The SPOT.ph Guide to Art Galleries in Mandaluyong and San Juan
Aside from SM Megamall.
(SPOT.ph) Believe it or not, SM Megamall in the Ortigas business district houses numerous art galleries on the third floor of Building A. But this list which zooms in on Mandaluyong, and nearby San Juan, won't go into the details of that strip. Instead, we look into lesser known galleries hiding on quiet street corners—from an eccentric art-toy shop to an elegant two-level gallery.
The next time you're in that part of Metro Manila, why not visit the following artistic spaces?
277 Connecticut Street, Greenhills East, Mandaluyong City
Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Friday); from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday)
Established in 2004, Art Informal started out as an artist-run center that houses seminars, workshops, and exhibitions. The gallery was launched two years later which served as a bigger venue for all efforts to promote art education. It has hosted various Filipino contemporary artists, including Zean Cabangis, Jose Tence Ruiz, and Cian Dayrit. Art Informal also actively participates in local and international exhibitions such as Art in the Park, Art Fair Philippines, Art Stage Singapore, and Art Basel Hong Kong.
81 Xavier Street, Unit 203, Greenhillls, San Juan City
Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)
Run by Ron de Castro, The Artologist reflects the owner's deep love for arts and culture and his wife's passion for entrepreneurship. It first found a home along Eisenhower Street in Greenhills when it opened in 2013. Since then, The Artologist has become the haven for new, emerging, and mid-career artists. Some of the creators it has hosted are Karen de Pano Picadizo, Mayu Solano, and Kiks Arnaez.
814 Balagtas Street, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City
Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)
With two galleries at its expense, Art Underground often hosts multi-disciplinary exhibits not only for traditional visual arts, but also for performance, design, fashion, architecture, heritage conservation, and music. Its whitewashed walls on the inside—matched with all-gray walls on the outside—complement the canvasses of various colors, shapes, and styles that it has on display. Some of its frequent art exhibitors are Ciron Señers, Eufemio Rasco, and Katrina Pallon.
371 P. Guevarra Street corner Montessori Lane, San Juan City
Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Saturday); from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday)
Since its establishment in 2002, Galerie Joaquin has been on a mission to "provide quality artworks to its art clientele" with pieces ranging from the masters to contemporary artists. It was also the first Filipino gallery to set up shop in Singapore and one of the pioneers in working with international auction houses like Sotheby's and Borobudur. Galerie Joaquin prides itself on hosting one-man exhibitions by National Artist Arturo Luz, National Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, National Artist Abdul Mari Imao, and Presidential Medal of Merit Juvenal Sanso.
Kulayara Art Gallery
28 Gen. Gutierrez Street, Little Baguio, San Juan City
Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Sunday)
Businesswoman Suzette Ramirez Hernandez entered the Philippines' art scene in 2011 through the Kulayara Art Gallery initially located on Connecticut Street, then along Montessori Lane. The space was on hiatus for two years until it relaunched as a gallery-cafe in May 2016 in a new spot in San Juan's Little Baguio district. Kulayara comes from the Filipino word “kulay” (color) and nothing can be more colorful than looking at the paintings of Filipino artists. Visitors can also enjoy pastries, frappes, and wines at the in-house café, Zette’s.
My Little Art Place
222 Wilson Street, Greenhills, San Juan City
Open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)
More of an art school than a simple gallery, My Little Art Place has become a second home to artists as young as four years old. It has taught more than 700 students since it opened in 2008 and has exhibited the works of soon-to-be Picassos. It has also hosted the works of older and emerging artists like Brendan Goco, Amanda Lapus, and Czarina Yap.
214B Ortega Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City
Open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)
Originally located along P. Gueverra, Metro Gallery provides snapshots and artist renditions of the city through its corner space at Ortega and Burgos. It has previously hosted Pancho Francisco's In Another Place, which looks into three dimensional gardens through two dimensional materials like book pages and glass; Lui Manaig's No One Wants to Hang a Bad Picture, which explores the ever-expanding visual culture of billboards, magazines, and even social media; and Sayid Cedicol's Downward Spiral, which presents the artist's experience as a specialist in emergency medicine.
G/F Ronact Art Center, Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills, San Juan City
Contact: 570-9815 local 7
Open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Tuesday to Saturday); from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday)
Secret Fresh is aptly located on the ground floor of the Ronac Art Center, a cultural hub for street fashion, design and lifestyle, and everything cool. The gallery started in February 2007, when it was still known as Freshmanila, and has since sold vinyl toys, limited-edition art merchandise, and print versions of graffiti. Its monthly exhibits cater to artists not restricted by traditional media such as So Youn Lee, Valerie Chua, and Brian Bernardo.