This year’s largest gathering of artists is still a go

Published December 5, 2020, 11:57 AM by Rom Mallick

ManilArt is happening, and it promises to be more memorable and meaningful

For a little over a decade now, ManilArt has been one of the most anticipated art trade fairs in the country. In its 12th year, despite the very challenging times or perhaps because of it, ManilArt promises to be more comprehensive and meaningful, featuring artworks from many of the best artists in the Philippines today. 

“During these interesting times, we have decided on moving the Annual Art Trade Fair from October to December this year to be able to enjoy a more relaxed environment/atmosphere amidst the Covid 19 pandemic,” Tess Rayos del Sol, the fair director for this year’s ManilArt, tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “The decision to pursue this art trade fair is intended specifically to help artists and galleries that were mostly affected by the closures of malls during the second to 3rd quarter of 2020.”

Much like most of this year’s art exhibits, a crucial aspect that the pandemic necessitated is having an online component. Sure, while nothing beats seeing art up close and personal, the reality is health and safety trumps all in these crazy times. But worry not, as ManilArt offers both experiences to its guests. 

“What is different from the past ManilArt is that we have a digital platform to give our viewers and collectors a chance to see the exhibition, call in to reserve or buy online if they are not comfortable going to the onsite show at the SMX Convention Center at SM Aura,” Tess explains. “This online platform includes using our existing website, social media accounts, and a 360-degree view of the actual exhibit.”

Following the same process of selecting participating galleries, this year’s ManilArt will host 27 galleries from all over the country. Each of the selected galleries, following ManilArt’s process, were invited to propose a concept. 

“Interesting pieces are the new playful glass sculpture of Ramon Orlina; 3D paintings of the father of assertionism style, Rene Robles; the triptych Symphony series of Danny Rayos del SolAgi Pagkatipunan, and Kublai Millan; the one man show of Michael Cacnio; and the women paintings of Hermes Alegre, from the normal brown-skinned to mestiza-looking women,” says Tess. 

A new feature in this year’s ManilArt is a separate gallery from the main exhibition site, which will be in Cavite.  

“For the very first time, ManilArt also has an out of town off-site exhibition of indigenous art of the North and a Sculptural Art Show at Shambala Silang,” Tess says. “An exhibition outside of the city is another innovation for ManilArt.”

With the restrictions on mobility brought by the pandemic, as well as its crippling effects on many industries including the arts, this year’s ManilArt will serve as a beacon of hope for many. 

“This decision to continue with the Fair is targeted to help the artist who are considered a non-essential industry,” Tess says. 

ManilArt Fair 2020 will open on Dec. 9 at the SMX Convention Center at SM Aura in Taguig. |

Source: Manila Bulletin


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