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
- Tam-Awan Village Ugnayan Gallery
- Arko Ni Apo
- Cafe By The Ruins
- Baguio City Museum
- Darnay Demetillo Arist Space (DDAS)
- Bookends Bookshop
- Victor Oteyza Community Art Space (VOCAS)
- Porta Vaga Mall Art Gallery
- Fred’s Art Gallery
- The Manor At Camp John Hay
- The Forest Lodge
- Baguio Country Club Banaue Hall
- SM Baguio Lower Basement Gallery
- Diplomat Heritage Hotel
- The Podium Botique Hotel
- Legarda Art Space
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.
Tam-Awan Village Ugnayan Gallery
Another widely known tourist spot is Tam-Awan Village. Bask in this culturally rich artist space within nature. It is 15 minutes away from the city along Long Long Road. This art hub is an uphill terrain where every stair climb will overwhelm you with works of art and cordilleran culture waiting to be explored. The entrance to the village stirs a mix of excitement and mystery with its art covered high walls, and a tunnel-like passage. Inside you will find a variety of Cordilleran nipa huts, mini trails, a preserved forest park, a cafe, and the art gallery. You will also most likely get to meet several local artists known as the Tam-Awan artists who are regulars at the village. Their art style is usually but not limited to Cordilleran inspired themes.
Artist Proposal: Write a letter of intent to the management and submit your artist portfolio. For more information, inquire through their Facebook page or personally at the art gallery.
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.
Cafe By The Ruins
It is a cafe along Shuntug Street, right in front of Baguio City Hall. As the name hints, the cafe ambiance picks up from the ruins left from world war II with bullets and bomb riddled walls adding to its artistic feel. For years, Cafe By The Ruins has been holding art exhibits in their cafe. Unfortunately, in 2017 a fire destroyed the place, but it’s all good now, a year later they are back and have reopened their business doors. They remodeled the cafe into a much more modern design, but their trademark ruins look is still distinguishable from the outside.
There used to be a Cafe By The Ruins Dua in Arellano St., near Victory Liner bus station where they also held art exhibits. Although, they have closed this branch after the reopening of the main cafe. They are still accepting artist proposals, send them an email.
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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.
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.
Porta Vaga Mall Art Gallery
In 2018, Porta Vaga formally opened its Art Gallery. You will find it on the 2nd-floor inner patio. The art gallery is another compelling reason to visit the mall. They revamped the entire half of the 2nd-floor corridor with glass display boards, and warm lights projecting from the ceiling. Security is well-positioned at the end of the hallways, so you don’t have to worry about mall-goers touching your artworks.
Artist proposals: Submit your letter of intent for an art exhibit together with your portfolio to the marketing division of Porta Vaga Mall.
Fred's Art Gallery
Find it at Green Water Village Road. Fred’s Art Gallery is a mini gallery setup by Sir Fredi Agunoy at his apartment building. An architect and a visual artist, he calls his art style figurative expressionism as he creates them freehand. He is widely known to local artists for his quirky drawings and as an advocate for art by sharing his art space with fellow art enthusiasts. Aside from art exhibits, Sir Fredi frequently invites his co-artists over for a group painting session.
Sir Fredi’s doors are open to artist proposals, simply walk-in with your paintings and portfolio to join upcoming art exhibits.
The Manor At Camp John Hay
One of Baguio’s luxurious hotels is found in Camp John Hay. In addition to its reputation as an elegant hotel, The Manor is one of the longstanding hotels that curate artworks in Baguio. They dedicate a whole aisle beside the dining hall as an art exhibition area, and they have quite a record for selling paintings to guests. You may visit their management office to make a personal inquiry.
The Forest Lodge
Located beside the Manor Hotel, Forest Lodge is an equally elegant log cabin style hotel. This hotel also holds art exhibits. They hang artworks in the cafe dining area, lobby, stairways, and hallways for client visibility and for guests to enjoy during their stay. For art exhibit proposals, talk to their management at the hotel.
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.
SM Baguio Lower Basement Gallery
Yes, SM Baguio also promotes creativity in the city by sponsoring art events and competitions. Upon entering the mall via the first parking building, is where you will find their art gallery. Artworks or photographs will greet you before continuing your way up the escalator. Occasionally, they hold art exhibits at the Atrium during Art month or when Art is the chosen theme for their main event. Almost the entire year they have photography and artworks on display. Aside from proposed art exhibits from independent artists, SM Baguio holds its organized art shows where they invite local artists to participate. At times it is a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony complete with snacks for the guests.
Artist proposals: Submit your letter of intent together with your portfolio to the marketing manager of SM Baguio.
Diplomat Heritage Hotel
More famed as a paranormal ground in Baguio. Thanks to the collaboration of the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective Inc. (BACCI) and the Baguio Creative Council, it is now transformed into a spacious artist hub. The first art exhibit was a grand success. The Ibagiw Baguio Creative City Festival in 2019 invited artists from the entire nation for a massive art exhibit.
The once empty hotel on that day was brimming with artists, tourists, performers, and officiating government bodies. More than an art showcase, it was a celebration. Arts and crafts were on display, live demo of weaving, on the spot painting competition, sculpting competition was seen on that day. It was memorable, and the BACCI is pushing for it to be a traditional event.
Although it is not yet an established art gallery, we’ve included this in the list because BAC and BACCI are working on making art exhibits a regular event. As successful as it is, we believe this is an art space to anticipate. For artist proposals, we suggest getting in touch with BACCI to join in future events.
The Podium Botique Hotel
You will find them 10 minutes away from the city along Marcos Hi-way. Popularly known for their buffet, this hotel is another local business advocating arts. You will notice when inside, adorning their lobby is a large painting. They have a steady event of art exhibits in their 2nd-floor lobby. For your artist proposals get in touch through their Facebook or visit them to personally inquire.
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.
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.
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