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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Aliens and More Invade Salcedo Park!

The Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati will be bustling with life, both terrestrial and extra terrestrial, on Saturday, 27 February, 2010, from two in the afternoon to ten in the evening. The Museum Foundation of the Philippines ups the ante on its annual affordable art fair with exhibits by 2009 Ateneo Art Award Winner Jan Leeroy New and an extraordinary installation by Lea Lim.

New, best known for his fiberglass aliens that seemingly landed on the Singapore City Hall during that city's Biennale in 2008, will be reprising the attention-grabbing, brightly-hued creatures of his imagination from his recent show, Odeon Galaxy Universal, at Blanc Compound in Mandaluyong. Lim's work is a slightly more subdued, monochromatic intervention into a space. A swarm of swings hangs from the tree nearest the walkway, making it impossible for pedestrians to pass unhindered. The beautiful, white forms pique curiosity and ask the passerby to pause for a moment, and maybe play a bit. The works of New and Lim set the tone for the art fair, making even strange and conceptual works of art less daunting and more approachable. The affordable art fair has evolved from a Saturday morning event designed make art buying less intimidating for the art newbie, to a showcase of some of the best contemporary Philippine art. And in keeping with its goal of making art accessible to all, prices of pieces for sale are still at P20,000.00 and below.

Since Art In The Park first started four years ago, the art scene in the Philippines has exploded with activity. New galleries have opened. Established galleries have expanded and improved their spaces to accommodate a flurry of artistic production. Amidst all this, Art In the Park is one of the most awaited events in the art calendar. It brings together, in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere, about 30 galleries and art groups from all parts of the metro and beyond. For seasoned buyers and regular exhibition goers, it is a treat to spend the day going from booth to booth catching up with artist and gallerist friends. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere encourages first time buyers and ordinary park-goers to take the time to look through each booth and strike up a conversation with the artists and gallery owners hanging out.

Blanc, Tala, Tin-aw, Art Cabinet, Galerie Astra, Metro Gallery - all at the forefront of the contemporary art scene - will be joined this year by the pioneers – West Gallery and Gallery Genesis. The newest kid on the block, Charlie Cojuangco's Nova Gallery, will make its Art In The Park debut. INK, Sheer Joy, and Canvas also return this year to continue amusing, introducing art to the young ones. Galeria de las Islas will be there, as always, for people who look for art and artifacts of a more historical and anthropological nature. The Putik booth showcases pottery - sculptural, decorative and utilitarian. The regulars, Larc En Ciel, Kulay Art Group, and Ral Arrogante, will also be returning. The TUP Fine Arts Alumni and Students booth will be the perfect place to pick up well-priced artworks by fresh new artists. The displays of The Mighty Bhutens (a group of artists from Baguio doing mosaic art), Nineveh Art Space and the Malabon artists give gallery goers the chance to see the art being produced outside Metro Manila. Sherwin Tan and Tara Soriano, with her sculptural jewelry, will also be participating. Photography will be available from the Zone Five Camera Club. The diversity of styles, media, and concerns of this year's art fair makes for a very interesting and dynamic show.

This year, getting an art bargain no longer means having to get up at the crack of dawn. Art In The Park, which has traditionally started at 7am to coincide with the Salcedo Market, will now start at 2 pm and stretch till 10 pm. Visitors can leisurely stroll around the park exploring the different installations and art presentations, while having merienda, cocktails, and dinner at the booths of La Cuisine Francaise, Pizza di Grazia, Windows Café, The Straits Wine Company, and Nica's Bakeshop.

Art In The Park is on Saturday, 27 February 2010, at the Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village Makati City. It is organized by the Museum Foundation of the Philippines with the help of Bgy. Bel Air, Security Bank Mastercard, and Radio U92. Part of the proceeds will go to the foundation's programs that raise awareness and appreciation for the National Museum and its network.

For more Museum Foundation events and activities please visit our website at

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