Local artists on centerstage | SunStar

Local artists on centerstage

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Local artists on centerstage

Saturday, April 22, 2017

DAVAO. Artworks by Mindanao artists on display along the restaurant row in Abreeza Ayala Malls. (Reuel John F. Lumawag)

ART is a way to express one's self.

On April 21, Art Mindanao formally kicked off at Abreeza Ayala Mall Davao. The annual art exhibit, which is among the events of the Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) 2017, will showcase the works and creativity of Mindanao artists.

Edmund Mayormita, vice chairperson of the VDFS execom, said, through this activity, they hope to attract art enthusiasts all over the country to come to Davao and appreciate its culture through the arts.

Dinky Munda, co-founder of Tabula Rasa, said for the second year of Art Mindanao, they will showcase the artists' works at major malls, hotels and restaurants of Davao City like Abreeza Ayala Mall Davao, SM Lanang Premier, SM City Davao, NCCC Mall, GMall Davao, Victoria Plaza, Royal Mandaya Hotel, Apo View Hotal, Marco Polo Hotel Davao, Seda Hotel, and Park Inn by Radisson, among others. The exhibits will be displayed in each venue for two weeks.

"Eventually, what we want to do is a festival of art as important as the ones in Manila, Art Fair Philippines, or the one in Visayas called Visayan Islands Visual Arts and those of Singapore and Hong Kong," he said.

Munda said art exhibits, like Art Mindanao, play a huge role in the tourism sector of Davao City.

"Art and culture play a very important in the tourism of the city and Mindanao because we are featuring cultures and the arts of the tri-people -- lumad, Muslims, and Christians," he said.

Munda said with arts and culture in the city, more people will visit the city. He said tourists visit London, Venice, and Paris not only because they are popular destinations but also because of their galleries and museums.

He said they hope that through the Art Mindanao, Davao City will also be like London, Venice, and Paris where peole visit because of art.

"Art is something universal, no matter who you are or where you are from, you can appreciate art," Munda said.

Art Mindanao will not only showcase the artwork of some 200 Mindanawan artists but also of young artists coming from Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School, Magallanes Elementary School, Boys Town Davao, and Davao City National High School special program for the arts.

Multi-awarded artists, like Philippine Art awardee Renato Pilapil, will also showcase their work.

Munda said there are a lot of young artists out there but they do not have many venues or opportunities to showcase their talents.

Meanwhile, Mayormita said arts tourism is a growing industry in the tourism sector but it is not that popular here yet.

He said in other destinations, arts is part of their tourism. He hopes that the city will also have its own.

"Arts and culture is the backbone of tourism. You go to other places like Greece, it is all about the Parthenon and their culture. It should be the same thing here," said Gene Rose Tecson, head of Davao City Tourism Office.

Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on April 23, 2017.

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