, Monkey Eagle Brewery, West 103, Origine, Bombvinos, and Arc Gin.

For more information about this year’s Art in the Park, visit and follow www.facebook/artinthepark and @artintheparkph on Instagram. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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