VISAYAN RELAUNCH: Magnet Gallery Café opens in Dumangas

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A week ago, foremost Ilonggo artist Rock Drilon invited me to the opening of Magnet Gallery Café in Salas Street, Dumangas, Iloilo.

After numerous invites to his shows and events, I took time to see his works and the new gallery that is meant to further grow the Ilonggo arts community.

Rock, who has been part of the movement to rejuvenate the Ilonggo arts scene, dedicated the gallery to homegrown artists who want their works to be featured to the public.

Initially, the gallery’s visual programming will focus on the works of Araut Visual Artists Collective – AVAC of Dumangas but it will soon feature exhibiting artists on residency from other regions including Manila and other countries.

Rock’s own works were the first to be featured until April 18. In the pipeline are the following works beginning May 2024:

May – Lewin Deza

June – Maia Amo

July – CJ Galpo

August – Hannah Marie Celso

September – Mark Loreno

October – Vin Deza

November – Cyra Cordova

December – (Group show)

January 2025 – Rodel Fundal

February 2025 – Kate Cayetano

Magnet Gallery also offers coffee-based and other drinks, native food delicacies of Dumangas, and also sells native trees to those who want to raise their own orchard or garden of endemic trees.

Rock Drilon, an influential figure in contemporary Philippine art, explores the depths of the subconscious through automatism, a technique rooted in spontaneous creation.

Mentored by National Artist José Joya, Drilon’s approach draws inspiration from the fluid gestures of action painting, evident in the works of Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollock. His art transcends intellectual, cultural, social, and historical boundaries, encouraging a free expression of inner impulses and primal energies.

The abstract nature of Rock Drilon’s art requires viewers to engage with the work beyond surface-level aesthetics, inviting them to explore deeper psychological and emotional landscapes that the artist presents through his rich, textured, and color-filled canvases.

His latest body of works, Visayan Rhapsodies 2, is described by Daily Guardian’s resident art columnist John Anthony S. Estolloso “as a collection of experiential guide to “Rock’s distinctive artistic techniques reminiscent of his previous works.”

Visayan Rhapsodies 2 feature “some of Rock’s definitive artworks, some of which have been commenced several decades ago only to find a completeness and readiness to be appraised by a judicious eye quite recently. Though eclectic in the selection of pieces, these artworks constitute a personal visual bricolage. Then again, what is a rhapsody after all if not a stimulating hodgepodge of various musical motifs?” according to Estolloso.

Get a feel of the visual powers of Rock Drilon and other Ilonggo artists at Magnet Gallery Café during the following schedules:

Café Hours:

Tuesday-Saturday (7AM-8PM)

Sunday (6:30AM-8PM)

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday-Sunday (10AM-6PM)