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“INTERLINKED: A Contemporary Art Exhibition by Baguio Artists” opened yesterday, November 14, 2020, braving the stormy weather in a fitting cultural rouser to Ibagiw 2020 which opened spiritedly last November 6.
The month-long art exhibit at the Baguio Convention Center is one of the highlights of this year’s Ibagiw Creative City Festival. Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Congressman Mark Go graced the opening of the exhibit, with City Tourism Officer Engr. Alec Mapalo, lead city government supporter, welcoming everyone to the newly refurbished convention center.
Both city officials expressed high hopes that the art exhibit will serve to rouse up the community in raising public morale, while taking active part in re-opening direly affected enterprises, especially those engaged in the creative economy.
“We need to showcase Baguio’s readiness in getting our community life back on track as we continue to traverse this difficult journey into the New Normal,” Mayor Magalong stressed.
Erlyn Ruth Alcantara, curator of the exhibit, describes the collection as creative expressions that “explore the themes of community, collective memory, personal and cultural identity, environmental activism, social commentary, contemporary society, humor and local color.”
It features masterpieces of local Baguio artists that make use of innovative methods and a variety of materials such as “brass sculpture, graphite & charcoal drawing, installation art, mixed media assemblage, repousse, solar pyrography, terra cotta, watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting, woodcut, and others.” All of these works are intended to spark interest and wonder, allowing the artist to connect with the audience and other artists as well.
The exhibit runs from November 14 to December 12, 2020. Alcantara also hopes that the exhibition will serve as a source of inspiration for young and upcoming artists in how to approach subjects and go beyond the usual approach of Cordillera symbols and icons. She adds, “as artists, we must continue to explore concepts, play with fresh ideas, process new as well as historical information, and test the limits of our imagination, not to entertain or impress, but to help make sense of our world from where we are, because failing to do so would render us invisible.”
Simultaneous Ibagiw 2020 Activities
Meantime, artisans and crafters take center stage when their competition pieces for the Crafts Competition will be put on display at the Baguio Convention Center starting yesterday, November 14. An esteemed panel of judges will be conducting the judging for the Crafts Competition in the morning of November 14.
At the same time, woodcarvers who joined the Wood Carving Competition already have their pieces on exhibit at the BenCab Museum in Asin Road. Judging will take place on November 21. Winners for both competitions will be awarded at the Anido Night on November 30.
In a related cultural event, Mandeko Kito 2 will be on its 2nd week on November 13 to 15. Local artisans and crafters will continue to offer and sell innovative products at the UP Oblation grounds at this artisanal market from 9:00 am to 5 pm.
Ibagiw Creative Crawls are also on offer through partner travel operators. These creative and garden crawls are fun and new ways to see both new and old spots in the city, that emphasize the theme of this year’s festival to “Breathe in Baguio,” while following all necessary health and safety protocols. Creative crawls will run on all weekends of November.
Later in the week, Art in the Park will open at the Sunshine Park, featuring a curated collection of artworks with the theme: “There is Still Life.” The collection is a tribute to Philippine flora and its power to heal and become a continuing source of inspiration not only for artists but also for the public. The exhibit is open on November 21-22 and November 28-30.
Ibagiw 2020 is being presented by the Baguio City government, in partnership with the Council for Baguio Creative City, the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. (BACCI), and the University of the Philippines – Baguio.