Art within reach

Felix Pabalinas. Dacne Like There's No Tomorrow. 15x22. 2021. (Photo from the virtual exhibition)
Felix Pabalinas. Dacne Like There's No Tomorrow. 15x22. 2021. (Photo from the virtual exhibition)

LOOKING for the silver lining, the pandemic made art very accessible to everyone. Across the globe, the high-caliber museums opened their doors for virtual tours for free. It's not only extending art to be appreciated but art, even just by viewing, can be calming, a stress reliever, therapeutic.

Art galleries are doing the same. Exhibits were shown (and more are coming) with no formal opening and spaces devoid of the usual invited guests. However, the galleries are open to the public. They let visitors come for personal viewing with health protocols in place.

If you love art, Instagram is a good platform to follow the accounts of the art establishments and the artists you admire. It allows you to view the current shows and works without having to open numerous websites.

As viewing art is very accessible so is owning it. Just type mine below the image, or if you want privacy, tap on the paper airplane image on the upper right corner of the IG account and type a message. Easy.

If I'm not mistaken, the bidding war during art auctions has never been more heated than it is today. Galleries have become virtual auction houses and they are raking the moolah in.

In Davao, different art groups, including Mindanao Art, the biggest gathering of artists, have shown their obras via the internet. For the artists, these virtual exhibitions have given them exposure to a wider audience.

From the past pandemic online exhibits, I have acquired a few paintings by artists I admire -- Rodney Yap, Mean Guinoo and Mae Afable. Lucky me.

This February, the designated Art Month in the country, there are a couple of ongoing art shows on Facebook: "Art from the HeArt" by DAFI and "February HeArt" by Bai Hinang. One artist is posting an artwork a day (almost) to celebrate the art month.

From the line-up, I have my personal favorites. Perhaps their names are under your radar, but you should look into what they are producing. If I have the extra budget today, I will add the artworks to my collection.

From the DAFI line-up I like the pieces of these artists, all Fine Arts degree holders: Bryan Cabrera and Dominic Turno, both product of Ford Academy of the Arts in Davao, and teaches art at the Ateneo de Davao University and Philippine Women's College respectively; Mean Tan-Guinoo, also teaches in PWC and a graduate of College of the Holy Spirit Manila; Felix Pabalinas Jr., from University of Mindanao; and Anthony Serafin, and architect and a very good watercolorist.

I like what Gilbert Miraflor, a multi-awarded artist from Ford Academy of Arts, is doing. For the art month, he paints and posts his works regularly on his Facebook page.

Have a look at the virtual exhibition and you might find an artwork you want hanging on your wall, and an artist to follow. For now, their works are very affordable and I believe now is a good time to own a piece.

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