Art in the Park goes virtual

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WORKS by Richard Quebral

Special exhibits, an auction, performances are highlights of the online art fair

ORIGINALLY slated to run in March this year, Art in the Park was postponed when Luzon was locked down because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. Instead the popular one-day art festival will run from Aug. 10-17. It won’t be held in its usual venue, the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati, but online, at

The art fair, held by Philippine Art Events, Inc. for the benefit of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines every year since 2006, has attracted art enthusiasts because of its unusual setting, close encounters with gallerists and artists, special projects made especially for the fair, and a ceiling price for artworks at P50,000. Art in the Park donates a portion of all sales to the Museum Foundation in support of its projects and programs for the National Museum of the Philippines and its network.

Around 50 galleries, groups, and schools will be participating in the online art fair.

“Art in the Park 2020 Online will not replace the Art in the Park of the past 14 years,” clarified Art in the Park co-founder Trickie Lopa in an e-mail to BusinessWorld. “Rather, it is an adaptation brought on by what we are all facing. While we will miss the interaction with the gallerists and artists that have become the hallmark of Art in the Park, we’re very much excited about what we have planned for Art in the Park 2020 Online, with the continued support of our long-time partners Globe Platinum and BPI.”

Art in the Park is partnering with Globe for the Globe Platinum Hour to present the special exhibit Isometric Ay! lah, lah, land… featuring the colorful prints and paintings of artist Richard Quebral. A collection of works from Reena Gabriel will also be available exclusively for Globe Platinum members.

Mr. Quebral will offer Art in the Park visitors a rare glimpse into his art-making process through a series of videos that will be launched on Art in the Park’s website and social media accounts.

There will also be a live auction on Sunday, Aug. 16, of Richard Quebral’s largest painting among the five he made especially for the fair.

Meanwhile, BPI Presents, a special collaboration with the Bank of the Philippine Islands, will bring a virtual demonstration of artist Jackie Lozano’s method of portraiture.  Also in the lineup is an original performance by Fifth Wall Fest, a group that seeks to introduce Philippine audiences to dance films as an art form.

Other special exhibits at the virtual fair include Garapata Hatchery by artist Dex Fernandez. He will be creating a paper mural that he will section into 22 separate artworks which will be on offer after fair visitors get a glimpse of his process via a specially produced time-lapse video.

Meanwhile, artist and illustrator Robert Alejandro will also be conducting live online sessions on Art in the Park’s social media accounts.

The lineup of participants in the online fair are: Ang I.n.K., Archivo 1984, Arnold Art Collection, ART for Space Gallery, ART LAB: Atelier Cesare & Jean Marie Syjuco, Art Underground, Art Verite Gallery, Art Wednesday, Artepintura Gallery, Artery Art Space, Association of Pinoyprintmakers, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Boston Art Gallery, Cevio Art Haus, District Gallery, Famous Artists, Far Eastern University, Galeria de las Islas, Galerie Anna, Galerie Artes, Galerie Stephanie, Kulay Art Group, Los Nuevos Conquistadores, J Studio, KASIBULAN, M A G, Mono8 Gallery, Museum Foundation of the Philippines — Joe Geraldo works & Carlo Villafuerte’s jewelry, Nineveh Artspace, Nord Anglia International School, Potters’ Group — Jon Pettyjohn, Potters’ Group — EJ Espiritu, Potters’ Group — Sagada, Potters’ Group — Joey De Castro, Project 20 Maginhawa, Orange Project, Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery, Sheerjoy, Silverlens, Space Encounters, T.U.P Fine Arts, The Authenticity Zero, The Mighty Bhutens, The Photography Zone, The Thursday Group, Tin-Aw Art Gallery, Village Art Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, UP College of Fine Arts, vMeme Contemporary Art Gallery, and Ysobel Art Gallery.

“The shift to an online platform already changes the whole flavor of the event,” said Ms. Lopa. “Of course, we would much prefer to continue with how it was, spending Sunday amidst the tents in the park, but it’s clearly not possible now. Any online iteration of art events — or any event, for that matter — cannot capture the experience of people milling around, interacting with each other, commenting and enjoying the art on view. The pandemic has forced us to shift the way we view art, especially while we were on a stricter lockdown.”

Follow Art in the Park’s social media pages (www.facebook/artinthepark and Instagram @artintheparkph) to find out how to register for the auction and the lottery for the smaller paintings and prints by Mr. Quebral. For a complete Art in the Park experience at home, there will be an online musical performance by independent singer-songwriter and guitarist Martti Franca on the fair’s closing day. A selection of food and drinks and special promos from Art in the Park F&B partners will also be available. — Joseph L. Garcia