John Lloyd Cruz has a new love–Philippine art.
The handsome actor and matinee idol caused a commotion when he attended the gala opening last October 9 of ManilArt 2013 in SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig.
He made the rounds of the 31 gallery-exhibits, trying to spot items he could hang in his pad and eagerly conversing with artists and gallery-owners.
Other art-lovers from show biz who graced the gala opening included Gloria Diaz, Cory Quirino, Paolo Abrera, Evangeline Pascual and Melissa Ricks.
Angel Jacob emceed the opening ceremonies.
Composed mainly of art groups based in Manila, ManilArt 2013 boasted the widest collection of Philippine art in a single venue. It served as the Metro’s bridge to art from the other regions.
“We were surprised that people were receptive to art from our areas. Maybe some collectors want something new, something fresh, and not necessarily Manila-centric,” said Jon Kenneth Gotiong of Cebu-based Qube Gallery, which carries the works of artists from Visayas and Mindanao.
Artworks were also set up in various sections of SM Aura to draw mall-goers.
A sculpture installation by Impy Pilapil at top of the SM Aura SkyPark caught the attention of everyone.
This year, ManilArt also made it easier for audiences to feel at home by installing lounges of the SoFA Design Institute. Mabuhay Restop’s Mabuhay Art Café served refreshments.
National Artists’ reunion
Guests of honor at the opening were National Artists for the Visual Arts Napoleon Abueva, Arturo Luz and Abdulmari Asia Imao; National Artist for Architecture Idelfonso P. Santos Jr.; and National Artist for Literature Francisco Sionil José.
Present were Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, Sen. Sonny Angara; Fort Bonifacio administrator Jorge Daniel Bocobo; Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe; Philippine Ambassador to Sweden Maria Zeneida Angara-Collinson; Agnes Roscigno, the wife of Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno; and Makati Rep. Abigail Binay and husband Luis Campos.
Piano virtuoso Ingrid Sala Santamaria; Lifestyle Asia’s Anna Sobrepeña and Cheryl Tiu; PGH Foundation president JB Baylon; Hongkong-Shanghai Banking Corporation senior VP Gigi Pio de Roda; and SMX president Dexter Deyto also graced the event.
Former First Lady Imelda Marcos toured the exhibition, exclaiming: “Ang galing ng Pinoy. We are now so world-class!”
The gala night, which was primarily for sponsors, exhibitors, media and the diplomatic corps, saw brisk sales.
“This year, I find a lot of young people, young businessmen going around; and because of the great awareness on the art fair, more and more people are interested in knowing who are the great masters and the upcoming artists who are doing well in international and local auction houses,” said Silvana Ancelloti-Diaz of Galleria Duemila.
Participants of ManilArt 2013 were 371 Art Space, Amarela Gallery, Archivo 1984, Artists for Nature, Arte Pintura Gallery, Artery Manila, Artes Orientes, Blue + Gray Gallery, Charlie’s Art Gallery, Finale Art File, Galeria de las Islas, Galerie Anna, Galerie Francesca, Galerie Joaquin, Galerie Stephanie, Galleria Duemila, Galleria Quattrocentro, Gallery Big, Gallery Nine, Gallery Y, L’arc En Ciel, Leon Gallery, Manila Contemporary, Mendez Big & Small, Paseo Gallery, Qube Gallery, Renaissance, Tam-awan Village, Transwing Art Gallery, Vmeme Contemporary Art Gallery, and Yaru Gallery and Art Shop.
The fair closed October 13.