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Exhibit cruises to a ‘sustainable future’

‘GALLERY OF THE SEA’ Head sails turned into canvas showcase how art can be a beautiful and painless way to educate people about saving the planet, starting with the waters of Manila Bay. —PHOTO BY MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Lined up at the baywalk along Roxas Boulevard just outside the Manila Yacht Club are colorful head sails.

But the giant triangular sails were not made for travel. Rather, the boat materials had been turned into art canvases with graphic messages urging onlookers to end poverty, confront climate change, and protect the oceans.

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Titled “Gallery of the Sea,” the open-air exhibit features 25 paintings about achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a blueprint for the planet’s survival.

Using the head sails as canvas for their acrylic paintings, artists from the Angono Atelier and Cuadra Manila showcased their distinct style to bring home their message.

Contrasting realities

Renowned artist Nemi Miranda’s painting on poverty depicts two children and their contrasting realities: one toils, while the other gets an education.

Atoy Apostadero’s “Life Below Water” reveals the country’s rich marine biodiversity, while August Santiago’s “Life on Land” paints a thriving safari on an lush green expanse.

Cleaning the waters, particularly Manila Bay, is the accessible message that artist Pete Velasquez depicted in his painting of a school of fish swimming upward.  Velasquez’s art easily attracted schoolkids and would-be art lovers while he worked on it at the Universidad de Manila.

“There was this kid who went through my things, picked up a brush and flicked white paint on the canvas. The result was actually good,” he told the Inquirer.

The exhibit, said former Sen. Heherson Alvarez, was organized to show via different art media how important it is to promote and achieve a sustainable future.

“The ecological time bomb of global warming must be diffused today for us to save tomorrow,” he explained.

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Art is an effective way to educate people, agreed Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, a recipient of an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Artists for Peace.

Aside from visual art, the spoken word highlighted ways of nurturing the earth, with poets Frank Rivera and Jolad Santos delivering their pieces to an attentive audience at the exhibit’s opening on Tuesday.  The exhibit runs until end of August, after which it will be installed on a barge that will cruise the Pasig River.

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TAGS: Angona Atelier, Cuadra Manila, Gallery of the Sea, open-air exhibit, UN Sustainable Development Goals
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