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Tabula Rasa | Advancing our Industry

In amending our PH constitution, there’s a serious move from a unicameral-presidential form of gov’t to a FEDERAL one. A “federation” is a CENTRAL gov’t affiliated with several semi-autonomous local governments – like Malaysia, Germany, Switzerland, U.K., U.S., France and many others. In the Art Summit on Nov. 9 at Vic Secuya’s Trinidad Hills, MA-A “SANTUARYO”, a key agenda item to be discussed by several leaders of art galleries and groups will be the formation of the DAVAO ARTISTS FEDERATION. This idea has been brewing LONG BEFORE the Mindanao Art Fair.

This idea came about – at least for me – during a coffee session at Swiss Deli with Arnel Villegas, who was a member of the Davao Art Foundation, a brainchild of the late watercolor artist, George So. At his wake, George’s widow asked Arnel to revive the foundation – and he agreed. Arnel and I discussed the pros and cons of such a move – and why it went kaput. To establish, a foundation nowadays requires a SEC certification for at least Php 2M – which we artists are not willing to shell out.

Another difference is the Davao Art Foundation (D.A.Fdn) was composed of individual artists while the Davao Art Federation (D.A.Fed) will consist – if agreeable to the majority – of art groups and galleries. This organizational set-up – in my humble opinion – is more effectively managed. It is conceivable that the charter, founding group-leaders will have 7 board of directors which will then elect a president. But this management set-up will have to be discussed and agreed upon.

1. This will UNITE the different art groups (while maintaining their individual advocacies) and this UNITED voice can help the Davao artists in negotiating with the local gov’t and national agencies (D.O.T., NCCA, etc.).
2. The FEDERATION with its COMMON vision, mission, goals & objectives better guide the destiny and direction of the art community here.
3. The federation can help establish an ART INDUSTRY where the CREATIVE economy can help realize the artists’ dream of earning a living creating art works.

One objective that the federation must have is to protect art practitioners from abuse by inequitable and controlling artists, art dealers or gallery owners. This has been experienced by fellow artists in Davao and has been observed by Manila people recently.

There will be more ideas that will be discussed at the Nov. 9, 2019 Art Summit. I believe this is an excellent first step of a long fulfilling journey to realize the development the Davao art industry.

1.TABULA RASA @ “THE VIEW”, 7th flr., Blue Lotus Hotel: till NOV 15. w/ guest artists: Kawing Pino-on & Ega Carreon. Laut Seafood Palace – Malaysian-Chinese Cuisine.
2. “COLORS OF PEACE”. Non-figurative works. Opening: NOV 20, 6 PM til NOV 30.
ART CENTRALE, Felcris-Quimpo BLVD.
3. ART CENTRALE, Felcris-Quimpo BLVD. Group Exhibit on-going.
4. ART PORTAL, Legaspi ST., Young Contemporary Artists.
5. ARNEL VILLEGAS solo, Abreeza 3RD flr. Pen & Ink – outstanding works!
6. CARLOTTA de PIO RETROSPECTIVE: Pen & Ink. 6th Republique Café –
the latest art & poetry center in Juna Subd. Beautiful place.
7. MORNING LIGHT Gallery. On-going group exhibit + artist supplies.
8. BINTANA ART GALLERY. Alex Alagon + others. NCCC/Victoria Plaza, 2nd flr.


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