Announcement, Art, Exhibit, Museum, UP Vargas Museum, West Wing Gallery (Edge)

Reply to the article “A little bit of flexibility”

Two weeks ago, the Vargas Museum sent to Business World through email, fax, and priority post a rejoinder to the article “A little bit of flexibility” by the reporter Sam Marcelo. A significant time has lapsed and the paper has not acknowledged receipt of the letter. In the interest of fairness, the Vargas is posting the same on its website, with reference to the link to the newspaper article. It is still the hope of Vargas that Business World air its side on the same page the museum had been mischaracterized.

8 December 2010

MS ALICIA HERRERA

Associate Editor

Business World

Dear Ms Herrera:

We write to air our side in reference to the article written by Ms Sam Marcelo that appeared in the Arts and Leisure section of Business World on 16 November 2010. In the quotes attributed to Mr Norberto Roldan and Mr Steve Eland, the Vargas Museum is portrayed as demonstrating lack of flexibility with regard to contemporary art projects, a conclusion they formed based on their experience with the museum through the Immemorial project they organized at the Vargas. Had Ms Marcelo asked for our take on the matter, we would have explained to her that the Vargas Museum has always been open to the logistical requirements of contemporary art. We also know full well that these demands and the creative process are not separate. Thus as an institution, we patiently try to mediate between museum policy and the exigencies of current expression. It will be in bad form to belabor the details of this mediation in your paper. But we would like to state that the museum was never remiss in advising the organizers about the rules of engagement with the space at the outset and that we could only allow for so much improvisation given our limited resources for upkeep. We imagined that a sensitive curatorial approach would have been able to work around these creative constraints. Unfortunately, it seems that both Mr Roldan and Mr Eland have failed to appreciate the delicacy of this balance all together and think that if things do not go their way, the museum infringes on artistic options. What dismays us the most is Mr Eland’s rather impolitic and uncharitable comment, coming as it does from a visitor to the local art scene with scant knowledge of its contexts, that if the Vargas were truly “serious” in being a contemporary art space, it should “learn a little flexibility.” The museum has had its share of contemporary art projects in its premises, many of which have been logistically and conceptually challenging as your reporter might herself confirm. We were able to stage them without much conflict with artists and organizers who were judicious, sensible, diligent, collegial, decent, competent, and most of all responsible. Running a university art museum with a colonial and modern art collection and contemporary art spaces is not without its difficulties. Maintaining its infrastructure over time and simultaneously addressing the necessities of contemporary art can, indeed, be tough and tricky. We take this latitude “seriously.”

We hope that this letter has clarified our position.

Thank you very much.

With collegial regards,

(signed)

Patrick D. Flores

Curator

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About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.

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We open Tumba Tumba Children's Museum of Philippine Art by CANVAS on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 4pm. The reception is open to the public. For details, go to our Facebook event page of the project.
Bridges: Mariano Ponce & Jorge Vargas In cooperation with Pambayang Museo ng Baliwag 3F Sensorium, UP Vargas Museum Exhibition Run: 20 June to 27 July 2018 Public Reception: 26 June, Tuesday at 4pm "Bridges: Mariano Ponce & Jorge Vargas" looks into the lives of #MarianoPonce and #JorgeVargas, who both served as representatives of the #Philippinegovernment to Japan in times of uncertainty and turmoil. Ponce was sent as an emissary to Japan in 1898 to explore the #Japanese government’s position in the #UnitedStatesofAmerica’s colonization of the Philippines and impending political power over Asia in the late 19th century, while Vargas, whose position as the Executive Secretary of the #Commonwealth Period made it imperative for him to stay in the country, was sent to Japan as an ambassador in 1943 when the first Philippine Embassy in Japan was established. The exhibition explores the political roles of these two #diplomats during tumultuous times as the Philippines built its sense of nationhood, and sought its independence in light of different forces amidst newly-established governments. "Bridges: Mariano Ponce & Jorge Vargas" will engage the younger audience through its interactive and tactile activities in order to draw the youth to the relevance of history and the creation of a collective identity. This exhibition is part of the year-long programs of the Municipality of #Baliwag and Museo ng Baliwag for the 100th Death Anniversary of Mariano Ponce. Museo ng Baliwag was established in 2017 by the Municipality of Baliwag through the efforts of Mayor Ferdinand V. Estrella to promote and preserve the history, arts, and culture of Baliwag. It serves as the Arts, Culture and Heritage Office of the Municipality that creates and implements programs relating to the promotion, conservation, and cultivation of Baliwag’s historic, artistic, and cultural traditions. For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), (+632) 928-1925 (fax) or send an email to vargasmuseum@gmail.com.
First LAWAS Public Art collateral event at the UP Vargas Museum Grounds and CAL Lawn on Wednesday, 13 June: Encounters: Performance by Ea Torrado Open to the public | Info: lawaspublicart@gmail.com, 981-8500 loc. 2659/2660 Developed around Agnes Arellano’s suite of goddess sculptures Dakini, Innana, Kali and Magdalene, "Encounters" explores dualities of human existence and is rooted in Ea Torrado’s exploration of dance as emancipatory ritual. In it, dancers descend into the depths of being with the body as channel for the divine. The encounter is coming together of corporal flesh and greater divinity. Agnes Arellano’s goddesses remind us to be rooted - perhaps, that which we frantically seek is in all of us. Choreographer Ea Torrado is the recipient of Alvin Erasga Tolentino Koryograpiya Award in 2014, Remedios De Oteyza Choreography Award in 2016 and Asian Cultural Council Grant in 2017. Her creations manifest in choreographies, film, installation, site-specific work, and improvisational performance. She is the Artistic Director of Daloy Dance Company. Daloy Dance Company interweaves dance, theatre and improvisation to create daring and evocative contemporary dance. Since its establishment in 2014, Daloy has made waves in the Manila art scene with critically acclaimed and exceptionally varied body of work. With its strong collaborative thrust, the company has worked with notable visual artists in various museums and galleries in the Philippines, and has enjoyed diverse audiences and performed in a range of dance and art festivals locally and abroad in Japan, Thailand, Korea and USA. LAWAS Public Art runs until August 2018.
The first session of the 2018 Art Workshops by Fernando B. Sena at the UP Vargas Museum Basement resumes on 23 June. Registration is ongoing. The workshops are for kids (8+), teens, and adults. Mr. Sena teaches painting, drawing, still life, portraiture, landscape, and figures. Schedule: 9-11:30am, eight Saturdays For details, please contact Mr. Sena at 376-2196 or 0918-951-9989 or Vargas Museum (Glenn/Linda) at 928-1927 during office hours.
Tumba Tumba Children’s Museum of Philippine Art A Proof of Concept Exhibit CANVAS - Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development 19 June to 27 July 2018 1F and 3F Galleries UP Vargas Museum UP Vargas Museum, in cooperation with The Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (CANVAS) and with support from Panta Rhea Foundation and Blanc Gallery, presents Tumba Tumba Children’s Museum of Philippine Art on 19 June, Tuesday, 4pm at the 1F and 3F Galleries of the museum. Tumba Tumba Children’s Museum of Philippine Art is CANVAS’ proof of concept exhibit that transforms the Vargas Museum into a study of an actual operating children’s museum complete with a museum shop. Three new books that will also be launching during the exhibition reception (Ipapasyal Namin si Lolo written by Genaro Gojo Cruz and illustrated by Arvi Fetalvero, Ang Aklatang Pusa written by Eugene Evasco and illustrated by Jared Yokte, and Renato Barja’s Children’s Stories, a catalogue based on painter-sculptor Jojo Barja’s art and notes from the stories he gathered from children during his trips) will have dedicated sections that cater to interactive spaces for children. Abubot, a special show made possible with partnership with Resurrection Furniture, will be part of the exhibition. It will feature art works made out of found objects by participating artists such as Aze Ong, Sergio Bumatay III, Art Sanchez, Renz Baluyot, Liza Flores, and more. Interactive installations by Elmer Borlongan, Pam Yan Santos, and Daniel dela Cruz, two murals by Archie Oclos, and a rainbow installation and a scale model presentation of the future site of CANVAS’ Children’s Museum of Philippine Art by the architectural firm Arkisens will also be showcased in the exhibition.
SCHEDULE ADVISORY: The galleries will be closed next week for ingress and renovation. Our offices and library will also be closed on Tuesday, 12 June (Philippine Independence Day) and Friday, 15 June (Eid'l Fitr: Feast of Ramadan). For information, please call 981-8500 local 4024 during office hours.

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