To be honest, I am surprised (in a really good way) that so many people ask me about art. Every time I post something about #SolennArt or my exhibits, there are always questions about my painting process or if people can see or buy my work. It makes me realize that a lot of us are super interested in art, but not all of us have an outlet to experience it or to create it. That’s why I really feel passionate about sharing art when I can, so I am dedicating this post to tell you about an art hub in Makati called Ugnayan sa Poblacion.
(Watch my experience in the video below!)
Henri Lamy is a French painter and a capoeirista, and he has an art center in France called Taverne Gutenberg, which he set up with his French-Pinay wife Maïa d’Aboville. Ugnayan sa Poblacion is like an international extension of Taverne Gutenberg, and Henri and Maïa set it up to make art accessible to Filipinos, especially to street kids. Henri has actually taught Pinoy kids in Tondo and other places in the Philippines how to paint, and he wants keep this movement growing.
Ugnayan sa Poblacion basically has an open house setup, so you can paint there or just watch other people paint. It’s a great place to try painting if you’ve never give it a chance or to just meet really cool people. Nothing about the place is pretentious or exclusive—you don’t have to be “good” at art to check it out and the vibe makes you want to really experience art and not just stay on your phones or whatever. Every time I go there, I also find myself checking out other cool places in Poblacion like this bar called Polilya and The Apartment, a super cozy place that hosts fun quiz nights.
The ultimate goal of Ugnayan sa Poblacion is to be a Filipino art center that hosts workshops, exhibits, and concerts, and gives free art classes for children. Both Henri and I believe that kids need to be exposed to art to encourage their creativity at an early age. (I actually got a chance to meet some super talented kids through Ugnayan, get to know them in this video.) It would be great if these art hubs can multiply across our country so that there are more experiences for us to encounter than just going through social media or shopping in malls.
If you want to make a donation to Taverne Gutenberg or Ugnayan sa Poblacion, click here. If you want to check out the art of the kids who’ve been creating paintings through Ugnayan, you can visit Alliance Française in Makati and even purchase their art.