Thirty things, thirty pictures and a Door
My friend Paula was bugging me about this art gallery for the longest time I could remember. Knowing her refined tastes and the love of finer things in life led me to this grand but unassuming garden one Sunday afternoon that would eventually turn out to become one of my favourite hang out places an hour away from the metro.
It would be an insult to just be contented in admiring the pictures. The Gallery should be experienced firsthand to give justice to the grandeur and art of the place. Most of the art pieces I left untitled for you to go there and discover it yourself
Here are the thirty things you need to know about Pinto Art Gallery
1. Pinto Art Gallery is a contemporary space devoted for arts and artists situated in Antipolo City.
2. The gallery, sits atop of a hill in Rizal with the commanding view of the metropolis and Laguna de Bay.
the Chapel of St. Francis housing a 300-year old icon
3. “Pinto” came from the Tagalog word for door, as the place distinguish itself as a sanctuary open to all forms of practices of modern and contemporary art.
4. The gallery is owned by Philippine’s top neurologist and art patron Dr. Joven Cuanang.
5. Dr. Cuanang is also the medical director of St. Luke’s Hospital.
the portrait of the owner by Winner Jumalon acrylic on canvas (2006)
6. The Gallery was formally opened to public on December 5, 2010.
7. The Gallery is nestled within the Silangan Garden – a hectare wide garden that serves as the owner’s retreat since the 70’s
“This museum is dedicated to their art, to their dreams and to the times we live”
– Joven R. Cuaning M.D.
8. Silangan Gardens, is the home of the Silangan Foundation for Arts, Culture and Ecology led by Dr. Cuanang himself.
9. The Silangan Foundation for Arts, Culture and Ecology aims to promote Philippine contemporary art, Eastern culture, health and indigenous ecology and advancement of humanistic study through programs such fostering artist residencies and dialogues and other related endeavours
10. Pinto Art Gallery, ranks #1 on must see attraction in Antipolo by Tripadvisor.
Siraulo sa Pintô café inside the gallery over looking the garden
11. The main structure of the gallery was originally built back in 2001 primarily as a repository for the neurologist’s growing collection of artworks.
the imposing church tower
12. Antonio “Tony” Leano, architect, landscape artist, painter and a polymath soon made further developments and expansion to create the place as a venue for exhibitions on modern and contemporary art.
Nona Garcia’s Hollow
13. Since its establishment the Gallery has presented several major art events and shows, a number of them being international in scope and significance.
14. The Gallery houses over 400 art works in different mediums, all from Dr. Cuanang’s expansive art collection. Most of the are pieces are not for sale and are part of the neurologist private collection.
the museum shop offers unique gift and souvenir items from the art gallery.
15. The design of Dr. Cuanang’s house is based on the colonial influences of his province, Ilocos Norte — massive concrete with unadorned whitewashed surfaces, wide eaves, cross-ventilation, brick walls and tiled flooring.
one of the spacious chambers with lofts housing some of the art pieces
16. The architectural master plan by Leaño is composed of interweaving exhibition spaces employing an open plan and usage of high ceilings for ventilation and natural lighting for minimal power consumption.
17. The whole garden with the galleries follow the natural terra firma of the area. No trees were cut, no boulders are moved to preserve the existing landscape.
the descending gallery of masters
18. Greek inspiration are also incorporated through quaint bell towers, open porches, imposing white façades and strategically stylised columns.
Those boulders are not put there for decorative purposes, it was on their original location and the galleries are built around them, not the other way around
19. A Bizú – run cafe that is wittily called as “Siraulo sa Pinto” is open only during weekends, Fridays to Sundays 9am to 5:30pm
one word: Santorini
20. “Yema tart” is a must try dessert at Siraulo sa Pinto.
shirmp gnocchi by Bizú
21. Andy Orencio, the art curator and museum manager would happily tour you within the grounds and would readily give interesting details about the art and the place.
the Bizú-run cafe called “Siraulo sa Pinto”
22. The biggest art piece on the gallery, a 12ft x 40 ft acrylic on canvas wall painting called “Karnabal” commissioned from an art group called “Salingpusa” composed of the 16 well known local contemporary painter done in 1992. This happens to be my personal favourite.
the spacious rooftop above the galleries
23. A dark meditation room called “Forest” made by Leano composed of bamboos piercing the entire room from floor to the ceiling with only dimly lit Zen- like stone pond basins reflecting the ripple of dripping water to the walls illuminating the entire place will give you a much needed calm and serenity is a must see.
Karnabal by Salingpusa Collective
24. A room filled with face to face couples engaged in a hearty conversation called “Usapang Babae” is a must see as well.
Tony Leano’s Forest
25. Philippine contemporary art biggies such as Elmer Borlongan, Emmanual Garibay, Mark Justiniani, Jose John Santos III, Constantino Zicarelli, the Orencio brothers, Plet Bolipata filled much of the galleries with their impressive works.
26. Mosquito repellant is a must as some of the art installations are scattered within the vast expanse of the garden.
the spacious rooftop giving the commanding view of the metropolis and the sunset
27. Pinto Art Gallery is open Tuesdays to Sundays with gallery hours from 9am to 6pm. Special tours can be arranged by appointment. Call (+632) 697 1015
28. Entrance fee is 150php.
29. To get there from Manila, Makati or Quezon City, take Ortigas Avenue from EDSA and proceed to Ortigas Extension passing through Cainta Junction and Tikling. Proceed to the hills until you reach the Ynares Center. Following the road going to Tay-tay, turn on the first street to your right that says Grand Heights and follow the main road until you reach the gallery to your right.
the other view of the garden
30. If you want to go there commuting, take Antipolo-bound jeeps then alight at either Ynares Center, Hamaka Park or at the Antipolo Cathedral itself. Take tricycle and head to Pinto Art Gallery (travel time 15minutes 40php)
The Pinto Art Gallery serves not just a welcoming getaway for the metro’s urban weary citizens to recharge and rejuvenate in the presence of arts and nature, the Gallery also serves as an actual “pinto” or doorway to the beauty of what can be created, what can be achieved and ultimately, what should be nurtured, cultivated and protected.
Pintô Art Gallery
1 Sierra Madre Street Grand Heights Antipolo Rizal