May 07 2020

Manila Museum Invites Covid-19 Responses

by Charmaine Kong

Exterior view of Ateneo Art Gallery at Ateneo de Manila University via Wikimedia Commons

The Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) of the Ateneo de Manila University is supporting the local art community through hardships of Covid-19 with its Ateneo Art Gallery – Marciano Galang Acquisition Prize Program (AAG-MGAP), themed around the pandemic and open to Filipino artists aged 18 years or above. 

Centered around ideas of the “new normal,” applicants have been asked to submit up to two artworks that showcase both the ups and downs of the current times—of a life in quarantine, fund raising initiatives and government relief packages, and tireless efforts from medical and other front liner workers. Mediums are restricted to works on paper in a return to simplicity, in the form of paintings, collages, photographs, original fine prints, drawings, or mixed-media. Digital art, however, is not accepted. 

Entries for submission, which ends on June 14, will be judged by a panel of jurors who will select at least 50 artworks to be exhibited at the AAG at a later time, with PHP 5,000 (USD 100) awarded to each successful candidate. Among these, 12 pieces will be acquired by AAG as part of its permanent collection, with an additional PHP 15,000 (USD 290) to be conferred to each artist. Two further works will be purchased by the Embassy of Italy, who supports the program, through ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino.  

The program is named after the late Filipino painter Marciano Galang (1945–2001), whose oil-on-canvas and assemblage of found objects, Cavite (1964)—which includes a can, wallet, shoe, and burlap—was the first work acquired through the Fernando Zóbel’s Purchase Fund. The fund, which allows AAG to purchase works by local talents, was established by the late Filipino-Spanish painter and scholar Fernando Zóbel de Ayala (1924–84), whose bequeathed personal collection of post-war Filipino art founded AAG in 1960.   

AAG remains closed due to preventive measures, and its 2020 edition of the annual Ateneo Art Awards (AAA) was canceled on April 16, and will resume in 2021. 

Charmaine Kong is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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SOTHEBY'S David Zwirner 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Artspace Massimo de Carlo