Life ‘n Arts Festival: A celebration of a bountiful harvest of culture, diversity and creativity

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What happens when you transform an Art Fair into a Fiesta? It metamorphoses into something more profound we call an Art Festival. A celebration of a bountiful harvest of culture, diversity and creativity encompassing the traditional and the contemporary form of dance, music, theater, literature, visual arts and other medium of creativity. With this context, over 90,000 individuals had the enriching experience of immersing themselves in the arts at the heart of Laguna this February, widely recognized as Art Month nationwide. 

Bursting with vibrant music, dazzling dance performances, and captivating art exhibits, the Life ‘n Arts Festival pulsated with a spirit of joyful community. This lively celebration, now in its second year (previously known as the Laguna Art Festival), truly lived up to its name, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences that breathed life into art and brought people together. The idea for this festival was inspired by Lerma Julian, who is also marking the 21st founding anniversary of her gallery, Life n’ Arts. 

This three-day celebration was the ultimate dream for every art enthusiast and especially art collectors, as 28 exhibitors and over 300 artists showcased their latest collections. Among the participating galleries were: Life ‘n Arts Gallery, Omvi Gallery, Daloy Likha Art Gallery, Kambal Gallery Hong Kong, Nami Art Gallery, M Gallery, Quadro Art Gallery, Unified Artist Society, FAVA INC. Gallery, Nañola Gallery and Art Natin Gallery. While the works of master artists like Raul Isidro, Al Perez, Juno Galang, Augusto Santiago, Fidel Sarmiento, Jun Rocha, Ram Mallari, Otep Bañez, Dante Enage, Ronald Castrillo, Cameron Castrillo, Emmanuel Nim, and many more were celebrated and became bountiful delight for the eyes and the heart. 

Ballet Performance By Acts Manila With Tr. Johannah Soto
Battle Of The Canvas 2 Winner Shanra Kate Gilongos

To enrich the event further, art workshops and demonstrations were led by master artists such as Fidel Sarmiento, Jun Rocha, Augusto Santiago, and others. Acknowledging that in the arts, skill alone is not enough, art academicians were also invited to deliver a series of art talks and lectures that stimulated participants’ minds and inspired creative processes. These activities provided participants with the opportunity to engage in two learning dimensions: psychomotor skills and a cognitive understanding of art.

The Festival kicked off last February 2, 2024 with the Bear Pouring Workshop, which was led by the Life ‘n Arts’ teachers. Other highlights included the oil pastel demonstration by AAP Maestro Fidel Sarmiento, the bonsai art demo by Richard Tuppil, performances by MMCL Shape, Caritas Don Bosco, and Leah Cortina. This year’s newest addition to the program, the Cosplay Parade and Competition, was also a highlight of the day, leaving the community joyfully celebrating art through cosplay.

Chinkee Tan At Life N Arts Booth

On its second day, February 3, 2024, the Festival started with a crochet workshop led by Teacher Marie Tecson, and a clay sculpting demonstration by Manilito Mondejar. In the afternoon, a polymer workshop was conducted by Playground PH followed by an On-the-Spot portrait of Jun Rocha with Marriannelle Baccay as the live-portrait model. To lighten the day, the Miriam College Music Club serenaded everyone around. The day ended with a Fashion Talk led by the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, followed by a magnificent fashion show featuring the exquisite works of their incredibly talented designers.

Fashion Show In Partnership Fashion Institute Of The Philippines Sta. Rosa Elood Aesthetic Bar

On the final day, February 4, 2024, the festival concluded with a pottery workshop led by Evan Venegas of Ay! Putik Studio. This was followed by an art talk featuring visual artists Jarvie Madronero, Abbey Romina, Yana Ofrasio, and Rommel Rico. Maestro Augusto Santiago also showcased his unparalleled skills with on-the-spot portrait having Maria Thea Judinelle Casuncad as the live portrait model. In the afternoon, the celebration peaked with the Battle of the Canvas 2 On-the-Spot Painting Competition, featuring over 40 participants divided into two categories: artist and student levels. Meanwhile, ACTS Manila dazzled the crowd with impressive ballet performances. The program continued with Mommy Lala’s engaging arts and crafts activity, culminating in closing performances by DLSU-IS SHS, bringing the festival to a memorable end.

Clay Sculpting Demo By Lito Mondejar

The event’s undeniable success was a testament to the strong sense of girl power leadership led by Ms. Lerma Julian and Leah Cortina. Their dynamic leadership was complemented by the combined efforts of Alaire Ann Lazaro and Michaella Cullo from the marketing department, contributing to the event’s seamless execution and remarkable achievements. 

A heartfelt thank you is also extended to the generous sponsors: Liquitex, Winsor and Newton, Abstrak Canvas, East Asia, Pebeo, Franchise Manila, I Heart Art, Pizza Hut, Union Bank and Ash Tech. Additionally, esteemed partners such as Ayala Malls Solenad, National Commission for Culture and Arts, Art Association of the Philippines, City of Sta. Rosa Laguna, Sangguniang Kabataan ng Brgy. Sto. Domingo Sta. Rosa Laguna, Elood Aesthetic Bar, Fashion Institute of the Philippines – Sta. Rosa, Mapúa Malayan Colleges Laguna, Miriam College Nuvali, De La Salle University Integrated School, DLSU College of Business Administration and Accountancy Student Government, St. Scholastica’s College Westgrove, Xavier School Nuvali, ACTS Manila, and The Philippine Star as a media partner, played a pivotal role in making the event more impactful.

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