Art in the Park (and the Metaverse)

The annual Art in the Park fair returns to its original location this week, while hosting online exhibitions and featuring an NFT market for the first time.

The 16th edition of what is being tagged as the nation’s premier affordable art fair returns to its roots at Jaime C. Velasquez Park in Makati City on April 28, from 4-8 p.m. Meanwhile, the fair features over 61 galleries, art schools, independent art spaces and art collectives online at www.artinthepark.ph until May 1.

Art in the Park 2022 also includes several special exhibitions. Acclaimed husband and wife artists Rodel Tapaya and Marina Cruz share the spotlight as they showcase their ongoing experimentation with various media. Tapaya will exhibit nine artworks for Chicken Army and Cruz will exhibit 11 pieces for Imprinted Musings.

Tapaya’s works, of course, are defined by visionary narrative tableaus that merge folklore and social history into painterly figurations. Meanwhile, Cruz’s evolving investigation of the materiality of ancient objects, photographs, and dresses encompasses their physicality, their history, and how they shape her biography.

Together, the couple founded IsTorya, a narrative design studio that celebrates creativity, love of identity, and new ways of learning that go back to Filipino stories. IsTorya believes that ultimately the best stories are those that convey important lessons.

​Art in the Park 2022 will also feature Studio 1616. In 2012, artist Lynyrd Paras approached the fair’s organizers and asked if they would host a group of his students. After confirming a slot for Art in the Park that year, the band had to come up with a name. They decide to take the address of Paras’ workspace, and Studio 1616 is born.

A decade later, this promising group of art students has become one of the most exciting names in contemporary Filipino art. The group includes Johanna Helmuth, Yeo Kaa, Jeremae Jumaoas, Jerahmeel Alvarez, Keb Cerda, Dale Erispe, Jayvee David, Jett Osian, Levin Paras, Ciron Señeres, Kiko Urquiola, Gian Miroe, Roy Rosatase, Yani Unsana and Erick Villaruz. The artists return to Art in the Park and will display 15 works of art for sale, each measuring 16 x 16 inches, on the website.

Art lovers and visitors to Jaime Velasquez Park will have the chance to see their work, Reflect Deflect, installed live in the park. In a rare encounter for this project, the work departs from the tents that characterize Art in the Park, using steel and mirrors as reflective surfaces that encourage visitors to examine themselves more closely.

​Another featured artist in this year’s presentation is Distort Monsters, which bridges the gap between digital art and traditional art. Art in the Park, in partnership with Globe Platinum, will feature 100 pieces from Part 2 of Monster Mayhem MegaMash, an ongoing project by the Filipino street artist.

Distort Monsters aims to connect the realms of physical and digital art with the output of colorful creatures in two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and digital forms, taking its distinct imagery from murals beyond NFTs.

The concept of online exposure stems from Blindboxes, where buyers do not know which of the 100 unique prints and NFTs they have purchased until the giclee prints are delivered to them. A live installation of 10 three-foot-tall resin sculptures will complement the online exhibit.

Finally, Ang Illustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK) will present an exhibition titled INK in the Park, as part of its 30th anniversary celebration. The exhibition presents a collection of 40 works by various illustrators, including Juno Abreu, Aldy Aguirre, Fran Alvarez, Jamie Bauza, Benedir Dasig, Jovan De Ocampo, Danielle Florendo, Liza Flores, Tin Javier, Jasmin Lacay, LD Mendoza, Arli Pagaduan , Jonathan Ranola, Mark L. Ruste, Jomike Tejido and Ige Ochoa Trinidad.

Art in the Park is organized by Philippine Art Events Inc., for the benefit of the Museum Foundation of The Philippines, and with the support of Globe Platinum and Bank of The Philippine Islands.

More information can be found at www.artinthepark.ph and facebook/artinthepark.

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