IS ART truly for everyone?
Ask the ladies behind the annual Art in the Park, and they’ll flash a smile and emphatically say yes.
The first one was five years ago and the concepts were very simple: Make art affordable, provide variety, and make it more accessible by bringing it to a less intimidating setting. Less intimidating meaning outside of the art gallery and into open air under the shade of trees.
For would-be collectors, there will always be the initial trepidation of walking into an art gallery and asking for the price of a painting or that catches their fancy. But with Art in the Park, the atmosphere, as Trickie Colayco-Lopa puts it, is very relaxed.
“The artworks are priced below P20,000,” Colayco-Lopa, a trustee of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, says. “This is a place where the excitement comes from finding hidden treasures at very affordable prices.”
From 12 in 2006, this year features 40, including Tin-aw Art Gallery, Art Verite, Nineveh Artspace, Blanc, Ang I.N.K. (Ilustrador ng Kabataan), Sheerjoy, Metro Gallery, TUP Fine Arts, Nova Gallery Manila;
L’Arc en Ciel, Art Wednesday, Putik, Gallery Genesis, Artis Corpus Gallery, Mighty Bhutens, Amarela, Philippine Association of Printmakers, Zone Five Camera Club, Tintero Art & Design Studio, Looking for Juan/Canvas, Galerie Astra, Kulay Art Group, Galeria de Las Islas, Feati University School of Fine Arts, Tutok, Parokyano ng Malabon, Invisible Sisters, Avellana Art Gallery, Neo-Angono Artists Collective, Ral Arrogante, Tara Soriano, UST College of Fine Arts & Design, UP College of Fine Arts, Vinyl on Vinyl, Delirium Art and Design, Art Informal, Cebu Artists Incorporated, Electrolychee, Gallery Frames, and TAP (T-shirt Art Project).
Of course, Art in the Park isn’t just the usual oil and or the bronze and metal sculptures. The variety part comes in the form of prints, photographs, T-shirts, and toys and watches, which speak of a slowly growing subculture of nontraditional art.
Gaby de la Merced, who in another life is known for her accomplishments as a race-car driver, brings this into the forefront with collections from Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery.
As a first-time participant this year, De la Merced says that since the pieces from her gallery caters to a niche market, she isn’t expecting too much and merely wants to show to those who would attend Art in the Park what Vinyl on Vinyl has to offer.
This includes prints from Audrey Kawasaki; watches designed by Buff Monster and Brian Morris; lithographs by Tara McPherson; as well as seven-inch toy models of famous Pop Art figures including Mickey Mouse.
On the other hand, there’s Dawn Atienza of Tin-aw Art Gallery who has been a participant of Art in the Park since its second edition. She says that she enjoys Art in the Park’s sense of community, where artists, collectors and casual lookers-on can mingle without any pretensions.
“Every year is different,” Atienza says. “But what remains the same is that new artists are given a boost of confidence while the established ones are able to reach an audience outside the long-time collectors.”
In recent years, Art in the Park has given importance to exposing the public to installations. And it won’t be any different this year, as Leeroy New reprises the installation originally mounted on the façade of Ateneo Art Gallery.
Artist collective Wewilldoodle’s street-art intervention in the playground area will give visitors the opportunity to interact with the artists as they work.
This year will see the actual expansion of Art in the Park as surrounding establishments will be part of the event, with a lecture at 4 p.m. in Salcedo Auctions and special exhibits in the restaurant Apartment 1B and in the Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences.
Art in the Park is on Feb. 19, Saturday, 2-10 p.m., at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati.
It is organized by the Museum Foundation of the Philippines with the help of Barangay Bel-Air, Security Bank and Rubert James Exhibit Masters Corp.
Part of the proceeds will go to the foundations’ programs which raise awareness and appreciation for the National Museum and its network.
Refreshments will be provided by Rafik Shawarma, Pizza di Grazzia, Golden Spoon, Nic’s Bakeshop, Windows Café and Straits Wine Company.
For more information, contact Mae de Leon or Elvie Magpayo at 4042685.