Story by Gelyka Dumaraos / Photos by Bernard Supetran
Baguio City’s artists’ haven Tam-awan Village celebrates its 20th anniversary as it pays tribute to local artists’ masterpieces with an art road show.
Entitled Tam-awan @ 20: Celebrating Two Decades of Unwavering Passion for Culture and the Arts, the exhibit showcases the works of over a hundred of local artists from different parts of the country.
In its final leg of the tour, over 55 artworks, all handpicked from the first three phases of the road show, are being exhibited at the Main Lobby of The Bellevue Manila until August 3.
Gretta Apolinar, local artist from Tam-awan Village Artists (TVA) group, said that this exhibition was the largest in terms of series and display area and is in line with Tam-awan Village’s mission to nurture art and spread awareness on the beauty of culture. “By inviting artists from all over the country and even from different art groups, the celebration has achieved its aim to foster unity among artists and underscore the importance of art and culture,” she added.
Moreover, Apolinar said that this served as a venue to drum attention to the fact that the Tam-awan Village is not just a destination to visit, but arts and cultural institution, as well.
In the early part of the road show, the artworks have been displayed at Ayala Museum Artist Space, SM City Baguio and at Tam-awan Village in Pinsao Proper, Baguio City.
The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts supports the 20th anniversary of Tam-awan Village as Baguio City will soon be home to the Bellevue Baguio in 2020.
Tam-awan Village at 20
Founded by Chanum Foundation Inc. in 1998, the Tam-awan Village, which resembles a traditional Cordillera village, is known to be one of the top attractions at the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
With Chit Asignacion, National Artist Ben Cabrera, Solar Artist Jordan Mang-oson, Atty. Nestor Mondok, Anne Camdas-Micheal and Jackson Bryan III as founders, the village is home to preserved Ifugao houses from Banga-an, Ifugao, and a haven for local craftsmen and artists.
According to Chanum Foundation Inc. President Jordan Mang-oson, what was-then a two-hut hangout place fondly called Inuman Village turned into an artist space that highlighted the Cordillera indigenous culture.
“The two-decade-old Tam-awan Village has given opportunities to local artists to showcase their work in its two galleries. And for eight consecutive years, the village has conducted the Tam-awan International Arts Festival and countless art workshops not only in the Philippines but around the world,” he told the BusinessMirror. “There are many changes since Tam-awan Village has been established. It has been a top attraction for local and international tourists even since, one of the prides of Baguio City.”
It also helps that in 2017, Baguio proudly became the first-ever Philippine city to make it to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network list under the crafts and folk art category.
This, Mang-oson said, shall bring in more opportunities, such as frequent exhibitions and workshops, with the support of the local government. He added that as part of the network, the village anticipates more international and local visitors joining the workshops conducted by their resident artists. In fact, various works, including that of Mang-oson’s solar art, have been recently featured in local and international media.
Young artists’ haven
The doors of the village are open to young artists who would like to take on the challenge of continuing what the foundation has started in preserving the Cordillera culture through the arts.
For young painter Jessie Marie Esteban, whose work was also featured in the exhibit, being a new member of the TVA is both a privilege and responsibility.
“Tam-awan Village cares about their members, that is why I want to be part of it,” she says. “Aside from learning from senior artists, I also get to connect with other artists from other places.”
As a budding artist, one of the senior’s advice has helped Esteban define her own artistic style. “I learned from my seniors to paint what I couldn’t say, to articulate the message I want to convey and to make it unique by creating an artwork only I can make.”
As Tam-awan Village turns two decades, Mang-oson believes that members—the old and the new—shall continue to learn and get inspired from each others’ artworks.