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In Photos: See The Artworks At The Recently-Concluded Ortigas Art Festival

In its second year of honoring local Filipino artists, the Ortigas Art Festival invited Filipinos to celebrate talents in the local art scene and elevate their sense of artistic appreciation. 


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Today is the day! Metro Manila’s art scene is off to a dynamic start with Ortigas Art Festival 2019! Envisioned to make art more accessible and much closer to the hearts and minds of Filipinos, the second Ortigas Art Festival aims to capture the vibrance of the country’s evolving art scene. Featuring works from Richard Buxani, Benjamin Cabrera, Darwin Guevarra, and Bern Wong. Exhibits by AgawXena, Agos Kulay Maynila, Association of Pinoyprintmakers, Banta Artist Initiative, Biskeg, Group Artists of Taytay, Hilaga Sculptors Collective, Himbon, The Guild, and Westgrove Fine Arts See you from February 20-March 3 at Estancia! Admission is FREE! RSVP now at Ortigas Art Festival 2019! #OrtigasArtFestival

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The event, which was organized by Ortigas & Company in partnership with renowned social realist painter Renato Habulan, was held at the spacious areas of Estancia in Capital Commons. It was aimed to promote grassroots participation in the Philippine art community, as well as make artists' works more accessible to a wider public. Hence, in this exhibit, visitors enjoyed browsing hundreds of artworks and joining artist-lead workshops and talks, all free of charge. 

"Ortigas & Company believes that art is for everyone and that it should intrinsically be accessible to people from different walks of life, hence the free admission. Through the Ortigas Art Festival, we are bringing art closer to the people and helping the artists become more visible beyond the small industry," a company representative shares.


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There, they marveled at the masterpieces of master engraver Benjie Torrado Cabrera, self-taught artist Darwin Guevarra, photographer Ben Wong, architect Richard Buxani, as well as artist collectives like AgawXena, Agos Kulay Maynila, Banta Artist Initiative, Himbon, Biskeg, The Guild, Group Artists of Taytay, Association of Pinoy Printmakers, Hilaga, and Westgrove Fine Arts.

The Ortigas Art Festival run from February 20 to March 3.


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Though  a newcomer in the metro's annual art exhibit circuit, the Ortigas Art Festival is certainly on its way to becoming a strong contender. The event has not only caught the eye of local artists and exhibitors, it has also gained international attention from players in the US and Singapore.

Providing a more in-depth profile of the event and its goals is Renato Habulan himself. Scroll down.


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The Ortigas Art Festival, according to Renato Habulan:


What were the qualifications that guided your selection of artists for this festival?

"I want to first talk about my guidance as an artist now in this era where contradictions reign, where communication made our world smaller; where we are perpetually connected and yet we have become more isolated and disconnected.

As an artist, I don’t believe that an artist is autonomous to his society. I believe in the 4 Cs:


  • Collective – Artists should act collectively. 
  • Collaboration – Artists should work collaboratively. 
  • Connected (Integrated) – Artists should always be connected, integrated, open. 
  • Community – Artists should help build an enlightened community not only in terms of art but also his society.


Our guiding principle is to create unity among artists, art lovers, enablers, audience, and laymen. The selection is to mobilize art groups, organizations, and then to choose a featured artist within the group who is outstanding in his/her chosen media or discipline. Ortigas Art Festival is a platform for art and artists alike to reach a wider audience of people who are art lovers and people who enjoy art." 


In your opinion, how has art appreciation improved (or deteriorated) in the age of social media?

"Social media is a tool to communicate, educate, and make the community be aware of what is happening in the world of art. This tool widens our audience. However, if your use of social media is only to sell or make an image for yourself, then art will not develop. For a deeper appreciation, the art festival is still the more effective way of educating and enlightening the audience especially with the introduction of lectures, demos and workshops. This experiential encounter with artists is the most effective way of learning about and appreciating art." 


What theme connects all the artworks in the festival?

"There was no prevailing theme in choosing the artworks since it was the group who chose from among their members who to exhibit. However, I believe a closer connection was made among artists and their audience because it’s more open and no cost for them to appreciate."  


See some of the featured artists and their works below:


Anton Villaruel of Association of Printmakers


Benjamin Cabrera


Bern Wong


Bern Wong


Eric Masangkay


Eric Masangkay with Buxani


Riel Hillario


Mars Bugaoan of Association of Pinoy Printmakers


Pandy Aviado of Association of Pinoy Printmakers


Rene Cuevas of AgawXena


Tinggay Cinco of The Guild



See more scenes from the Ortigas Art Festival's 2019 edition in the gallery below: 




Interview by Grace Libero-Cruz

Photographs courtesy of Ortigas & Company