Today, the first ever Mindanao Art Fair, Exhibit and Conference opens at Gaisano Mall of Davao, raising our visual art scene a notch higher. For the past five years or so, we observed the quickening of the artists’ pulse as exhibit after exhibit were mounted in malls, hotels and in academic institutions. People are beginning to buy paintings and sculptures here and there, some of them even commissioning art works for their homes and offices. Murals in public spaces have also found traction, with young artists leading the way in transforming once drab walls into delightful visual stories.
There is a wave of excitement in the art scene today.
This movement is driven by artists themselves who have collaborated in various ways to keep the adrenalin going, reaching out to the young in communities, grade schools and children with special needs. The art circle is spreading ripple by ripple, and eddies are formed, drawing more creatives into its fold.
The art scene has also become inclusive with Bai Hinang, a group of women artists, currently mounting an exhibit at Waterfront Hotel with the theme Pink October, a breast cancer awareness campaign and, the surge of interest in indigenous peoples art. There are also artists coming from various parts of Mindanao whose works will be shown during the art fair.
But the flow is not only in visual arts. The Art Hunt last August held at the Art Haven in Maa, showed that artists from various muses can come together, celebrate and most importantly, sell their art pieces. It was a memorable event, one that had people asking for a repeat next year.
The city has estabished a Council for Culture and the Arts last year. We are not certain if the council has thrown its support to this event which can greatly contribute to the creative economy it envisions.
Be that as it may, we laud the organizer, Lawig Diwa, and all the artists and galleries in Mindanao for being a part of this first ever Mindanao Art Fair, Exhibit and Conference.