Gallery Ninety takes its first steps.
Marbee Go and her brother-in-law Aris were not sure what to do with the furniture.
Aris, an architect, had been crafting special pieces from old, recycled, and hard wood that he collected over the years.
When they successfully repurposed the wood, the only problem that remained was the lack of a space to display the newly made furniture.
“Expanding this idea we came to the conclusion that we should instead put up a gallery,” Marbee tells Lifestyle Asia.
House in order
Although the clues might have logically pointed to a warehouse selling housewares, the dream to launch their very own gallery actually started way back in Marbee and Aris’ college days at the University of the Philippines Diliman over two decades ago.
Now, everything has fallen right into place.
The Gos are the same family behind the award-winning G1 Lodge at the top of Baguio’s Session Road. Namely, the central business district landmark was recognized as the Boldest Urban Hotel at the Kohler Bold Design Awards 2017.
Team Go has decided to call their art project Gallery Ninety, in line with Aris’ architecture firm, 90 Design Studio. The numerals 90 also resemble Go, the surname that the people behind Gallery Ninety all share.
The family includes Charis Go, president of Berkeley School Baguio. Incidentally, the educational institution was in the midst of turning itself into an art hub.
Gallery Ninety came at the best possible time, aligning with the school’s plans and strengthening its newfound initiative. Berkeley was the perfect location for the gallery, and so it became.
Raise the roof
Set inside school premises, Gallery Ninety is accessible by appointment only from Tuesdays to Sundays between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Since the gallery is within Berkeley School, it gives students the opportunity to appreciate art and hopefully awaken the artists within them,” Marbee hopes.
The gallery successfully made its launch on March 31. As part of its debut, the art project showcased returning resident artist Virgilio “Pandy” Aviado. Gallery Ninety and its partner Casa Luningning regard him as one of the best printmakers and a pioneer of the medium in the Philippines.
Officially Gallery Ninety’s first exhibit, Aviado’s solo show “Art of Print and Paper: Atelier Aviado Workshop” will run until April 30. The workshop with a fee of P1,800 per person includes materials, 10 pieces of works, food, and a certificate.
“The gallery seeks to develop and display the works of artists who have a connection to Baguio and the Cordilleras as expressed in different mediums. It also seeks to bring artists from other parts of the Philippines to bring the experience and highlight what other artists are doing elsewhere,” Marbee highlights.
This is no coincidence since Baguio was the first Philippine city to be recognized as part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
In fact, Gallery Ninety is planning and already coordinating its collaboration with Baguio-based artists. These include the likes of Michael Rahman de Clarin, Popo San Pascual, and Emmanuel L. Cordova.
“We welcome everyone to join us to build a creative space in Gallery Ninety where we can all showcase our creativity and inspire the light on art within the city of Baguio,” Casa Luningning’s Mara Pardo de Tavera invites.
On top of its exhibits, Gallery Ninety will also conduct art workshops and educational shows. All to inspire and elevate the local art scene.
For now, taking baby steps also means just coordinating shows more consistently throughout 2022 and 2022 for a start.
Art curator, critic, and professor Patrick Flores, meanwhile, has praised the gallery’s unique initiative.
“It is willing to show historical works as well as contemporary expression,” Flores analyzes.
“The body of work is not static, it’s continuing as the artist continues to produce. And the production is seen in the light of earlier works. So it is art history, on the one hand, and contemporary art, on the other. It all happens in one gallery.”
Photos via Marbee Go