An Art Sanctuary on the Hills: Pinto Art Museum


After our lunch at Balaw Balaw Restaurant in Angono, Rizal, my friends Jasmin, Jen, Frances, and I went straight to Grand Heights Subdivision in Antipolo to finally visit this art gallery called the Pinto Art Museum, named after the Tagalog word for “door”. This art museum houses Dr. Joven Cuanang’s collection of artworks made by Filipino artists of the modern time.

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Pinto Art Museum exterior

First of all, the whole place is an art itself. The architecture follows the Greek style and seeing this unique place brings freshness to the eyes. The garden and the landscape arrangement are lovely and artsy as well. And being situated in the hilly parts of Antipolo, surrounded by trees and enveloped with the relaxing provincial ambiance, Pinto can be considered a place of rejuvenation. The amihan wind during this cold season in the country felt like a lullaby and the gardens of Pinto is our swinging hammock. I could stay there forever.

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Pinto under the sun.

But the main point in visiting Pinto is of course, the artworks. Pinto is a huge beautiful place filled with beautiful masterpieces arranged in a beautiful way.

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Art Galleries in Pinto
From the gallery of Mark Justiniani’s art on wood, one of my favorite galleries inside Pinto.

But what makes everything in there all the more beautiful and striking is none other than the meaning behind them. Of course, every person has his own interpretation of the work of art he sees. My friends and I were occasionally trying to interpret a few art pieces inside, to only end up laughing because of the silliness that’s coming out of our mouth.

Anyway, it is far more interesting to know, in my opinion, the interpretation of the artist himself or maybe of the person who collected all those artworks. What did he see in them?

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Tapping into another person’s inner soul by realizing the wanderings of his mind can take you to different worlds. And in those worlds, you’ll find beauty, you’ll find sadness, or a certain strangeness, or even peace, but most of the time, you’ll find in them quite dawning discoveries about the realities of life that some people do not care to think about. This depth of thinking that a person has does not always come out in the form of a speech or a novel. Most of the time, it comes in forms of art.

By setting foot in the Pinto Art Museum where Mr. Andy Orencio, the art museum guide and also an artist himself, explained what lies beneath those amazing artworks and their connection to each other, I was left amazed. Each of the artwork inside is beautiful in itself but when the meaning of everything rose up to the surface, all of it becomes much more beautiful.

It’s such a shame that we only had little time for Sir Andy to explain us all the interesting pieces we saw there in the museum. He was able to tell us the stories and give us enlightenment behind a few of them. And the messages he passionately explained to us were clearly revelations to us. We laughed at ourselves for the shallow meanings we’ve been putting into some of the artworks there earlier when the real one that the artist was trying to express is actually deep and meaningful, parallel to what’s going on in the world and in our country, both in the past and present times.

Moreover, it’s not only the artworks themselves are amazing in Pinto. There’s much more to the paintings and sculptures than how they are seen separately. Sir Andy was explaining to us the meaning of the artworks along with their connection to the nearby artworks in the same gallery.

This made me realize one thing: The whole Pinto Art Museum is one huge big art project, like a meta-artwork.

It’s an artwork about artworks.

It’s an artwork within a collection of artworks.

All the paintings, sculptures, sketches, etc. there in the gallery, although made by different artists, are arranged in a certain way to depict a single thought, or emotion.

As much as I would like to, I cannot really explain here what Sir Andy has told us about certain parts of the museum because I really don’t think I would be able to explain it as well as he did.

To sum this up, there’s only one thing I can say: It’s a place I think I’m not going to forget in the future.

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Us in our ‘pseudo-art critic’ poses, etc.

4 thoughts on “An Art Sanctuary on the Hills: Pinto Art Museum

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