Following its successful turnout last year, Ortigas and Company is livening up the art scene in Ortigas with the launch of the 10-day Ortigas Art Festival last February 20, 2019. The sequel seeks to assert its commitment to bringing arts and culture closer to the people.
The exhibit continues to put its efforts towards establishing Estancia as the art hub of Ortigas. This year’s approach brought individual artists to the spotlight, showcasing their creative individuality and placing them at the forefront of the art scene.
It was the idea of Renato Habulan, renowned social realist painter, to tap the various groups of artists from all over the country and give them a venue to exhibit their works. Ortigas Malls was receptive to the idea of promoting grassroots participation in the art scene. No gallery representation – just artists working together; no admission charge for the viewers – walk through the art for free.
Among the featured artists is master engraver Benjie Torrado Cabrera, the only engraver in the country specializing in this laborious, centuries-old medium. His works, which are complex in detail, are inspired by his interest in cosmology, with geometric shapes and spheres that signify the universe.
Another one to look out for is Darwin “Japat” Guevarra, a self-taught artist inspired by the works of masters and his peers, showcases works that reflect his concepts of life and social realism, expressed through his mastery of the paintbrush, sculpting, photography, and experimenting with scrap and molded materials.
Also in the spotlight is photographer Bern Wong, with her camera that has captured the most moving meditative and breathtaking landscapes she has seen encountered in her travels. Her works express the minimal, abstract, and even the surreal aspects of places she visits.
Make sure to check out the works of Richard Buxani, an architect who has since harnessed his talent to create sculptures made out of metal. Inspired by Ronald Castrillo, Richard discovered a natural fondness for bending, crafting, cutting, welding and molding materials – which will be showcased at the art festival.
Also joining this year's Ortigas Art Festival are art collectives Himbon, The Guild, Biskeg, Westgrove Fine Arts, AgawXena, Agos Kulay Maynila Group Artists of Taytay, Association of Pinoy Printmakers, and Hilaga Sculptors Collective.
Attendees get to participate in free activities. Watercolor artist Peter Sutcliffe will hold tutorials on February 24 and March 2. On February 23, master engraver Benjamin Cabrera shows his prowess in print-making. On March 3, Renato Habulan introduces guests to Print Alla Prima with the Master. Throughout the festival, the public is also encouraged to participate through the “Comment Areas” where they can share their thoughts and opinions to let the artists know how their works are perceived.
The rapidly-evolving festival has already grabbed the attention of various artists from across the globe, including some from New York, Los Angeles, and Singapore who want to become part of this movement-- a sign that bigger and better things will come about in the coming years for Ortigas Art Festival. "Ortigas and Company is delighted to see that support for contemporary Philippine art has been growing. As part of our commitment to the arts, we are holding the second run of this art festival in the hope that this will increase appreciation for the creative individuality of artists. By holding this in Estancia, we are also making art accessible to Filipinos, especially for our mall patrons and the Capitol Commons community,” concluded Arch. Renee Bacani, VP of Ortigas and Company.
Follow Ortigas Art Festival on Instagram for updates and use the hashtag #OrtigasArtFestival to connect.