ManilArt, the country’s longest-running art fair, returns this October with the theme “Raising the Filipino Colors on the World Stage.” Contributing to the lively Philippine art scene are 30 local and international galleries for the 2015 edition, which holds its last two days this weekend at the SMX Convention Center of SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Leading the foreign exhibitors are Singaporean gallery Art Prime Contemporary, and Bruno Gallery of the Bruno Art Group that has offices and galleries in Israel, Turks, and Caicos Islands, and the US.
Local participants on the other hand are ManilArt 2015 are 1335 Mabini, 371 Art Space, Archivo, Arte Pintura, Artery Manila, Artes Orientes, Art for Space, Art Galileia, Artologist, Big and Small, CMG Gallerie, Gabaldon Heritage, Galerie Anna, Galerie Artes, Galerie Francesca, Galerie Nicolas, Galerie Raphael, Galerie Y, Gallery Big, Gallery Nine, Quattrocento, Renaissance, and Vmeme.
The art fair, again supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), will also be home to a two-part exhibition that spotlights a recent benchmark in Philippine art: the country’s historic return to the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition after a 51-year hiatus. Before its participation in the Venice Biennale this year, the first and last time Manila took part in the international art fair was for its 32nd edition in 1964.
While the exhibit shall allow fairgoers to revisit the country’s 1964 entry, it will also give the public snippets of the 2015 Philippine Pavilion, plus some behind-the-scenes access to the efforts that went into the historic return. Main proponents of the much-awaited comeback were the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of Sen. Loren Legarda, and the NCCA. Representing the country at the 56th Venice Biennale are curator Dr. Patrick Flores, filmmaker Mariano “Manny” Montelibano III, and artist Jose Tence Ruiz.
Other fair highlights
Also on board this year are artists Bonifacio Juan, Gerry Torres, and Jonathan Olazo, who returns as the art fair’s overall curator.
Juan, an artist and production designer affiliated with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), will be creating the looks for NCCA-ManilArt 2015’s lounge and reception area.
From his arresting origami-ceiling installation to his bold, two-dimensional deconstruction of the Torre de Manila controversy, Juan’s designs for the 2015 ManilArt are definite must-sees.
An architect, artist, educator, and administrator in art, design, and museology, Torres, will be at the helm of a ManilArt tradition—the Walking Tour. Fairgoers who wish to attend any of the Walking Tours are in good hands with Torres, who currently holds the post of Campus Art Director of the College of Saint Benilde in Manila. The tours are ongoing at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
As part of its exposure program, ManilArt this year takes under its wing Fine Arts students of St. Scholastica’s College, Manila as official usherettes and ushers. Civic groups Zonta and Rotary Clubs shall also sponsor the visit of about a thousand public school students including a group from the Philippine Science High School.
And for those looking to learn something new, the Metrobank Lecture Series presents a wide range of topics that are less discussed in symposiums on culture and the arts.
The therapeutic nature of the visual arts will be covered in “Art & Healing,” while disaster preparedness and art conservation will be discussed in “Art Go Bag 101.” “Private Collection and the PRECUP,” on the other hand, will be tackling a longstanding question: Is the registration of privately owned artworks a mere option, or a national obligation?
Finally, fairgoers may also look forward to art workshops at the 2015 ManilArt.
For more details, visit www.manilart.com.