MANILA, Philippines — Leading sculptors here will gather in a one day exhibit/sale of Rotary Club Makati West (RCMW) to raise funds for the club’s Gift of Life Program that provides free heart operation for less privileged children.
Dubbed “Art with a Heart,” some 40 carvers all over the country will put up their artworks for sale on November 28, Monday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati.
During a recent press conference at the Mandarin, Chitong Santos, chairman of the club’s Culture Committee and himself a National Artist (for Architecture) said that it was heartwarming to see more artists joining the event that started in 2004.
“This only proves that artists have a heart and are doing something concrete for the less fortunate members of our society,” Santos said.
RCMW has since sponsored 122 open heart surgeries and 102 Patent Ductus Arterious surgery for children 18 years old and below.
Culture Committee member Ed Balois said these 224 operations were all successful.
He said that if children with coronary heart disease were left untreated, they would usually live for 13 to 15 years only. But if treated, they could live for about 75 years.
“These children who are suffering from coronary heart disease is bound to die at the tender age of 13 years old. But with the proceeds of your artwork, you will extend their lives by 62 years,” Balois said.
“Whatever artwork you brought, the 224 are there to thank you,” he added.
Culture committee co-chairman Ernie Fajardo said for every artwork sold, 50 percent would go to the beneficiaries of the project.
“If you were to buy artworks from a regular exhibit, artists will get 70 to 75 percent. But what happens here is that instead of enjoying the usual rate, artists are willing to give as much as 50 percent to help us get our beneficiaries treated,” Fajardo said.
He said that while they have not set any target revenue for this year, they would usually make over P1 million worth of funds that could treat 65 patients.
RCMW President Ramon Guerrero urged members of other Rotary Clubs, architects, interior designers, art collectors and art lovers in general to come to Alay Sining 4 and buy a piece or two or even more.
“Not only will the sculptures they acquire add beauty, style and prestige to their homes and offices, but they will have given many children the chance to live longer, healthier and happier lives,” Guerrero added.
Guerrero also said that buying art pieces could also prove to be good business investments.
“The works of Filipino artists including sculptors are already starting to command high prices in auctions abroad, so the value of the pieces you buy at Alay Sining 4 may be worth several times more in a few years’ time,” he said.
To be a beneficiary, the child is referred to the Rotary Club Makati West for evaluations to determine his or her eligibility.
RCMW’s Gift of Life program has partnerships with eight open heart surgery-capable hospitals.
Exposure for Filipino artists
Meanwhile, Santos said that apart from helping less fortunate children get medical attention, the project also aims to help Filipino sculptors gain greater recognition and exposure.
“Filipinos have shown their natural talent for sculpture throughout our history, and we hope we can do our part in putting sculpture again at the forefront in the Philippine art scene,” Santos said.
He told the INQUIRER.net that as a national artist himself, it deeply saddened him to see sculptured artworks all around the city without the name of the artists properly written on it.
“Hindi na natin sila masyadong nabibigyan ng importansya. Kailangan talaga nila ng tulong natin [We don’t give them much importance nowadays. They really need our help,]” he said.
“ . . . Filipino artists, especially in a field such as sculpture is somehow still not appreciated as much as painting,” he said.
The participating artists are: Napoleon Abueva, Gus Albor, Ernesto Afurong, Agnes Arellano, Ral Arrogante, Felix Baldemor, Wilson William Baldemor, Patricio Balquiedra, Ferdie Cacnio, Michael Cacnio, Glenn Cagandahan, Henri Cainglet, Eduardo Castrillo, Benjamin Dailo, Joe Datuin, Jonathan Dangue, Don Reich de Dios, Daniel de la Cruz, Edgar Driodoco, Israel Gonzales, Raffy Ignacio, Joselito Iglesia, Juan Sajid Imao, Pete Jimenez, Maria Magdamit, Carlito Ortega, Ann Pamintuan, Jon and Tessy Pettyjohn, Antonino Raymundo, Jonahmar Salvosa, Juvenal Sanso, Mai Saporsantos, Josephine Turalba, Ian Valladarez, Ulysses Veloso, Francisco M. Verano, Priscillano Vicaldo Jr. and Nicky Wijangco.
Alay Sining 4 is being curated by Nonon Padilla, as he did for Alay Sining 3.
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