BAGUIO CITY (Oct.22) — Seven multi-disciplinary women artists put up an exhibit here for the benefit of women, elderly and children of Baguio City.
Chin-chin Gutierrez’s painting, among the exhibited art works at Bliss Cafe. For more photos, visit NORDIS Photo Gallery.
The exhibit entitled W-Works features Manila-based artists Cynthia Alexander, Carol Bello, Vivian Limpin. Barbie Almalbis-Honasan, Aba Lluch Dalena, Daphne Aguilar and Teta Tulay. The artists are also musicians, poets and teachers who have crossed paths in one way or another in the arts scene of Manila.
Now the city has brought them together here for a higher cause than just exposing their unquestionable love and devotion for the craft of their arts.
Owner Jim Ward of Bliss Café, a vegetarian restaurant and art space along Leonard Wood, coordinated with artists to have their artworks sold as assistance to a newly established women advocacy organization We Care Services Association, Inc. – a non-profit organization committed to uplift and empower women, and improve ties among elderly, adults and children.
However, only Alexander, Bello, Limpin and Tulay were able to personally present their artworks as the other W-Works artists had some other businesses to attend to in Manila, but otherwise relayed their support through their colleagues.
As each artist and We Care members spoke, incense was lit to symbolize the unity of cause for that particular night to advocate problems facing women, children and the elderly.
We dared to care
We Care, founded last June 16th this year and duly recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development last July 31st also this year, was brought out into the open by Josephine Catalan, who is guided by exposing the violence she experienced all through her life.
Teary-eyed Catalan bravely stood in front of the guests at the exhibit to share her gratitude for the event. “We Care envisions for the elderly, the abused and battered women and children a life in a familial environment that is free from isolation, loneliness, fear and lack of purpose in life. We are very happy that you believe in our cause, and made us beneficiaries of this event,” she added.
Projects of We Care include establishing a home for the elderly (for which they already started to bid for a certain area here in the city); providing livelihood workshops and seminars; training for nurses and caregivers to ready them working locally or abroad; blood-donor listing; and tie-ups with organizations of the elderly and other civic-oriented groups.
One of We Care’s current activities is called the Coffee Sessions, which allow women, either invited or walk-in guests, to share their experiences of domestic violence, learn about the rights of women and children, and counseling for victims of abuse.
“During the Sessions, we all heal in the process of talking things out. We all learn how to empower ourselves. And along the way, we learn to have self-confidence and realize our potentials,” Catalan shared.
We Care calls third floor of Porta Vaga Building Annex their home as of now. Catalan explained that this is where they hold their Coffee Sessions; and since they are a non-profit organization, they are currently looking other ways to call for sponsorship and funding for a future bigger building that could possibly house some of the homeless elders, women and children.
The art with the heart
Ten percent (10%) of the exhibit proceeds sold and sales of the exhibit opening at Bliss Café go to We Care, Ward shared. He added that they deem the struggle facing abused women and children everyday, and that it is very opportune time to hold such event that would benefit an organization like We Care.
The W-Works exhibit originally intended to solely display Alexander’s works became a project for other women advocates in Manila, as they also share the common passion to fight for and give voice to powerless women.
The exhibit showcase topics of a blissful wedding, the reflective hues of blue, a very pensive animation touching the intricacy of death, a simple depiction of the complex life captured in photos. A mix of myriad and at a loss for words would definitely occur, as one would visit the exhibit.
Exhibit runs until November 17 at the Bliss Café, Munsayac Inn, Leonard Wood.
Meanwhile, a night at Ayuyang Bar at Gov. Pack Road jammed with the feisty music of Cynthia Alexander and Carol Bello Bandidas. Another 10% from the concert profits benefit We Care.
Ward and Alexander, in behalf of the W-Works artists, spoke much gratitude to the people who supported the event. “We are blessed that this event pulled through successfully, and this all goes to a very good cause,” Ward ended. # Pink-Jean Fangon Melegrito for NORDIS