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Studio 201 Gallery & the Art of Argao

Art in Argao wouldn't have been possible without Studio 201 Gallery and it's founder - one of Cebu's low-key but very prolific contemporary visual artists, Wyndelle Remonde.

After a recent group exhibit called Purgatoryo at the Cebu Making Space, we caught up with Wyndelle to talk about the struggles of keeping a gallery afloat while also continuing to create art.

His Studio 2021 Gallery journey goes back to when he returned to his hometown of Argao during the pandemic. Wyndelle started building up the local art community by participating in town activities like judging art contests, mentoring young kids, and just collaborating with the LGU who support the growth and development of art in Argao. In 2022 he built Studio 201 Gallery, which started his half-joke, half-truth, "ANTI-ROI MOVEMENT". The gallery has moved several times to different locations including an old abandoned structure and now a former beach resort, and they all come with wild stories of punk shows, trashed doors and town gossip about cults. Ask him about it at the next exhibit. With the help of his Ar+gaw (Art Ta Gaw) Crew, a non-profit organization focused on empowering the municipality's art scene, Wyndelle has created numerous events, exhibits, and workshops at Studio 201 Gallery including an Art Residency open to all local artists. There have been some visitors who drove all the way down to Argao including art students from UP and USC and even some art enthusiasts and tourists but getting more awareness and serious art collectors for the gallery have been extremely challenging. While the struggle is real, it definitely hasn't stopped Wyndelle.

Even though 2024 just started, Wyndelle and his Argao crew - Binsoy, Yookey, and Jyaryd, have already been a part of numerous group shows and exhibits including: 'Underground Screams Vol 3.' at the Gallery in Cebu Making Space, 'Conversations' at the Orange Project in Bacolod, 'And Kalayo Kumalatkat Sa Bulongbong' at Studio 201 in Argao (you should read this with the distinct Southern Cebu lilt IYKYK), Arté Art Fair in Dumaguete plus more to come.

Some advice from Wyndelle before we leave him be, "Don't stop. Keep going despite the hindrances, struggles and challenges. Keep going and of course, work for it. Ayaw pag tinapulan. Apili ug paningkamot imong mga damgo." Daghang Salamat Bai Wyndelle! Here's to more art shows, exhibits and ROI in the future.

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