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The artists have arrived for this annual one-day event
Every year, the quaint park of Salcedo Village in Makati is transformed into the mecca of all Filipino artists. Amateurs, professionals, galleries, foundations all converge in this one spot to celebrate all things artsy and creative. On this day, March 23, 2014 the annual Art in the Park once again blossoms into life with a host of new artists and galleries vying for the public’s eye.

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Wednesday Addams in a very rosy atmosphere
In the past, my two eldest sisters have been flocking to Salcedo Park’s Art in the Park event. Every year, I always try to join them, but in the end, I usually don’t go since I am either too lazy or too busy to come. However, this year being special, I decided that I wouldn’t pass up the chance to see what the event is all about. With my brother, sister and Tricia, we ventured inside the park to see what was in store for us.

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The mecca of the Philippine art scene
Even before entering the park, the flurry of activity is evident, the rich and moneyed, the young and the old, Filipinos and foreigners alike have come to converge into this area. Those living in the nearby condominiums are seen coming to and fro with their latest purchases from the park itself. A sure sign that there is good art and maybe a lot of surprises in store for the casual and first time visitor.

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Something new
True enough, the park itself holds many surprises, each stall holding up a promise of an interesting find. There were many varied forms of paintings, prints and woodcuts for the casual goer. Works made by the classical and renaissance masters adapted into the modern form, esoteric splashes of paint, abstract figures and forms, deeply and pseudo religious woodcuts, nudes abound in all their weird contortionist poses, graffiti style art and sculptures for the more modern visitor are all here, nothing is left to chance given the wide variety of visitors and their varied tastes.

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Very nationalistic

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Watercolor on a sketchpad (Php. 1,000)
All of the items on display has a price, it’s all just a matter of finding one that can fit your budget or at least your car. Now being the not-so patient type, my browsing was limited to what was displayed on the shelves and on the walls, but for the real art and bargain hunter the paintings inside the bins that have been set aside may hold more surprises.

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Interesting take on advertisements

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Have your caricatures done in 3 minutes (Php. 200/piece)
On the other hand, Tricia and I, resolved ourselves to browsing and appreciating the different art pieces on display. But we also didn’t come home empty-handed, we managed to secure a speed caricature of ourselves in Old Manila/Fernando Amorsolo themed costumes. It was a fun experience, considering my last caricature was in Central Park, New York back in 1997 and what made it more memorable was the fact that I didn’t have to sit still for the caricature.

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Larger print is pegged at Php. 1,000. Smaller print/postcard at Php. 100 each

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The allure of finding bargain art pieces really invites a lot of people to come join the event. Compared to the Weekend Market/Art in the Park at the Greenfield District, artists both amateur and professional are really well represented here. Each stall has taken their own spot in the bargain hunting battlefield and each artist has brought out their best business acumen to try and sell the works that they have spent months and years working on. Seeing all of these artists converge in one area makes for an interesting scene, there is talk, there is pride, there is a sense of excitement when people come visit their stall or look at their works.

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In this merry month of March, I have been able to visit two Art in the Parks. The first one at the Greenfield District and the second one, today at Salcedo. Now for many years, the Art in the Park event in Salcedo park has been the standard for such events, marketing itself as the go-to and affordable place to buy art once a year. Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but even my sister has come to agree with some of my observations, that of late, this Art in the Park no longer seems to be the place for affordable art pieces. I understand perfectly that it is hard eking out a living on paintings and sculptures alone, but for the casual visitor and maybe future art connoisseur, the prices are too steep with some of the cheapest coming in at Php 1,000 and the highest ranging around Php 25,000 and maybe more. Well I guess these are just my thoughts for a first time visitor, but I hope that just because it’s in a swanky part of the Metro doesn’t mean that the prices of some pieces should be the same. Anyway those are my thoughts and I will still continue visiting this annual affair, I might just get lucky one of these days.

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Art in the Park is a one-day annual art event held usually on one weekend in March at the Salcedo Park in Makati. 
For more information and for future schedules check out the Art in the Park Facebook page here or visit their website here.
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