Last February 8, the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) launched five new exhibitions, a first in the history of AAG. These will run during AAG’s 2017 Exhibition Program. The gallery’s Director and Chief Curator, Maria Victoria Herrera, gave the opening remarks and introduced the new exhibitions to the audience.
The first exhibition, Ligalig: Art in a Time of Turmoil, features social realist works spanning across a wide variety of media such as prints, paintings, poetry, and video works. The themes of struggle, oppression, and inequality expressed by the works continue to be relevant to this day. “This is our contribution to the discussion about current issues,” says Herrera. The exhibit will be open until May 27, 2017.
Also present in the gallery is Lines: Pictures and Poems by Jose Garcia Villa, an exhibit in commemoration of Villa’s 20th death anniversary. The side-by-side presentation of his poetry and his artworks notes how even if his passion for literature defined who he was, art still remained an avenue for his self-expression. This will run until August 26, 2017.
The Bellarmine Hall (1960-67) and Print and Drawing Room (1997-2005) are two exhibitions part of AAG in Review, in which the gallery recreates the look and feel of its former space, complete with some of the original furniture and artworks. Former students of the Ateneo, such as Herrera herself, can’t help but feel nostalgia when viewing the exhibit. Through this, students will be aware of the gallery’s past as it prepares for its transfer in the near future. These spaces will be open until May 20, 2017.
Finally, a collaborative project among a group of artists led by Poklong Anading called Shared Residence was launched. Select members of the Ateneo Community will be allowed to temporarily bring home an artwork from the group’s collection. Herrera mentions how this project is more of an experiment in shared ownership, as bringing home an artwork doesn’t only mean caring for it, but caring for a bigger community as well. Further details regarding the project will be announced soon.
The launch became a great way for the gallery to start the year, but it has also become a strong finish for the gallery as they prepare to transfer to Ateneo’s Creative Hub, the Areté, later this year. These exhibits will be among the last few to take space in the Rizal Library, along with #LUZ@90, an ongoing exhibit celebrating the 90th birthday of Arturo Luz which is open until April 8, 2017, and a manga exhibit by the Japan Foundation to be launched later this June.
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Article by Kristoff Sison
Photos by Nikki Dolfo