Thursday, May 28, 2015

Urban Sketchers Philippines 4th Anniversary Events in Old Manila

Urban Sketchers Philippines has come a long way from when it was formed in May 2011 with 3 initial members. Four years later, we now have more than 40 active members joining the monthly sketch sessions around Metro Manila.

Happy 4th birthday, Urban Sketchers Philippines!

For our 4th anniversary, we celebrated by holding two major events: our official monthly sketchwalk on May 16, and an exhibit and workshop on May 17, an activity that was held in line with the first Manila Urban Design Festival.

For our official monthly sketchwalk, we went to Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. Fort Santiago, located at the mouth of the Pasig River, is a citadel that was built by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi when Manila was first established and is part of the defensive structure of Intramuros, Manila’s walled city.

Philippine sketchers in action!

National hero Jose Rizal was imprisoned at the fort before his execution in 1896; the fort features the steps Rizal took from his holding cell on the way out to in Bagumbayan (now Luneta), where he bravely faced his death.

The sketchers scattered around the fort, drawing everything from the tourist tram and horse-drawn carriages to the iconic gate adorned by a relief of Saint James the Great, the patron saint of Spain and after whom the fort was named.

Some of the sketches we made that day. 

USk PH also participated in the first Manila Urban Design Festival with an exhibit of works done on location and a lecture-workshop on sketching in one of the chambers of the Maestranza, part of the foundry of the armory located near Fort Santiago. It also served as a warehouse of the armaments and cannons during the Spanish colonial period. The Maestranza was destroyed during World War II and was rebuilt The workshop was led by Janeil Arlegui, one of the founding members of the group. Ryan Sumo also gave some pointers on sketching.

Lecture-workshop by Janeil Arlegui

Sketching at the Maestranza Plaza
Works on display.

Sketch of the workshop by Aurelio Castro III

After the workshop, some of the sketchers went out to the plaza to draw the festival goings-on: a demo by the members of Parkour Philippines, a demo-performance on Philippine martial arts, people buying food and browsing through crafts sold at colorful tents, families and friends walking around. All in all it was an enjoyable weekend of urban sketching fun!

Workshop participants trying out contour sketching.

Sketch by Manuel Jiongco

Sketch by Irma Lara

Sketch by Ryan Sumo

It's a wrap! Urban Sketchers Philippines with Julia Nebrija, Festival Director

More photos of the festival (and sketchers having fun on bicycles!) in Solo Galura's photoset on Flickr here.

Photos in this post by Ian Ulpindo, Ige Trinidad, Ched de Gala, and Irma Lara.

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