As local art struggles to be more sustainable during the pandemic, local Cebu artists become more dependent on artist-run initiatives in integrating art to community life.
“The non-reliance on a systematic function of art institutions helped local artists to cope up with the challenges in this time of pandemic,” Jay Nathan Jore, University of the Philippines-Cebu Fine Arts faculty, said during the second day of Alegre 2 – A Webinar Series on Re/Opening Access for Culture and Arts: Arts Management in Time of the Pandemic.
In his talk about “Revitalizing Local Art Communities: Artist-run Spaces and Initiatives in Cebu in Time of the Pandemic,” he admitted that even before the pandemic, there was already a lack of institutional support and patronage for arts.
“Semblance of format art management happens only in sporadic art projects aimed at short-term goals. In Cebu, the local art world system is very much different from other cities — it is a non-gallery system,” he said.
During the pandemic, artists in Cebu rely on initiatives responding to the pandemic through art auction and donation, social media to reach wider audiences, and moving out from city center into provincial towns.
Some of these initiatives that used art in response to the pandemic are the Art to the Front, an online art auction to fund the production of face shields and personal protective equipment of health workers; an inhouse art school for those who are incapable to enrol in formal university studies established by Aroma Art Atelier; and art classes and workshops in Gabriel Abellana’s hometown.
“The non-formal notions of art management has created diversified and interesting efforts, bringing communities together,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ricardo Gianchand Abad from the Ateneo de Manila University, in his talk “Areté in Pandemic Times: Finding Purpose in Repurposing,” shared how the pandemic prompted him to exhaust the availability of online platforms.
“Pivoting from in-person to online programs — it’s giving an avenue or an extent for people to interact online,” he said.
Areté in Motion, a dance and movement workshops series open to the public, allows people to incorporate and stimulate wellness amid the pandemic through online programs and projects.
“Finding a purpose is a pandemic survival strategy for venues and people as well,” he said.
Among the speakers of the webinar includes Ateneo Culture and Arts Cluster (ACAC) moderator Jesus Allaga Montajes, De La Salle University-Manila Culture and Arts Office director Glorife Soberano-Samodio, and National Taipei University of Education Critical and Curatorial Studies of Contemporary Art faculty Lu Pei-Yi.
Alegre 2, a two-day webinar starting last December 7 via Zoom, is the second installment of the Alegre Webinar Series, focusing on arts management in the new normal.