THE ORTIGAS Art Festival (OAF) is celebrating its sixth year by highlighting the talents of artists who want to bring their creations to a wider audience.
The OAF aims to make art accessible to all by “igniting passion and appreciation for the arts without being confined to a limited space.”
The free event, which runs until Aug. 13 at the east wing of Estancia Mall, showcases paintings, sculptures, photographs and fashion as well as educational workshops.
“In the first year, we had 60 artists. This year, there are approximately 200 artists, not yet counting the ones from Davao, so even more,” Renato “Mang Ato” R. Habulan, OAF head curator, said during the art festival’s opening on July 12.
“But what’s more important than numbers is our program, where we go out of the studios. We’ve been working outside through the Art Caravan, which organizes the artists and their communities,” he told BusinessWorld.
As a traveling exhibit, “Art Caravan” brought art to various communities and encouraged collaboration between artists in creative outdoor spaces where they could paint and sculpt.
Pieces from the Art Caravan are displayed at the Agos Studio and Linangan Art Residency exhibits, located on the first and second floors of Estancia Mall’s east wing.
“It’s a good opportunity for collectors because since a lot of these artists did their work in plain air — on the beach or in the mountains — it means that the paintings are, one, unique in quality, and two, not terribly expensive,” said Helen Mirasol, a consultant for OAF.
Ms. Mirasol, who came up with the idea for the festival back in 2018, said the organizing team has come a long way from their initial exhibit of just paintings and sculptures.
“Each year we manage to add another component,” she said.
This year’s festival brought artists from Rizal, Pangasinan, Bulacan, and Davao to Ortigas to share their talents, knowledge, and works.
For photography, the Ortigas Foundation is showcasing vintage photos of Southern Philippines and Cordillera from 1900 to 1920. The Red Lab Gallery is also exhibiting a collection of fine print photographs.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will host free film screenings of critically-acclaimed Filipino movies — Sonata (2013) by Lore Reyes and Peque Gallaga, Pauwi Na (2016) by Paolo Villaluna, and Paglipay (2016) by Zig Dulay.
Aspiring filmmakers can also join the third Ortigas Vertical Cinema Contest, with the theme “Pursuit of Happiness.”
For dance and music, Step by Step Performing Arts Studio, Bughaw Folkloric, and Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild are scheduled to hold performances.
There is also an exhibit of national costumes worn by Miss Universe Philippines 2023 contestants, brought by Empire PH. There is also a Kaayo Modern Mindanao couture and bridal dress exhibit. OAF is also hosting a series of talks: pottery with OdangPutik; macrame with Luntian Kagubatan and Agos Studio; Cordillera culture with John Silva, Ortigas Foundation executive director; and writing about art by University of Asia and the Pacific assistant professor Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales.
There will also be a poetry reading of Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno” and workshops by the Philippine Bonsai Society and Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Manila.
The Ortigas Art Festival runs until Aug. 13 at the Estancia East Wing, Capitol Commons, Pasig City. Admission is free. For the full festival schedule, follow Ortigas Art Festival on Facebook or visit ortigasmalls.com. — Brontë H. Lacsamana