ManilArt is a banner activity of the Museums and Galleries Month (MGM) celebrations as spearheaded by the National Commision for Culture and the Arts.

by Rissa A. Coronel

This year’s event title cum theme is “Ang ARTe ng Pilipinas,” showcasing the multifaceted creative talents of the Filipino people. For ten years, the national art fair has catered to art collectors and galleries, while targeting its advocacy for art education towards students and the general public.

manilart 2018

With these goals in mind, this year’s ManilArt highlights various activities that span the visual arts, music and literature. On Gala Night, October 17, the Memory Maker’s Boudoir exhibit at the VIP Lounge will be launched via a performance by multimedia artists led by designer Janella Marie Ibay representing the Goddess of Memory, Mnemosyne, and her retinue. The exhibit is curated by internationally renowned surrealist Gromyko Semper, with paintings, sculptures, and installations by Isobel Francisco, Cozy Cozythrias, Kat Malazarte, Ben John Lincod, Rachel Anne Lacaba, Ginoe Ojoy, JC Peñaflorida, Roman Padilla, Herminio Tan, Angelo Padilla, Maria Magdamit and a video installation by Ali Alejandro.

On top of the usual talks and walking tours for students, there is a full calendar on offer for the five-day duration of the fair. One activity will bring together poet Vim Nadera, music composer Alejandro D. Consolacion and several painters led by Kublai Millan, Grandier Bella, and Kenneth John Montegrande onstage for an afternoon of collaboration. The convergence of music, visual art, and poetry breaking the barrier between different art forms is not new: art history is replete with examples of artists resonating the same idea via different expressions of artistry.

Another anticipated activity is the portrait-painting demo by master realist and portrait artist Romulo Galicano. The maestro will share tips and trade secrets of his internationally award-winning portraiture skills with select participants. This artist development activity is catered towards professional artists and pre-registration is required.

Another activity with professional artists will be an on-the-spot sketching session of junior ballerinas and musicians. The Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra which won Grand Prize at the Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival in Vienna last July will play their award-winning repertoire as interpreted by principal student ballerinas of the Shirley Halili-Cruz School of Ballet. The young artists will then be sketched by painters led by the Tuesday Group of Artists. Fairgoers are invited to watch and join in the silent auction of the works produced to be held right after as part of the activity.

For students and enthusiasts, on the other hand, painter Bing Famoso Tac-an will conduct an activity on fabric-painting. Tac-an is known for marrying her art with advocacy: she is a proponent of crafts activities in orphanages, and an artist of the fundraiser Alab Pinas, Aleb Marawi. She also designed one of the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra’s costumes for their Grand Prize win last July.

On the theme of musical arts and patriotism, the five-decade-old Andres Bonifacio Concert Chorus will lead a Kundiman flash mob, in which they will serenade fairgoers with Filipino patriotic and love songs. They will move through the different exhibition areas of SM Aura Mall, starting from the outdoor installations of the 20-foot “Ilaw” sculpture by Kublai Millan, to the different Manilart satellite exhibits inside the mall, until finally ending at the main exhibition hall for the mini-concert.

Meanwhile, the Hatched Project of Manila Bulletin is producing a special exhibit of twenty painted eggs by Manilart’18 artists. This shall be unveiled at the pre-function lobby of the fair on October 20. The complete collection of Hatched artworks shall be exhibited at the Hatched Carousel at a special exhibition area at the 3F Atrium of SM Aura Mall.

Sharing the 3F Atrium is a show by the Portrait Artists Society of the Philippines Inc., led by Romulo Galicano, which will showcase their paintings in a homage to Rene Magritte entitled I, But Not Me: Tribute to Rene Magritte.

ManilArt 10th-anniversary celebrations shall also include the launch of the commemorative stamp collection in cooperation with the Philippine Postal Office to be launched on the fair weekend.

The MGM celebrations do not end with Manilart at SM Aura. At Intramuros, there will be a banner exhibit in partnership with the Intramuros Administration. Banners will be of select artworks from ManilArt 2018. There will also be spot installations of outdoor pieces at Fort Santiago to be displayed beginning October. Kublai Millan’s Trashformers Series includes 15 larger than life scrap metal forms.

ManilArt’s tenth run will be from October 17-21 at the SMX Convention Center, Taguig. The invitational gala will be on the 17th of October and the fair will be open to the general public from October 18-21. With the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, ManilArt’18 is co-presented by the NCCA and Bonafide Art Galleries Organization with support from SMX, SM Aura Malls, BDO, I love Taguig, Lifestyle Asia, the Manila Bulletin, Artplus, Ladder Events Production, Don Papa, Giffard, Savoroso, Via Mare and Manilascope. Tickets are available online at For details, visit

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