Visayas Art Fair 2023 to showcase over 1,000 artworks

Visayas Art Fair 2023 to showcase over 1,000 artworks

THE Visayas Art Fair (VAF) is set to return this month, anticipating more visitors than last year and providing a platform for creatives within the Visayas region.

The four-day event is scheduled to occur from Nov. 23-26, 2023, at Oakridge Business Park. The event will connect art communities across the Philippines through art and a shared creative vision, welcoming new and returning galleries to showcase various artworks and artists.

This year’s VAF is projected to have around or more than the number of visitors last year, which was around 1,500 people per day.

Alongside the VAF is the Bodega Design Caravan, envisioned as a selling platform where participating exhibitors showcase their creations in furniture, fashion, and accessories curated by a founding member of Design Center’s Design Advisory Council, Kenneth Cobonpue.

Bodega will also serve as the main display area for entries in the Blue Mango Awards, which aims to celebrate and place a spotlight on designers and creatives in the field of graphic design.

Tickets will cost P170 for general admission and P150 for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and students, with a three-day pass available for sale for P480.

The event will have 33 participating galleries from all over the Philippines. Twelve will be from the National Capital Region, one from Mindanao, two from Korea, and the rest from within the Visayas region. Around 1,000 artworks will be on display and for this, there will be no silent auctions.

Laurie Boquiren, chairwoman of the VAF, said visitors should expect various art installations from artists, such as James Doran-Webb, who will feature driftwood sculptures. One of the highlights is a 25-foot Christmas tree with 1,200 granny squares individually crocheted by women of the Cebu Crochet Group.

Promoting culture

In a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 9, Boquiren said the VAF can promote and preserve culture by providing a platform for various artistic communities and bringing them together under one roof.

“We would like to think we are contributing greatly to the enhancement of the culture of not just Cebu but the Philippines,” said Boquiren.

Christina Gaston, president of Cebu Design Week, said they are looking at the VAF as a long-term project, creating a platform where artists and creatives from different generations in any field can come together and express themselves.

Butch Carungay, design director of the Blue Mango Awards, said they have two main components for Cebu City. First is the hard intervention focusing on infrastructure, such as buildings and institutions. The second is the creative Cebu grid, which focuses on softer interventions such as online platforms, conferences, events like VAF, and education.

Economy and tourism

In an interview with SunStar Cebu, Boquiren said the event helps the local economy by attracting people from other areas in the Visayas region and letting them experience what Cebu has to offer.

“Restaurants in the past celebrated when we had an event,” said Boquiren.

She said the Bodega can help creatives by letting artists sell their creative furniture.

Mari Booth, chairperson of Cebu Design Week, announced that last year’s Bodega Design Caravan generated approximately P2.4 million in sales during the show. She anticipates receiving many more orders in the future.

Creative and entertainment entrepreneurs in Cebu are expecting growth in the industry once Cebu City sets up its Creative District at the North Reclamation Area (NRA).

The Cebu City Government is planning to build the Creative District at the NRA due to the availability of large warehouses in the area that can be converted into studios.

The VAF is organized by the Cebu Arts, Culture, and Design Foundation (formerly Cebu Design Week) and presented in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Oakridge Business Park, City of Mandaue, Department of Trade and Industry, Airspeed, and The Company.


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