Mindanao Art 2020 thrives amidst pandemic
by: Yadu Karu
Mindanao Art is an annual event that showcases the works of artists from all over Mindanao. It is the largest art event in Mindanao, and one of the largest in Southeast Asia.Distinct, dynamic, diverse – Mindanao’s art is the product of its varied sensibilities and perspectives, the creative product of a culturally rich island at once frontier and center, where tradition sustains innovation, and where innovation breeds new traditions.
Making Mindanao art accessible to Mindanao and to the world is the driving force behind this year’s Mindanao Art.
Mindanao Art is spearheaded by Lawig Diwa Foundation Inc., in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts National Committee on Art Galleries (NCCA-NCAG) and Malayan Colleges of Mindanao in Davao City, this year’s event displayed paintings, sculptures, and other creative works by artists from different parts of Mindanao. World-renowned artists exhibit alongside promising new names in the largest art fair on the island.
Now in its second year, Mindanao Art 2020 sees Mindanao’s creative community chart exciting new ways forward as visual artists from all over the island celebrate the fair despite the pandemic. This year’s Mindanao Art theme is ‘Living Art in a New Landscape,’ which took on the challenges presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic as opportunities to innovate and take the visual arts forward.
The fair’s main feature is artworks by groups of artists from 16 different cities, provinces, and regions of Mindanao, each group having their own gallery. All works are viewable in state of the art virtual museums accessible online for free. Works viewable on the virtual galleries are available for sale.
Aside from the regional galleries, Special Projects by featured artists are also exhibited. These special projects were conceptualized both to set a tone of reaching out to the community, and to respond to the pandemic and other issues that Mindanao is facing today.
Through these Special Projects, Mindanao Art helps artists play their organic role in society – to dignify locales by elevating them in the imagination, to showcase the universal humanity in the local particular, and to help heal and empower communities.
Mindanao Art is held along with another major art event, MinArt Talks, a conference that sees artists, curators, art critics, educators, and cultural bearers from all over Mindanao join multiple panel sessions. MinArt Talks is a platform for the island’s arts community to talk about their work and discuss issues in Mindanao art today. Like Mindanao Art, this year’s MinArt Talks went online. Panel discussions and lectures were held as online conferences broadcasted live using Mindanao Art’s Official Facebook Page and made accessible to everyone. MinArt TalksOnline took place from 22 to 25 October.
Accessible, Intelligent, Engaging – Mindanao Art strived to sustain an arts scene that has a real and lasting impact on people’s lives.
Mindanao Art’s limited physical exhibit at the lobby of The Malayan Colleges of Mindanao runs for three weeks starting from 21 October to 15 November 2020. It is the very first art fair that utilized the power of the QR code technology to ensure everyone’s safety as they view Mindanao artists’ best works.