February 15, 2009
Arte Kalye @ Bacolod
A few days back, I strolled by San Agustin Extension Road, a small non-descript alley adjacent to Riverside Hospital. The street itself is lined with Bohemian restaurants and Internet cafes mostly catering to college students of nearby San Agustin College and Riverside College. However, for the entire month of February this street gained a twinkle in the city’s eyes.
Arte Kalye was born. I was heartened to see such initiative being done by local artists. Spearheaded by the Art Association of Bacolod with artist like Nunelucio Alvarado at the helm, this month-long festival aims to foster the arts among the masses most especially for the university students. In order to appreciate the arts, one must be immersed in it at the earliest juncture of life for knowing the brushstrokes and the uniqueness of an artist’s oerve takes time and effort. It’s not sufficient to rattle off the names like Alcoseba, Olmedo, and Rubio as if one is reading a litany, but it makes a difference if you learn how to love the strong dark lines of Alvarado or the brash colors of Charlie Co.
Loving art will in turn, spur demand for it because one desires such object. And this seeming demand will jack up the prices not only because the hoi polloi can be able to appreciate the paintings but also the landed gentry and petit bourgeois themselves who have enough disposable cash to buy it. Hence, this festival is an inducement for everyone to be exposed to the local arts in the hope of creating an industry. This was done before. Take a look at the Mabini-del Pilar corridor whose 70s artists like Malang, Ben Cab, Salvador Cabrera, and Buenaventura helped ignite the collecting fever of that era. I hope this happens too in my city. Inducements for demand will create more supply. In turn, this shall benefit the artists. A caveat though: Mauro Malang whose prolific works like tinderas with fishes filled Manila galleries has seen his prices plateaued. That is still a bad dream that will unlikely happen to these Negros painters and sculptors. Right now, they need all the exposure they can get.
And with it, I am planning of making my first investment this coming art sale.