The Drawing Room gives artists more room for creativity
In its new home. The Drawing Room expands creative frontiers
With three sections of the gallery holding about 10 shows a year, The Drawing Room’s new space at The Alley at Karrivin gives contemporary art a new and more constant home. Owner Jun Villalon explains why they chose to move to the new space: “Our first gallery was at Metropolitan Avenue, and it was much smaller. We decided to look for a bigger space to offer our artists a bigger venue for their exhibitions.” To aid in this process, he asked architect J. Antonio Mendoza to design the new gallery. “This used to be a warehouse where people would train dogs. When we came in, it was really just cement floor and walls, nothing else.” Now, guests entering the space are be greeted by a high ceiling, art installations, and two gates at the back of the room that lead to Villalon’s office.
In designing the space, Villalon and Mendoza
“There wasn’t much of an adjustment, because a bigger space would offer the artists more flexibility and more walls to display their installations.”
Opposite page: The hallway entrance features a ceiling design copied from the San Ignacio Church. Above: Artists have the option to reconfigure the main space depending on their exhibition. Below: The library in Villalon’s office also acts as a meeting space for artists. wanted it to be more than just a cube with white walls. “Anton and I went for something more [designed]. As you can see, it is very contemporary but you can also see touches of the colonial aesthetic, with some antiques here and there,” says Villalon. The colonial touch is especially evident in the ceiling by the entrance hallway. “We reproduced the ceiling of a Jesuit cathedral in Ermita that was bombed during the Japanese period; I think it was the San Ignacio Church, if I’m not mistaken.” He also points out the antiques around the space. “The gate is made of grills from old windows. We also put up a chandelier that has been with me for 20 years.” The chandelier is placed above a table in his office, modernized with LED lights. “In the library, you will see some old things, some old santos and other things I have collected throughout the years.”
Transitioning to a bigger space was a welcome move for The Drawing Room. Villalon says, “There wasn’t much of an adjustment, because a bigger space would offer the artists more flexibility and more walls to display their installations.” Because of the wider space, artists have more room to reconfigure the gallery to fit their exhibition, such as adding walls to divide the main area.
Aside from the main gallery space, there are two other sections for exhibitions. “Normally, we would have two shows every month so one artist would take the long hallway and another will take the bigger space.” During bigger shows, though, one artist can take up the entire gallery. Usually, small pieces are displayed in the hallway, “but we had a Dex Fernandez installation [one time] that had him paint the whole span of the left wall, so it really depends [on the show we’re staging].” The third section of the gallery serves as the window display. “We call it the project window space. Artists can propose to exhibit in that small space, confined within that window display area where they can do whatever they want. It gets quite interesting.” • Building C Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Barangay Magallanes, Makati City 801-4397/801-4398