Meliza and Gil Gonzales with their children Patrick Xavier, Maria Marga, Marie Anne, Maria Andrea, Maria Giliza, Rafael and Jonathan. They are joined by family friend Paul Dumol (left most) and Joey Concepcion (seventh from left).
Seniors get a life at Sunshine Place
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:41 AM April 30, 2017
The Blooming,” a recent solo exhibit of Meliza Gonzales at Sunshine Place, showed why art is for all ages and why it’s never too late to become an artist.
Gonzales, who had no formal art lessons, began attending workshops conducted in the senior center by the Art Association of the Philippines president Fidel Sarmiento. This was in 2015.
At that time, Gonzales’ daughter Giliza recalled, “she thought that life had plateaued with the grownup kids taking greater control of their lives.”
It was Gonzales’ husband, Gil, who encouraged her to take painting lessons at Sunshine Place, a lifestyle hub for seniors.
Initially hesitant, Gonzales took the big leap, and with Sarmiento as mentor, her “blooming” went on overdrive, so to speak.
Gonzales joined the Sunshine Place’s group exhibits for its art class students.
“The Blooming,” her first solo exhibit, features acrylic paintings of florals, greenery and forests, cityscapes and memories of provincial life.
Painting has given Gonzales a different kind of fulfillment and confidence. She says that through painting, she has rediscovered another side of her, after raising the children and having a career in banking and in the food business.
Sarmiento noted how Gonzales was one of his most hardworking students—the first to arrive to work on her paintings and the last to leave. He adds, “She showed potential ever since she began her first painting which looked like a professional’s work.”
Sunshine Place offers art classes for seniors, adults, teens and kids. There are mentoring sessions on hands-on techniques, application of different brushes and basic strokes, and color rendering. Participants get to explore different styles in creating still life, landscape, cityscape, underwater, animals and portrait paintings.
Sunshine Place, a senior recreation center under the Felicidad Tan Sy Foundation, is a venue for adults to live actively through recreational classes and age-appropriate physical training programs. It is meant to be the venue to be entertained, to socialize and to reflect, in pursuit of wellness of one’s mind, body and soul.