If you still can’t decide whether you’re spending your Sunday in bed bingeing on Netflix or going to the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village for this year’s one-day-only Art in the Park, the art works in this feature might finally convince you to go for the latter. We asked people who’ve been to the annual art sale—now on its 13th year—to show us the treasures they’ve unearthed over the years.
The Art in the Park is famous for offering local art in all manner of styles but at very friendly prices—nothing here is above P50,000. It's just the friendliest deal especially to beginning collectors. Going through the images sent to us the past few days, by people who have been to Art in the Park many times, it’s hard to believe we’ve never given Art in the Park a chance ourselves. Listening to these art buyers dispense tips on navigating the fair, however, we think we’re finally ready to pop our Art in the Perk cherries this Sunday at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Makati.
Jose Moreno, money manager, triathlete and golfer
I’ve probably been attending for about 8 to 10 years now and look forward to it every year. The excitement at the entrance gate seconds before the fair opens is indescribable. You can feel the tension of everyone beside you as they wait for the guards to let you all in. Everyone is there with a different objective and strategy. It reminds me of the starting line of a run or triathlon race where tensions are high.
I would have to say my most memorable piece from AIP is probably an old Jason Montinola I found from one of my favorite galleries a few years back. I’ll never forget it since it was late In the afternoon after all the art hunters and scavengers had already ransacked the entire fair. I just happened to pass by their booth again for the nth time and, lo and behold, in a small box in the corner I found a beautiful portrait by Jason. Best part was it was a total steal. It was a nice end piece for that eventful Sunday. And one I’ll never forget.
I have many tips for first time AIP goers:
Set a budget for yourself or a spending limit so as you don’t get carried away and try your best not to spend more than you are willing to. It’s easy to get carried away because there are so many good works at relatively low prices, and in the recent years AIP has tied up with BPI—this allows to pay for your pieces thru installment at 0% interest. So you can see how easy it is to rack up a super high bill.
Come early to get the best finds. Throughout the years there have been many new keen and sharp collectors coming to the fair who know exactly where they want to go and know which artists they would like to target. Coming early gives you that extra edge to ensure you secure that piece by that next National Artist.
Bring some water, wear comfortable cool clothing and perhaps a hat and shades as you navigate the fair. The hunt can get intense at times and sometimes the afternoon heat can get to you.
A week or so before the fair, do your homework. Get to know the galleries and the artists that they represent and make a list of what you like. Study the park map so it will be easy for you to navigate your way across the park, targeting first the galleries that you like as well as the artists that you desire.
Try to come to the park more than once on that Sunday or stick around the whole day. The galleries tend to get more deliveries as the day progresses to replenish their sold stocks. So the next big find might show up late in the afternoon. You’ll never know.
Most importantly, have fun. The atmosphere and vibe is a fun one so enjoy your day at the park taking time to talk to gallery owners, artists and other collectors to understand the art deeper. It should be one of the best Sundays for art in Manila so it would be nice just to be part of it.
A Collector Who Requested Not To Be Identified
“Buy art because you really like the work. One must enjoy the hunt. And every piece you buy should have a connection to you. To the point that you cannot even think of giving it up in the future! But first and foremost, study the art scene and do your homework. Visit galleries, attend art fairs and exhibits, and talk to the artists and collectors.”
Bea Ledesma, publisher
ANCX: Who is the artist and what drew you to it?
BL: I enjoy portraits. This is by Miano (that’s the signature on the painting at least).
ANCX: Do you go to art in the park every year?
BL: Yes, pretty much. Combines my two favorite things: open air activities and shopping.
ANCX: What’s your tip to a first timer at Art in the Park?
BL: Wear a hat.
Pepper Teehankee, columnist
I only missed one AITP. The first one. I was abroad. I saw this Olan painting and thought it was a photograph. I had no idea who Olan was at that time but got it since it was too realistic. It was "Burn to Death" number one. I'm still looking for number two.
Dr. Bing Fernandez
All of the works of Geraldine Javier, Mark Justiniani, Daniel dela Cruz here I got from AITP. They were great finds and it was like the artists giving back to their loyal followers. I am so happy with the starting artists I discovered in AITP who are now making good like Henrielle, Ayka Go, Bea Alcala, Nix Pinto, JulieAnne Ng, and Pope Bacay. [I have been going] For almost 5-6 years na. I ask the galleries who the artists they are bringing and if I like the lineup, I reserve then prioritize going to them to get the art works. It was more fun in the earlier AITP. It was more laid back, [there was] more socializing, more time to appreciate the art pieces—unlike now when it’s a frenzy and like a race to get the art pieces.
Click on the arrows below for slideshow
Toto Salgado, collector
I was absent for the last three Art in the Parks because I was either abroad or cannot stand the heat. I have two Jigger drawings I got for Php 6k lang. Bond paper size only.
What drew me to it? It’s the spontaneity of the pentel pen drawing. Number of times I visited? Around four times. Sorry but it’s kinda not affordable anymore. And galleries resort to preselling which is not fair for new collectors.
Yorkie Gomez, banker
I only missed AIP once as I was in the US on a business trip. What attracts me to the artworks? Hmmm..it must grab me. You sometimes get this feeling you must get it at all cost. There are many factors that come into play...artist’s concept, its significance, play of colors, its simplicity or complexity, the mystery behind the work, the emotional impact, price, etc. Ultimately, there is this personal bond between me and the art piece. I don’t really care whether others like it or not. What is important is that I am happy with the piece.
Special thanks to Dindin Araneta