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Señor Moments | Possible 2020 art exhibit venues

1.    HOLY GROUND HALL (Near San Pedro Memorial)
It’s expansive, well-lit – a perfect venue for future art exhibits, like DAVAO ART FEDERATION’S 2020 PROJECTS, or BAI Hinang’s Group Exhibit (Thanks, Jane Ramos!)

2.    We’re looking for an ABANDONED BUILDING (LIKE THE DURIAN or MAGUINDANAO HOTEL, or a WAREHOUSE that can be repurposed for an ARTISTS’ VENUE, open STUDIOS and Galleries). Know anyone?

3.    For a semi-outdoor venue, Vic Secuya’s SANCTUARY in TRINIDAD HILLS , MAA is a great site as evidenced by “ART HUNT”.

4.    The UM and PWC Campuses can also be CONSIDERED, especially the RSM (for Rosa Santos Munda) CENTER where the MINDANAO ART FAIR CONFERENCE was held.

5.    A  great venue also especially for PLEIN AIR workshops or ART RESIDENCES would be the GAP, on Diversion Road, near Las Terrazas, the large farm – resort partly – owned by Arnel Villegas and family. Reminds me of the venue for the NUDE Paintings Sessions at the ASTORGA FARM of Jong-jong and Josie Carriedo – Tionko. Jong –jong was my GS/HS classmate – although I didn’t know then that he could even draw! or, maybe just NUDES! I also met at PROBINSIYA thru Lito Pepito – Bruce Brown, the American painter – sculptor (with an MA in visual arts from the University of Massachusetts). Bruce and I became close friends – I even got him a teaching post at PWC. Bruce had marital problems with his Filipina wife – which I think led to the loss of his Times Beach house. I still have some of his art works in my collection.

6.    How did Tabula Rasa start? In 2014, the founding members were: Bai Manginsay, Daryl Descallar, Brando Cedeno and I. Bong Perez joined us later – but begged off because he wanted to focus on his UP teaching and solo art career. I met Bai when he and Marion (Daryl’s sister) were conducting an Art Workshop at Casa Munda. Daryl was living next door to us – and he later introduced me to Brando. Bai was the CLIO Awardee – Winning Art Director at SAATCHI (Cid Reyes was his colleague there ) while I used to work as an Account Executive at the ad agency of Totoy Avellana ( the younger brother of the famous director , LAMBERTO ). I did not know Daryl or Brando then but we had something in common: Picobello, the Italian resto at JS GAISANO , owned by Romano Venuti and Markus Kehl of SWISS DELI & Meat processing plant .

Daryl designed the Picobello Sign which Brando executed in fiber glass + resin while we made the furniture – this was back in 1999. But we did know each other then – although Brando and we were exhibitors at the early MINDANAO TRADE EXPO along with Ann Pamintuan , Maricris Floirendo-Brias and Anthony Soriano .

In 2014 and 2015, now as TABULA RASA ART GROUP,  planned with Benjie Lizada the upcoming  “ VISIT DAVAO FUN SALE (VDFS)” ART EXHIBITS in all the Malls and Hotels . In January 2016, Bai died – before the APRIL/MAY VDFS. Which was participated by over 100 artists and (We think) led to the resurgence of the Art Community here. The VDFS art exhibits continued thru 2017 and 2018 – and as a result 4 Art Galleries were formed : BINTANA , ART PORTAL , Morning Light and ART CENTRALE.

A RETROSPECTIVE OF CARLOTA de PIO’S  PAINTINGS, PEN & Ink Drawings are on exhibit – and for sale – at the newly – opened café , the 6th Republic in Juna  . This is a project of the Lopez-Chua family and a planned creative hub for artists, poets and writers. De PIO was a multifaceted person – a teacher of Philosophy (AdD) , of art ( Ford ) and a visual artist. At the exhibit were Vic Secuya , Arnel Villegas , Rick de Ungria , Johanna Cruz , Fe del Rosario (who owned the ARTCENTER GALLERY ) , Pam Castrillo ( Fe’s daughter), the sister and mother of Joshua Lim So , the Palanca award – winning playwright, whose play has been published by Tita Ayala’s ROADMAP series. I did not have the opportunity to know de Pio – or her contemporary Rachel Holazo  – since I was abroad during their heyday. But I did know well Joe Ayala , the husband of Tita Lacambra and the father of Joey , the musician. Joe and I were colleagues at the ad agency of Totoy Avellana (the brother of movie director, Lamberto). But Joe then was not a painter but a PR writer. I think Joe became a serious painter when he moved to Davao (Tagum? ) to join his brother Chito .

“PROBINSIYA”, MA A (late 90s )
The “6th Republic “ might be the creative hangout – perhaps just like “PROBINSIYA” the brainchild of Atty. Tim Te and implemented  by the BAY WOODCRAFT, a furniture-making enterprise owned by Queenie and I and supervised by Kawing Pino-on ( now 1 of the founders of G.A.M.A ) we were renting the house inside the Probinsiya where Bay Woodcraft had a small factory. We made many of the structures there – the Don Quixote bar, the Santuaryo Art Gallery , the Treehouse , the conversion of the Pacific Soy Sauce warehouse into a “ DISCO” . We even staged a boxing ring there (a crazy idea of Aris Albay and Pete Lavina). Almost every night, there was a band concert headlined by the likes of Popong Landero and Mike Pamintuan and their music was heightened by the aroma of that familiar herbal plant .
It was at “PROBINSIYA” that I got to know many artists: Jun Alfon (who now lives and paints in Las Pinas), Errol Saldana, Boy Luna, Rey Fuentes, Bruce Brown, Orley Ypon, Lito Pepito, Vic Secuya ( who “discovered” Trinidad Hills as a home site). I remember Orley practically begging me to buy his paintings – so he could have the fare to go back to Cebu! Too bad – I had only funds for 1 watercolor painting one of our favourite now. Orley visited us a few years later – and wanted to buy back his painting for 100 x but we declined.

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