Women catalysts of Philippine arts

Like any other discipline, the arts are a gendered discourse dominated by male artists. It’s an open secret that while women artists, patrons and critics have hugely contributed to the arts, their representation in this realm remains wanting.

Not so, it seems, in the Philippine visual arts scene. Although dotted with male names, three in particular have risen to our consciousness over the past decade or so for their work in curating contemporary visual arts for general consumption. Trickie Colayco-Lopa, Lisa Ongpin-Periquet and Geraldine “Dindin” Araneta gave many local artists the platforms to showcase their works in two major art shows that have become annual “events.”

These women art lovers, in mounting Art in the Park and Art Fair PH annually, have become bridges to the creative and commercial realms that artists need to cross to survive. They are female voices whose vision for the virtual arts has taken shape every year through their projects.

In an interview with Daily Tribune, Trickie and Lisa said that it was their genuine love for the arts that gave birth to Art in the Park in 2006, which eventually led to the creation of Art Fair Philippines in 2013.

“I guess it was because of our shared interest; we were both in the Museum Foundation of the Philippines Inc. It was really our time there that kind of spurred us to into this art project. We combined it with Art in the Park and the community,” Lisa recalled.

For its 15th year, Art Fair PH defied Covid-19 drawbacks with various online programs. This included a film showing to celebrate 100 years of Philippine cinema; incubators that exhibited artworks from new art groups; Open Studio for aspiring artists; and a groundbreaking gallery of iconic conceptual and minimalist artist Sol LeWitt.

Intimidating

With Art in the Park and Art Fair PH almost ubiquitous in the Philippine art scene, some may be daunted and see it as intimidating.

Well aware of this, Trickie noted that each event caters to all kinds of artists and works to fulfill their mission to provide platforms for all Filipino artists.

“Every piece is capped at P50,000 except for some special exhibits. The participants in Art in the Park are broader. We have the art schools and informal art groups joining for many years. We also try to welcome a few new galleries that have just joined the art scene,” Trickie said.

Lisa added that the events were made to shine a light on Filipino talents waiting to be discerned.

“Artists are dying to sell or work. They want to have an event for selling their work,” she said.

Keeping up with the times

Art in the Park and Art Fair PH are results of these women’s unwavering commitment and hard work in organizing everything.

When the pandemic hit last year, Trickie and Lisa admitted that they had to overhaul their usual process to keep up with the times. But like any other difficulty they hurdled in the past, they were steadfast and made sure their team felt their presence.

In rerouting into the virtual space, Lisa believes that “it’s really about keeping up with what’s going on everywhere.”

ARTWORKS embellished through the exhibit.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FB/ARTFAIRPH

“I think that feeds our minds, our creativity. (It’s) very important to be well-informed of what’s going on with other places,” Lisa added.

Trickie said, “I guess keeping up with the art scene globally, what artists are doing ‑‑‑‑ helps spur the creative juices and conversation on deciding what do we want our audience to get from the next art fair.”

The undeterred spirit of these women catalysts continues to spark hope among Filipino artists in these uncertain times. As Trickie put it, the education aspect of the fair is the most important, above all.

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Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph

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