THE FLAGSHIP project of the National Committee on Art Galleries (NCAG) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), ManilArt marks it 11th year when the art fair opens on Oct. 10 at the SMX Convention Center with the theme: “Building a Nation, One Exhibit at a Time.” It will run until Oct. 13.

“Many of our homegrown artists are making a mark globally at competitions and major international fairs. They help tell the story of the Filipino struggle to define our national identity,” ManilArt fair director Tess Rayos del Sol said in a press release.

This year’s ManilArt features one international gallery — the Singapore Contemporary Arts Society — and 31 local galleries: Galerie Francesca; Dave Art Gallery; ManilART Foundation, Inc.; Legacy Art Gallery; Annual Sculpture Review; Galerie Raphael; Galleria Nicolas; Gallery Nine; Canvas; 371 Art Space; Arte Pintura; Galerie Roberto; AC888; Renaissance Gallery; Galerie Anna; Blanc; Artery Manila; PASPI; Paseo Gallery; Art for Space; Galerie Y; Art Farm; Artes Orientes; Art Circle; Quattrocento Gallery; Artologist; Ysabel Art Gallery; Artphile by CMG; Galerie Artes; Art Anton; and Espacio Manila.

“Every year we try to make it different and as engaging,” Ms. Rayos del Sol told BusinessWorld shortly after the press conference on Sept. 20 at SM Aura in Taguig City.

The SMX VIP lounge will be decorated with terracotta figures by Negros Occidental sculptor Susanito Sarnate and artworks by Batangas painter Anthony Palomo which depict the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

“The pre-entrance to the hall must be telling of something,” Ms. Rayos del Sol said, adding that the lounge has always presented socio-political issues.

Other featured artworks include painter Romulo “Mulong” Galicano’s large-scale painting depicting climate change, as well as a collaborative show developed by ManilArt curator and sculptor Danny Rayos del Sol, sculptor Agi Pagkatipunan, poet Riza Muyot, and painter-sculptor Kublai Millan titled, Dungaw which will feature interactive multimedia pieces.

There will be a satellite fundraising exhibit called Art for Red for the benefit of the Philippine Red Cross.

Aside from the exhibits, other activities at the art fair include walking tours for school teachers and students conducted by Gerry Leonardo of the Philippine High School for the Arts. There will also be lessons on the definition of art and practice of art criticism, among others.

There will be a screening of Moira Lang’s film Patay na Si Jesus and Q&A session hosted by the Zonta Club Women’s group after. The session aims to discuss bridging the gap between Philippine languages in cinema.

Nikon Ambassadors will also host a photography talk catering to younger audiences and fans of new media.

General Admission is P200 for one-day access to the fair. Students, Senior Citizens, and Persons With Disability pay P150. Tickets are available at For more information, visit, contact 0977-807-3369, or e-mail — Michelle Anne P. Soliman