Someone once quipped that artistic practice can be compared to a laboratory: a place to experiment, analyze, discover. True, since artists and scientists are ever-restless lifelong learners, and that a collaborative procedure yields the most fruitful of results.
For Filipino artists from all walks of life, a gallery space has proven to be most welcoming when it comes to unbridled artistic expression and collaboration. Robinsons Land ARTablado has given a platform for these artists to follow their own muses and revel in the simple act of creation and interaction.
The members of the artist group behind the “Colab” exhibition, which is on view until Sept. 30 at the ARTablado space in Robinsons Antipolo, present their recent works while remaining connected to their creative roots.
“Matagal na rin kasi kaming hindi nakakapag-exhibit sa ARTablado,” says Ovidio Espiritu Jr. “The last time was in Robinsons Galleria years ago, kaya naisipan naming mag-organize muli.”
The selection process for participating artists was refreshingly organic. Rather than relying on rigid criteria, the group valued recommendations made by each member. This open-minded approach ensured a diverse array of artistic styles and voices, enabling each artist to showcase their current preoccupation. Having previously exhibited in various galleries across Makati, Quezon City and other places, the artists bring a wealth of experience and innovation to the table.
The artists’ return to ARTablado is not merely motivated by nostalgia but is rooted in their appreciation for the gallery’s unwavering support for both established and emerging talents. The venue itself exudes elegance and offers a visually captivating backdrop for their artwork. However, it’s not just the aesthetics that draw them back; it’s the extensive promotional efforts and post-exhibition assistance provided by ARTablado. The inclusive spirit extends to the audience as well.
Espiritu points out that should any last-minute issues arise, the ARTablado team is always ready to lend a helping hand.
“And most importantly, feel mo ’yung sincere, personal touch ng ARTablado team in dealing with everyone. It’s not just a business; there is a relationship. Very comfortable for us ’yung parang ang tagal ng magkakasama. Minsan may mga concerns along the way, pero madaling napag-uusapan, Very much appreciated naming lahat ang ARTablado.”
“Colab” features the works of Esang Bejasa Adame, Ismael Esber, Jhael Mataverde, Joanne Rebustillo, Lorielito Puserio, Orly Espiritu, Reynaldo J. De la Peña, Rodgie Gapayao, Viel Samaniego, Warlito Gabriel, Ovidio Espiritu Jr. and Ovidio Espiritu III.
Espiritu explains how each of these individuals embody the hard work and sacrifice needed in order to make a life out of art. Art flows through their veins, he says, and even on days when inspiration seems elusive, they return to their craft because it’s an intrinsic part of who they are. Their motivation is driven by the heart and a genuine love for art, not solely by financial gain or the anticipation of sales. They understand that, in the world of art, appreciation and recognition follow those who stay true to their passion. In their eyes, creating art is an expression of the soul, a labor of love that transcends the boundaries of commerce.
These artists are thankful that there is such a space that allows them to pursue their artistic passion. “Karamihan sa amin ay nakapag-exhibit na sa ARTablado, kaya muli kaming bumabalik upang mag-exhibit ulit dahil sa laking suporta ng ARTablado sa mga artists — lalo na sa mga baguhan. Napakaganda rin ng kanilang lugar at eleganteng pagmasdan.”