5th ManilArt celebrates variety, ‘art according to all’

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LIFESTYLE Asia editor in chief Anna Sobrepeña; Lifestyle Asia associate publisher Cheryl Tiu; SoFA Design Institute dean Tobias Guggenheimer; Diageo Reserve marketing executive Mara Chenl; ManilArt exhibitor relations committee head Rio Ambrosio; SMX Convention Center director of sales Charry Casabar; National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ National Committee on Art Galleries head Amy Loste;ManilArt Foundation board member Robert Bjorn Santos;ManilArt 2013 art fair director Romana Go; Archivo 1984’s Ciara Eadie; SMX Convention Center assistant VP Marivic Marquez; ManilArt Foundation board member Delan Robillos; Skyjet Airlines president and CEO Joel Mendoza. PHOTOS BY JILSON SECKLER C. TIU

With government funding, private sector support, and a growing solidarity among artists and art groups, the ManilArt Foundation has adopted very apt slogans—“Celebrating Variety” and “Art According to All”—for ManilaArt 2013.

Although ManilArt has always upheld these themes, its board of directors chose to reiterate its vision-mission this year, starting with the launch of other ManilArt events such as the ManilArt caravan and ManilArt pocket exhibits.

Corporations and institutions, whose core beliefs are aligned with those of ManilArt’s, have pledged their support.

“This partnership with ManilArt is a matter of shared resources. Everyone wants to help the Filipino community; everyone wants to do their own thing. They want to be proud of being Filipino and they want to uplift our culture, but I think we lack coordination,” said Joel Mendoza, president and CEO of Skyjet Airlines, one of the sponsors of this year’s art fair.

“Shared resources isn’t a new thing in more advanced countries,” he added. “I think we haven’t gotten to that point yet  in the country because we always think of competition, but there must always be room for collaboration, so that’s what Skyjet is trying to work on.”

Skyjet aims to help transform certain locations in the Philippines from being common tourist attractions to “ecocultural” destinations, “one province at a time.”

It is supporting ManilArt’s national caravan and one of its pocket exhibits, set in Cebu on Sept. 29.

ManilArt has visited Baguio, Bohol, Cebu  and Batanes.

Not ‘Manila-centric’

Amy Loste, head of the National Committee on Art Galleries (NCAG) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), explained that while the “Manila” in “ManilArt” is there to market the art fair and the foundation’s other art-related activities, the group shouldn’t be “Manila-centric.”

The yearly art fair attempts to be “a survey of what is available on the contemporary Philippine art scene.”

According to Robert Bjorn Santos of NCAG, ManilArt 2013 is an art fair that caters not just to the buying elite, but also to audiences that would like to experience the fair and be surrounded by art, though not necessarily to buy art.

Santos also stresses the foundation’s support for education.

“We give special importance to students,” he said. “I think being under the sponsorship and support of the NCCA, it is the obligation of the ManilArt Foundation to have an educational aspect in our endeavor, so that’s why, from my own end, it’s not just about having a sale. ManilArt acknowledges that there is, of course, a commercial side, but at the same time this co-exists with our more altruistic objectives.”

Santos himself has been spearheading the ManilArt Walking Tour since 2012.

The NCCA,  Lifestyle Asia and Bonafide Art Galleries Organization (Bago) are the copresentors of ManilArt 2013.

Art for all

In line with the foundation’s support for education, ManilArt 2013 will also work with School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA) Design Institute, which will create kiosks for sponsors and partners in the exhibit venue, each booth having a unique look but still meshing with the theme.

SoFA Design Institute dean Tobias Guggenheimer discussed the natural affinity between art and design.

“Our institution upholds cultural immersion among other principles and ManilArt would be a good vehicle in the realization of this objective,” Guggenheimer said.

Marivic Marquez, SMX assistant  vice president of sales and marketing, said ManilArt 2013 would serve as an inauguration of sorts for the newly opened SMX Aura, which aims to be a premier venue for art and culture.

“We welcome these events because we believe that art and culture are for all to experience,” Marquez said.

Aside from Skyjet Airlines, SoFA Design Institute, and SMX Aura Premier, sponsors of ManilArt 2013 are Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation; Diageo Reserve’s Johnnie Walker Platinum Label and Ketel One Vodka; Uratex, Secret Fresh, Clean Fuel, King Sue; Ladder Events; Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development; and Spectagraphics.

The event is also supported by the City of Taguig through the Fort Bonifacio Administration’s “I Love Taguig” campaign. Meanwhile, Coconuts Manila is the art fair’s digital-media partner.

Visit www.manilart.com, www.facebook.com/manilart, www.manila.coconuts.co.

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