Dagupan's art scene comes together for the first-ever ‘Anakbanwa’ art exhibit

Published December 9, 2021, 11:12 AM

by John Legaspi

Being surrounded by great bodies of water, the Philippines has been blessed with a bounty of edible gifts from seas and rivers, and among the locals’ favorite is the bangus or milkfish. If you’re an avid bangus-eater, then you would know that the best catch comes from Pangasinan, mainly in Dagupan City. It has been one of the prime products of Dagupan that it has dubbed itself as “World’s Bangus Capital.” But there is more to place and its people than its milkfish production. This time, Dagupan is making its mark in the art world with the first-ever “Anakbanwa” art exhibit.

As the chair of the Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts in the House of Representatives, Congressman Christopher “Toff” de Venecia and “Anakbanwa” put the spotlight on the creatives of the Fourth District of Pangasinan (PD4) to help boost people’s livelihoods and create new tourism opportunities to assist his constituents to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

“The creative industries can be tapped as a tool for economic recovery and development even in the countryside, which is what we are trying to accomplish here in PD4. This is why we always say that #TheFutureIsCreative,” de Venecia explains.

Ongoing Arts Residency in relation to the exhibition

One of those projects is the Anakbanwa Arts Residency, which was launched in November 2021. Three artists from around Luzon, namely, Razel Mari (visual artist and industrial designer), Corinne de San Jose (multimedia artist and sound designer), and Marco Ortiga (fabricator and maker), are currently residing in the district to interact with the community and produce new art inspired by their interactions.

As one of the major outputs of the residency, the artists will be putting up the “Anakbanwa” art exhibition that will run from Dec.10, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022. It will showcase not only the works of the artists in residence, but also of the known local artists in the district, namely, Pope Dalisay, Prince Logan, Jai Hernandez, Rose Felix, Troy Casupanan, Lyantra Pasion, Lorren Dizon, Eduard, and Pochacho Patatas. As an added feature, the exhibition will have on display works made by K-12 Learners from the district who attended workshops that were conducted by the artists in residence a few weeks prior. The exhibit will be curated by Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan, who is also the project director of the Arts Residency, the creative director of Pineapple Lab, and the festival director and founder of the Manila Fringe Festival, a multi-genre international arts festival based in the Philippines.

“Anakbanwa” art exhibition will be held at the MacArthur House, West Central Elementary School 1 Compound, Dagupan City. The structure itself adds value to the experience of exhibit-goers having been constructed in the 1930s originally intended for student use, but later used as the headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur in January 1945 as he prepared to retake Manila.

“Anakbanwa” will be open to scheduled visits from Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Walk-ins will be allowed on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m.

Only visitors who are fully vaccinated are allowed to view the exhibit. Each visitor must present their vaccination card upon registration on-site. Entrance is free for K-12 learners, subject to presentation of their valid student ID. Adults may view the exhibit for ₱50, and PWDs and senior citizens for ₱40. A portion of the proceeds will go to the West Central Elementary School’s capital outlay and maintenance expenses.

To book your visit, please log on to http://bit.ly/Anakbanwa. A guided viewing of the exhibit will be available subject to advanced reservation and payment of an additional fee of P200 per group. Visit the Anakbanwa Facebook page for more information.