Published: Philstar.com, August 24, 2018
MANILA, Philippines — ArteFino returns to 8 Rockwell from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. Now four days long, the fair promises a new shopping experience with new offerings focused on the theme, “Local is the new international.” International quality, supporting local entrepreneurship and showcasing artisanal art are the key elements of ArteFino.
Organized and curated by Cedie Lopez-Vargas, Susie Quiros, Marimel Francisco, Maritess Pineda and Armita Rufino, this artisan fair highlights the finest in the Filipino. Over 100 selected retailers join the collective as it gears up to bring unique offerings that sometimes are only available to the overseas buyer, or simply have no venue to be presented locally.
This year, ArteFino presents Pamana, a heritage campaign that focuses on the ethos of ArteFino, culture and tradition. Culture as it embraces the best of the Filipino spirit in the form of wearable and usable art; tradition as it brings importance of these art forms that are lost over time. The perspective of the founders of ArteFino is to provide a nexus of craft and heart — keeping Filipino consciousness alive in every item created for the fair.
In a series of photographs, Pamana captures families and individuals who are proud of their heritage, and in a sense live and wear Filipino in their beings. Hence, the Pamana campaign captures moments that show how great a nation we are and can be. The future of the nation remains in the fiber of every weave, and the handiwork of each element, from generation to generation.
ArteFino also continues to support local communities with the HeArteFino Development Program. This year, the program is devoting its efforts to supporting living traditions that may be lost as the generations that follow these living artists decide to devote their careers to modern day living.
“HeArteFino is the soul of ArteFino. Funds raised from the fair sustain this program, wherein we collaborate with a chosen designer to give assistance to a particular community — through a product-development project simultaneous with a capacity-building arm, giving them items they need in order to improve their craft and livelihood, such as sewing machines, in the case of Bagobos,” says ArteFino co-founder Marimel Francisco.
Zarah Juan, the first grantee, put her design efforts into working with the Bagobo Tagabawa Community in Mindanao. Scenographer and internationally acclaimed production designer Gino Gonzales joins ArteFino this year to curate a central setting. His insight into design and attention to detail will add a new facet to this year’s edition.
Monchet Diokno Olives, the rakish fan man in ArteFino, makes his debut curating The Barracks by ArteFino, bringing the art of manliness to the fair with a selection of mens accessories and clothing in the ArteFino ethos. “In the period of pop-ups and capsule collections, ArteFino provides direction in helping create concepts and designs that will be integral into the look of our products. The growth of my small business can be attributed to ArteFino,” notes Kyla Olives of The Olive Tree.
“We are working closely with our vendors to see where we can support them. Many of them we have seen evolve. We want to keep growing. Our hope is that we can inject many of our traditions in different areas of craft, art and dining, into the mix. We want to push the movement of being truly proud of what we can do as Filipinos — wear it not just in our soul, but in all that we do,” says ArteFino co-founder Susie Quiros.
The fair returns to Rockwell again and considers the community its home. Rockwell has also evolved as a stalwart of Filipino ingenuity and entrepreneurship, capturing Filipino elements in their developments. The boutique community concept of its enclaves is a testament to their commitment to serving the Filipino lifestyle, as well as capturing its essence.
Like Rockwell, ArteFino promises to capture the vibrancy of the Filipino artisan. Stories unfold as vendors experiment and develop products for a collection that complements the changing Filipino lifestyle.