July 20, 2017. Being art enthusiasts, likewise creators, my brother and I were pretty hyped for this free admission 4-day event, iArt Fest Manila 2017! Some of the best local artists were set to showcase and exhibit their original artwork at the World Trade Center, ranging from traditional, to digital art, craftwork, and even musical performances! Sadly we didn’t catch the live bands when we were there, but we were able to witness ongoing activities like contest giveaways, capsule classes, demos, on-the-spot painting and digital drawing. Did I mention there’s also food and refreshments?
Participants in the event include Ismael Figueroa Esber, Kristen Uy Ramos, Rick Armando, Baroyskie Arts, Ernilo Germino, Sam Penaso, Mel Araneta, Fredi Agunoy, Joanna Liza, Kuatro Kantos, GWAPINGS NG KOMIKS, SIKLAB, 302B, Levi Batara, Marlon Lucenara, Jo Anna Vocalan, Joemarie Sanclaria Chua, Suicidal Genius, Pilipinas Street Plan, Room One Eleven, Graphic Artist Philippines, TUP-FAD Creatives, Betsin-artparasites, STYLES STROKES & SKETCHES SOCIETY, and Yolkers Collab.
It was a bit late in the afternoon on the second day of the event, but just before office hours ended when we arrived at the venue. Good thing we pre-registered to avoid the long line-ups! Upon registration, instead of an ID or wristband, we were given cards that we can easily just tap on through the entrance and exits throughout the 4 days. Props to the event organizers who thought of this entrance setup. Very convenient!
We were under a bit of a time-constraint because we didn’t want to get caught in the rush hour. Plus, I had a dinner planned with friends later on in the evening and another meet-up with a different circle of friends afterwards, so it was a pretty hectic day for me. Nevertheless, we were able to experience and enjoy this specific event in just the right amount of time!
The first things you’d see upon entering the venue were displays of different clothing, supplements, accessories, etc. that you can purchase. We didn’t pay too much attention to them though because we were hungry for visual stimulation. There was a car show going on simultaneously which was pretty cool too. Nothing too out of the blue, so we went straight to the art exhibits. A great crowd of creative individuals welcomed us. One of the first exhibits we stopped at was the Betsin-ArtParasites‘ where I got to talk to some of the members of their talented team. I’ve followed their well-recognized facebook page for quite some time, so it was great to get some of their insight on their work, face-to-face.
Visual Journey. Walking around, seeing the gallery of artwork and crafts these local artists made, it’s impossible not to get inspired to just create something! My brother and I were visualizing ourselves maybe being an exhibitor someday at an event like this – definitely one on our goals list. We actually went to a similar event not too long ago also in Makati, called Art In The Park at Salcedo Village. The vibes were just as great, the only difference is this exhibit was indoors.
Here’s my brother Sam, at one of the photo exhibits. To this day, it amazes me how people are able to compose and capture visuals of life that are so powerful and enticing. As a photo-hobbyist, I’m always eager to learn how different photographers go about shooting, speciffically street or candid photography.
And here are more paintings – retro style. I really admire traditional painters, like the man I got to talk to behind these pieces of art. Painting, whether acrylic, watercolor, etc. has always been a struggle for me. Though, fun fact: a painting I made back when I was only in pre-school actually made it to the Burnaby Art Museum, back in Canada! Now, if only I continued my interest in painting, maybe I’d be alot better.
Conspired Culture. Another thing I really appreciated, aside from being able to draw inspiration to create with events like this is that, I’m also able to learn about our filipino culture. So much can be said and portrayed with a mere photo, painting, or sketch of an individual. From the artwork I saw, it just proves how rich and vibrant our culture is. Through the artwork, I analyzed patterns that showed how much of an influence other cultures have injected into us, and how it has shaped and enhanced our culture now- something to be proud of. I think each work of art has several different stories worth sharing. It all depends on the way you perceive it.
If you yourself is an artisan, art enthusiast, a photographer, or even an aspiring craftsman who wants to learn more about the artistic local community, then I highly recommend you go to iArt Fest Manila 2017 – the kind of event you’d definitely want to experience!
And of course, when it came time for us to leave, we couldn’t help ourselves but get some sort of souvenirs from the event. As support to the local artists, we purchased a few small things to-go from Yolker’s Collab and Betsin-ArtParasites. It kinda sucks we couldn’t stay longer, or even dropby again during the last days of the event. But we know there will be more art fests to come and we’re already looking forward to them! Lookout, because who knows. We might have our own booth next time! #goalz