I always look forward to Albert Avellana’s opening nights. When I finally turn into the gates of 2680 FB Harrison St., I know that I have not only put the bumper to bumper congestion of EDSA behind me, I have also shed off the strain and stress of my mundane workday. Here, where art hardly ever is mainstream, one never gets visually assaulted. Works are appreciated as they should be, never piled one atop the other like a grade school classroom’s bulletin board of perfectly done math tests.
Albert’s gallery provided the perfect setting for Pandy Aviado, Ambie Abano, Joey Cobcobo, Benjie Torrado Cabrera, Evelyn Collantes, Florencio Concepcion, Noell El Farol, and Eugene Jarque to display the versatility of their printmaking. In the red alcove on the first floor, I loved Pandy’s hanging installation of
clear bottles (Tanduay Rum?) housing tiny prints on paper. Upstairs, both Ambie and Joey show woodblock prints alongside the actual pieces of carved wood, sculpture onto themselves, used to make the imprints. Ambie Abano’s faces have long been a favorite with me. It’s great when Ambie, who is also the President of the Printmakers Association of the Philippines, gets back to what she does best, displaying the talent that landed her the grand prize at the 2006 Philip Morris Philippine Art Awards. Benjie Cabrera, on the other hand, presented delicately engraved acrylic panels, bent and curved to catch light at just the right angles. Printmaking in a most unusual medium.
Another great thing about going to Albert’s: once I’ve had my fill of the exhibit currently on display, his backroom, actually two other houses further inside the compound, can be thoroughly explored and sifted through, frequently yielding treasures from exhibits past. Then there is also Eric Paras’ furniture atelier to visit, with his export line of beds, desks, dining sets, and small knick-knacks, perfect for gifts, spread out over three other houses.
Finally, after my sense of sight has been completely nourished, I naturally gravitate to the side garden of the main gallery. Here, weather permitting, I can sit back and enjoy great conversation as I sip perfectly chilled wine, twirl Albert’s pasta around my fork, jazz or classical music softly playing in the background.
8 Printmakers was exhibited at Avellana Art Gallery from Sept. 3 to 30, 2008. Avellana Art Gallery is at a compound in 2680 FB Harrison St., Pasay City, phone no:(632)833-8357