Art exhibits, too bounce back

As various sectors are slowly recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, the government is now training its eyes on revitalizing the creative industry.

In the Philippines, the creative industry includes a wide array of subsectors including advertising, animation, architecture, broadcast arts, crafts, culinary arts, cultural/heritage activities, design, film, literature, music, new media, performing arts, publishing and visual arts.

The operation of these subsectors was shut down after the state of national health emergency was declared by then President Rodrigo Duterte, leaving them in limbo on how to sustain their daily needs.

The biggest blow of the pandemic is on artists that depend on their craft to earn a living, particularly painters who count on art exhibits, among other activities, which were prohibited by the government during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.

Artist Vanessa Bautista said she is somehow thankful for the pandemic being the catalyst to pursue her dream, of taking arts seriously and loving it, as she had the luxury of time to produce more art pieces.

“I realized that the pandemic isn’t that bad for me to embrace what I really want. The pandemic has even taught me how I can hone my talent,” she said.

Now, Bautista is pursuing it professionally, especially now that all exhibits are in full swing. The creative industry is now bouncing back and starting to revert to its development path.

On 19 August, ArtisteSpace Inc. unraveled amazing art pieces by visual artist Bautista in the opening of the “Unravel in Circles” solo show at Unimart Capitol Commons in Pasig City.

Featuring over 20 abstract paintings, Unravel in Circles is the first solo gallery exhibition of Bautista, a graduate of Assumption College in Makati with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

But with her innate craftsmanship as a painter showcasing her inceptive love for abstraction, she is now a full-time artist after taking early retirement from the corporate world that she was a part of for 12 years.

Vanessa’s “Unravel in Circles” exhibit highlights her evolving style of towers and cathedral-like figures in different colors and the circle shape as her distinctive mark.

Her penchant for abstraction and personality is embodied in each of the featured artworks.

“I hope that through my art I will be able to inspire people to stay positive despite life’s challenges,” said Bautista, whose interest in art started at a young age.

The launch of the exhibit marks ArtisteSpace’s commitment to supporting world-class Filipino talents and fostering the advancement of the local arts and culture industry.

“ArtisteSpace’s Art Gallery is one of the many venues we have in place for known and rising talents from the local and international visual art community. We also have our traveling exhibits through ArtisteSpace’s The Artisan Market and the ArtisteSpace online gallery,” said ArtisteSpace managing director Anton Magpantay.

“Our goal is to make art more accessible to the people and provide more opportunities for the local artists,” he added.

Government support

The growth of the creative industry earned the Marcos administration’s backing, as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in his first State of the Nation Address, said he will go all the way to support the promotion and development of the country’s creative industries and recognize the country’s pool of talents and the sector’s potential to create more job opportunities.

Marcos Jr. said his tenure will require an institutionalized creative industry that will advance the interests of its stakeholders, as they are the ones who give soul to the Filipino identity, that’s why they should be protected.

On 27 July, Republic Act 11904, or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act lapsed into law, which was seen by the government as aiding the creative industry sector to flourish and set the country as the number one creative economy in Asia.

The law’s principal sponsor, Pangasinan 4th district Representative Christopher de Venecia, said the law will make Philippine creative industries develop into something that is globally competitive, being the sector that has managed to survive and even thrive on its own, “but with institutionalized support from the state, it will help the creative industry sector grow and accelerate to the point where we want it to be, which is by 2030, the Philippines will be the number one creative economy in all of Asia.”

Even the Department of Trade and Industry, headed by Secretary Alfredo Pascual, believed that the creative industries will play a vital role in the economic recovery.

Pascual, during the Creative Futures 2022 conference this month, said the pandemic brought adverse impacts in terms of operation, jobs, and income in the creative industries.

“DTI previously estimated that the pandemic cost the local creative industries 90 percent of their revenue. Approximately 61 percent of arts and entertainment companies ceased operations, and more than one-fifth of these businesses were permanently closed,” he said.

Programs and policies, he said, are in place to help in the development of the local creative industries.

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