Saturday, January 17, 2009

Art in Site Magazine to launch at the Ayala Museum

MANILA, Philippines – January 12, 2009. On Saturday, January 17, Manila's arts aficionados and patrons will be welcomed to a special reception at the Ayala Museum to announce the publication of the inaugural issue of Art in Site Magazine. The quarterly publication will be produced in Manila and distributed in the Philippines and the U.S. It is envisioned to be a leading resource for, by and about Filipino artists filled with insightful and engaging articles relating to the arts in all its forms to incite a renaissance of sorts—a rekindled interest in local art, artists, and a renewed sense of pride to be Filipino.

Art in Site Magazine is not just another arts magazine. Its history and unique vision are as remarkable as the people behind its creation. Patricia Laurel, editor of the magazine has the qualifications and pedigree: great-grand niece of national hero Jose Rizal; educated in Germany and the United States; writing credentials with European Stars and Stripes and Associated Press in the United States. Under Laurel's leadership, Art in Site Magazine was conceived under the banner of a Cooperative for Artists in the Philippines and the U.S. as a way to connect a growing international community of artists of Filipino descent.

In every issue of Art in Site Magazine, a special article will be devoted to an update on the Cooperative's ultimate goal — the establishment of the Manila Center for the Arts. The Center will be a physical structure that can be the hub for artistic development, exhibition and study; a nurturing home for Filipino artists, arts educators, and students to convene. Patterned after the highly successful San Francisco Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the plans include a Center School for young artists, state-of-the-art performance and exhibition spaces for small audiences, the provision of legal and practical services for the artistic community, and advocacy programs to increase government and private support of the arts in all of its forms.

"The idea to publish a culture and the arts magazine was the result of a number of rejections that I experienced as a writer," says Laurel. "The first rejection was the sudden death of the first book in my trilogy of Young Adult Fiction. The book was first published in the Philippines. A few media appearances and talks, but it didn't pan out." Unhindered, Laurel continued to write.

The second rejection was the eye-opener: Laurel had just finished her second book manuscript and was in a celebratory mood. She rushed to a nearby confectionery store in Honolulu to purchase and devour her favorite creamy, dark chocolate caramel squares. The courteous, young man behind the counter looked like a 'kababayan' and was asked if he was Filipino. The reply he gave was a resounding, "unfortunately." He realized what he said and apologized after seeing the reaction to his single remark.

The Cooperative for Artists, through Art in Site Magazine and eventually through the Manila Center for the Arts, will showcase and promote the Filipino's unique and brilliant artistic talent, our vast and distinct cultural heritage; to impart knowledge through culture and the arts to our youth; to interpret, entertain and invite dialogue and provide food for thought. It will provide coverage and insightful treatment of Filipino artists and writers—in the Philippines and abroad— and an intelligent perspective on our own history distinct culture, and aspirations for the future.

The design of the inaugural issue of Art in Site Magazine reflects its cooperative structure and approach. An international "Design a Cover Project" attracted more than 1700 entries from Filipino artists around the world. These entries will be on display at the launching reception on January 17.

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