Tips and Guides

8 Places Where You Can Get Affordable Art

Here’s where to go to when you want to start collecting but you’re not a high roller

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So you’ve furnished your new home, and you’ve decided to spruce it up with a little art. You’re thinking of collecting a few original works that suit your taste, but you don’t want to hit the department store to get a repro that doesn’t have any value. Here’s the catch: you’re not a millionaire—hardly so!

Not being a snob when it comes to art also applies to buying it. If you can’t afford the six-figure (or higher) price tags of big-ticket galleries and art auctions, you can check out the sources below for original art or high quality prints that range from five-figure to four-figure price tags, or even lower!

Design Stores

Many local design stores carry original works by up-and-coming artists; all of which seem to go with each store’s trademark look. Check out Space Encounters (they’re currently having a sale!), which carries sculptures by cool kid Kris Abrigo plus high-quality prints.

Meanwhile, Heima’s mod-hip store sells prints by Debbie Carlos (pictured here), decorative pieces by Googly Gooeys and John Rastrullo, as well as posters from their Paper Club collection.

Startup Galleries

These new galleries are usually owned by young guns who have a fresh eye for new and thought-provoking art, and their exhibits serve as a base for a lot of breakthrough artists. Vongarde Art Gallery shares floor space at 55Square Café, and exhibits are usually interspersed with coffee tastings. Artery Art Space in Cubao holds frequent exhibits of up-and-coming and established artists like Tanya Villanueva, Alvin Flores, and Jon Cuyson, and they serve food, too. Read about Vongarde here.

Local Art Fairs

The casual, friendly atmosphere of fairs like Art Fair Philippines, ManilaArt, and Art In the Park lures in both seasoned collector and browsing public. Art In the Park is famous for putting a cap on the prices of the works they sell, making it an ideal place for first-time collectors.

Crafts Stores

Shops that specialize in handmade and bespoke items like Common Room are a treasure trove of affordable art. Get hand painted postcards, signed prints, paper sculptures, and even indoor plants that double as art at these stores. Read about the Common Room Pop-up in Rockwell here.

Museum Shops

We go to museums to see art, but little do we know that we could actually buy art in their museum shops. The Ayala Museum Shop on the second floor of their museum building sells a fascinating collection of signed artists’ prints, jewelry, art books, and beautiful stationery products.

Student Exhibits

The student exhibits at top-notch art schools like FEU (in photo), UST, and UP can be a sneak peek at future art stars. Show the love by attending their exhibits, and support them by buying their works. Check out the colleges’ Facebook pages for exhibit announcements.

Secondhand Shops

If you’re willing to schlep all the way to Bangkal, Kamuning, or Cubao and rummage through the ukay-ukay piles of furniture, you might be able to buy a framed print that catches your fancy, or even a nice original painting or two for a song! Read about Evangelista thrift stores here.

Instagram

Open the Grid and you’ll discover that Instagram is a great source for incredibly talented local artists. This is the modern-day way of going straight to the artist. Check out the witty and stylized works of Yas Doctor (@heypatatas, pictured here), the beautiful and delicate watercolor paintings of Arlene Sy (@arlenesy), and the whimsical animal paintings of Jamie Catt (@jamiecatt). Follow them and you’ll get to know about their exhibits and launches, too.

PHOTOS: Space Encounters Facebook page, Heima Store, Tala Singson (Vongarde), Art in the Park Facebook page, Jun Pinzon (Ayala Museum & UVLA), Aly Roxas (Common Room), Yas Doctor Instagram.

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