One World School, a school for individuals of all abilities, will be presenting the artworks of its students in a show dubbed “Nilay.”
The exhibit, which opens Nov. 25 at the Nova Gallery in Makati City, will showcase over 100 works.
Each student contributed at least one painting for the show. The budding artists, aged 2 to 39, used watercolor and acrylic.
Ericson J. Perez, the school’s founder and headmaster, explained that the show will raise funds for the expansion of the school, which began accepting students four years ago. He said children and adults with special needs tend to respond positively to pictures and images. Art, he noted, is one of the favorite subjects in their school.
“Nilay” promises to be a showcase of abstracts and pictures. Supervised by their art teacher Precious Gamboa, the students have come up with paintings that could add character to any room.
The drawings of the younger children offer a view of the world as they see it. These include the Makati skyline, rainbows, sunshine, and even cartoon characters like Tom and Jerry. The works are a blend of fantasy and impressionism, and could easily be mistaken for works of established artists.
Most of the abstracts were done by students with autism. “They used finger painting, since some of the children and adults with autism are non-verbal, and cannot effectively communicate with words,” said Gamboa. “I presented them a choice of palettes, and they tend to choose the same color combinations.
“I didn’t make them use brushes. Instead, I mixed the colors and placed them in plastic ketchup bottles so they could just squirt the colors on the canvas,” she said.
Gamboa asked her students to draw first, using pencils. The coloring came afterward. Each painting took an average of two to three days to finish.
Located on Edsa in Guadalupe, just off Palm Village and Estrella Street, One World School was established five years ago to provide education for children with mild to significant special education needs.
The student population is composed of children with special needs (including autism, dyslexia and Down syndrome), children who cannot cope with traditional instructional methods of regular schools, and typically developing students who just learn differently. On its first school year, One World accepted 15 students. Within five years, the number of students had grown to 84.
A former faculty member of Brent International School Manila, Perez is a champion of special education. He decided to establish One World because so many children are turned away from schools because of their disabilities.
“This is depriving them of a chance to be productive in society, and to make them benefit from the opportunities offered to the rest of us,” he explained.
The surge in enrollment has necessitated an expansion in school facilities. Hence, the show was conceived to help raise funds for expansion as well as to provide all of their students the opportunity to showcase their talents in expressing themselves through images.
“Nilay” will run until Nov. 28, at the Nova Gallery, at Warehouse 12A, La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City. Call 0916-3719952.