text by Jazminne Joice Peña, photos by Aubrey Moral
On its 13th year, Art in the Park lives up to its mission of showcasing a wide variety of artworks ranging from paintings to new media for only Php 50, 000 and below at Jamie Velasquez Park, Makati on March 17, 2019.
This once a year opportunity is given more hype as lucky visitors scored unsigned BenCab and Emmanuel Garibay works for very low prices as part of a booth’s social experiment last year. Holding the same hopes for this year, art enthusiasts and collectors scoured the booths for hidden treasures.
Visitors were greeted by Yeo Kaa’s inflatable sculpture from “Alone But Not Known” and “Wud Ya Do It”, as seen from Yeo Kaa’s exhibits which were both presented in Singapore, and Leeroy New’s otherworldy Aliens of Manila. Also in the showcase is Oscar Mejia’s The Enigma of Scent, a huge perfume bottle built with a bubble machine that emits scented bubbles meant to trigger memories through scent.
From pottery to photographs, Art in the Park does not disappoint and is seemingly vowed to make sure that visitors will regret going home empty-handed. Booths lived up to the hype as each showcased their own definition of art. There were the usual paintings, mystery artworks, sculptures made from wires, handcrafted wood, ceramic earrings, pottery, art prints, upcycled leather, and even repurposed old computers.
The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable (CANVAS), the booth that sold the unsigned BenCab and Garibay last year, came to the event with more or less fifty (50) paintings and went home with only nine (9) remaining saying that people were buying as soon as they were putting up the works for sale. Continuing with their social experiment last year, CANVAS enabled people to look at the art itself rather than focus on who made it.
With 56 exhibitors, each representing different galleries, institutions, individuals, or even student groups, the search for that great find or the eureka moment when an artwork finally speaks to you after hours of looking can be pretty tiring. Food and refreshment tents were also made available for those who wish to take a break from all the searching. One of them being Chef Justin Golangco, who was behind Poblacion’s Bucky’s and The Alley’s SideChick famous fried chicken recipes.
The Soulful Mood, a trio who played mellow jazz tunes, provided the perfect ambient music for the fairgoers. Also, Bleu Rascals, Philippines ’ representative to the 28th International Blues Challenge in the United States, did not fail to deliver and gave everyone the feel of the blues for their evening performance.
Overall, Art in the Park is instrumental in delivering the message that art is indeed for everyone. Whether it be local or foreign tourists, veteran or art students, traditional or contemporary artists, old or the young, art is too ethereal to be bounded in a single concept. After all, it resonates something within each and everyone that somehow manages to bind this world together and make us all remember to feel something.