Art Galleries in Baguio. A UNESCO Creative City

Art Galleries are places you shouldn’t skip when visiting Baguio City. The city already boasts artistic spots, but if you want to revel in a place with the most artworks, you’ll have to find an art gallery. Baguio, in 2017 joined the ranks of 246 cities in the entire world as a UNESCO creative city under the Crafts and Folk Art category. Baguio is overflowing with art creatives, being named as a creative city heightened the local artists and pushed them to be more involved in the art scene. But even before the title, Baguio has always been a venue for art. Thanks to the title, the artists are experiencing the recognition they deserve more than what they received before. One thing is constant though, the artists in Baguio are and will always be humble and talented folks.

Baguio City gets tons of visitors per year, and exploring art is almost always on their itinerary. If not as an audience, people come here aspiring to join the circle of artists either as a student or to feature their works. Naturally, they will look for an art gallery to begin their hunt for art. You don’t have to search afar. We would love to be part of your art journey. So here is a list of art galleries and business establishments in Baguio City curating artworks.

Ben Cab Museum

Located in Asin Road, a 15 minutes drive away from the city. The museum houses the biggest art collection on public display in Baguio. It belongs to Benedicto Cabrera, a.ka. Ben Cab, hailed National Artist for Visual Arts since 2006. Marvel in different floor levels of artworks showcasing various forms of art from canvas paintings to sculptures, and woodworking pieces. It includes Ben Cab’s personal art collection from other masters, his early works, and other prominent artists’ masterpieces up for sale. The museum itself is a work of art built on a hill with an exquisite mountainous view and a garden pond within museum grounds. 

Artist Proposal: Write a letter of intent to the management and submit your artist portfolio. Keeping it real, this is not a place for beginning artists, since it is a prominent gallery after all. All proposals will go through a proper evaluation. For more information, go to their website or personally inquire at their front desk.  

Arko Ni Apo

Right across Tam-Awan village is another hidden gem, Arko Ni Apo. This gallery was established by the late notable sculptor Ben Hur Villanueva, a.k.a Ben-hur Young. It is now managed by his son, a renowned visual artist, Bumbo Villanueva, a.k.a Ben-hur the Younger and his family. If you’re a fan of sculptures, then this is an art gallery you must not miss in your Baguio tour. You will also find canvas paintings and other forms of art on display in this family-owned art gallery.

Artist Proposals: They will soon open their gallery to other artists to have a show in Apo Ni Arko. Check their website or Facebook for any updates on this.

Baguio City Museum

This museum is owned by the city government of Baguio. It is home to an elaborate collection of historical pieces of cordillera artifacts. It is a great place for academic resources and valuable historical education. A cornerstone foundation for Cordillera artists, they regularly open their hall for art exhibits encouraging local artists to join.

Artist Proposal: Submit a letter of intent together with your artist portfolio in person. Go to their website for updates on their events.

Darnay Demetillo Artist Space (DDAS)

Formally opened in December of 2017, this art gallery is named after a respected art professor, the late Darnay Demetillo. Strategically linked to the classrooms, it is a gallery made for the students to showcase their artworks, in place of the old showroom Galleria, where the new Museo Kordilyera now stands. You will love the style of this art gallery. It has beautiful natural lighting, and the architecture of the place is stunning! The exterior finishing is made of wood to match the Museo Kordilyera ethnographic museum, which is also inside UP Baguio. The Darnay Demetillo Art Space is open to the public with no entrance fees, plus you might be able to explore the school grounds and reminisce on how it feels like to be a student again. 

While you’re here, discover the Museo Kordilyera ethnographic museum for a deep understanding of the culture, customs, habits, and lifestyle of the different groups of Cordillera people. Their displays are legitimate, and the condition of it is superb!

Artist Proposal: Open to Fine Arts students, alumni, and Faculty organized exhibits. Submit a letter of intent to the College of Arts and Communication (CAC) Fine Arts faculty  together with your artist portfolio in person.

Bookends Bookshop

Found in T. Claudio St., is not your typical bookshop. It is quite easy to find them, follow the trail of graffiti-covered stores going down session road, and you’ll be in the right direction. This book store is truly a book lovers treasure trove. Here you will find reads for all ages and interests. They have children’s books, comic books, religious and biblical finds, science, accounting, cookbooks, New York Times bestseller reads, name it. They restock shelves almost weekly! They sell second-hand books because the owner, Maricar Docyogen, believes books should not go to waste. It is a shame to discard a perfectly readable book when it can still have value in another’s possession. So she scours for these rare supplies and sells them at incredibly low rates. 

Much involved in city events and organizations promoting local arts, she started the Pasakalye Artists. That is why Bookends have become home to Baguio artists. There is a space inside the bookshop dedicated to arts and for art exhibits. If you want to get acquainted, watch live drawing sessions, this is a good hangout spot.

Artist Proposals: Message them on Facebook or visit the bookshop to inquire.

Victor Oteyza Community Art Space (VOCAS)

More popularly known by the name of its cafe, Oh My Gulay! Just a block away from Bookends at the top floor of Azotea building is this thrilling art gallery. Obscured by the city buildings, who would think one will find such a bizarre artist space. From the exceptional mind of Eric Oteyza de Guia, a.k.a Kidlat Tahimik or Tatay Kidlat by locals, National Artist of the Philippines for Film as of 2018. This art gallery is a boat, an indoor pond, and a restaurant in 1. How exceptional is that?! Describing it is not enough, you have to see it for yourself both in daylight to enjoy the Baguio view from their dining deck and at night time, when the gallery lights up. Explore spiral staircases leading to corners covered with unconventional artworks, walls filled with hanging paintings, sculptures, and handcrafted products. Each nook and cranny is bemusing, and the Cordillera theme sums up Kidlat as a proud Cordillera artist. 

We also invite you to explore another VOCAS creation, the curious village, Ili-Llikha Artist’s Watering hole in Assumption Road.

Artist Proposals: They are accepting proposals, but it’s best to inquire personally. Like and follow them on Facebook.

Baguio Country Club Banaue Hall

It is a 5-star membership hotel in Baguio. Famous to tourists for their yearly Christmas village, which is the only part of the country club accessible to non-members. In 2018 they opened their formal art gallery, Banaue Hall. The art gallery has already exhibited paintings of acclaimed artists. Since it is a members-only hotel, the sale of a painting could take a while due to its limited audience, but it could be a great way to build your client network. What’s great about their art gallery is their shows can run long-term from 3-6 months duration. You would need an art organizer to be featured in their show line up. 


Artist proposals: Send us your portfolio and your proposed artwork through our Contact page.

Legarda Art Space

Find them at Diamond Mansions Inn along Legarda Road. We saw this newly opened gallery while driving by Legarda Road. Don’t miss their signage when passing through, right before or after Hotel Enrico. Depending on which side of the road you’re on. This gallery officially opened last September 2019. We have yet to visit this mini gallery and see what kind of art they have in store for us. For now, peep in at their Facebook page for some fun art shows they’ve had since their opening day. 

Art Galleries, Legarda Art Space
Photo taken from their Facebook

Alright, that’s our whole list. If you strongly believe we should include an establishment or if you know an art gallery in Baguio that we missed, please let us know in the comments or send us a message on our contact page. Due to the Covid-19 community quarantine, we are unable to capture new photos of the galleries. We are very grateful to our artist and photographer friends for sharing their photos with us to provide you a visual guide of the galleries.

 

Thank you for reading! If you want more tips and news about art, subscribe to our newsletter so we can notify you if a new blog comes out. Stay safe, keep on painting, and remember art is alive!

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