The murals that recently opened at the Red Hankie Lane along Rizal Avenue and the Baroto art installation at Eulalia Park near the pier are the fulfillment of the local artists’ dream.
Jonathan Benitez, one of the local artists who headed the project, said that the opening of the Baroto art installation and mural paintings on March 10 for public viewing helps by providing a platform to local artists.
“Yong art installation namin na Baroto at itong mural, malaki ang ginagampanan sa aming karera. Napapansin na ng Manila art scene, marami na ang nagtatanong, nagiging visible na. Salamat sa bigay ng space sa amin, salamat sa bigay ng venue na mabuo ang aming panaginip. Kami ay naniniwala na bilang mga artist, lagi kami naghahabi ng panaginip,” he said.
Benitez said Baroto and the mural art painted at Red Hankie Lane reflect the daily lives of locals and describe the experiences of artists.
He expressed hope that more art patrons and the public in general will continue to support their projects so that they can replicate them in other places in the province.
“Noong nakita na ng mga tao, doon namin nakita na ganoon kalakas ang mensahe ng isang simbolo so, ginamit namin yon na mas mabilis makapasok sa simbolo yong komunidad lalo na at kasama ito sa kanilang araw-araw na buhay,” he said.
Benitez said the Baroto art installation which is nine-feet in height and 25-feet in length is a representation of life in a coastal community.
In February, during the celebration of the National Arts Month, three groups of local artists — the Palawan Arts Collectives, Art on the Move and Guhit Pinas —collaborated in making murals and art installations which are also supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Initial steps on becoming art community
Ceasar Sammy Magbanua, in charge of the provincial government’s Palawan Culture and Arts Program (PCAP), said that unlike other cities such as Baguio which has a strong art base, Palawan still need to enrich its art scene.
“Compared sa other provinces like Baguio for example, we still have a some way to go but with this as a start, I think we can get there eventually. Basta tuloy-tuloy lang ang support ng private sector, ng gobyerno. Gaya ng sabi ni Jonathan, nandyan naman sila kasi ito ang kanilang passion, ito ang buhay nila, anytime we need them, they’re ready to do it,” he said.
Magbanua added that the murals and art installations in Eulalia and Red Hankie Lane were a good platform for local artists to unite despite of differences of groups and ages.
“Napakagandang platform for them and exposure at na-unite natin ang iba’t ibang grupo ng visual artists natin. Hindi naman sa nag-aaway-away sila but ngayon kasi mas nagkaroon ng unity, collaboration, nagkakakilalanan sila ng kakayahan ng bawat isa. Masasabi natin na walang sapawan, inggitan between young and more senior artists,” he said.