YOUTH has no age and as ironic as it may seem, time will never be able to measure nor tell its existence in one’s heart. This intangible state of mind, however, can be seen in art, for these masterpieces that take time are ultimately timeless; and within it, one can stay forever young.

As a protest to the passage of time, five members of Cebu Artists Inc. (CAI) exhibited their artworks to express their passions and show their audience that an artist’s mind and heart never grow old. The exhibit Forever Young was launched on Dec. 16 in Ayala Center Cebu and is still available for viewing until today.

The five exhibiting artists who are members of the organization include Tina Marie H. Gandionco, Adelaida P. Javier, Mayleen Laico, Tatsuko Naya and Marlou Velasquez.

Adelaida Javier, 95, and Tina Gandionco, 56, were students of renowned Maestro Martino Abellana. Both opted to follow different paths. But despite pursuing different careers, their love and passion for the arts never stopped burning.

“After graduating from BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), there was a job waiting for me in a Japanese garment manufacturing firm which allowed me to travel to Asian countries. For many years, I worked mostly in exports for Japan and USA. Recently though, I changed gear, privileged to work in a private hospital wherein part of my job called for holding art exhibits. My boss encouraged me to participate and this opened my long hidden desire to paint once more,” said Tina, who is presently employed at Chong Hua Hospital.

Adelaida Javier is retired and continues to do her hobbies to this day which includes painting.

“Mama is creative, passionate and focused. What she wants to do, she will pursue. And so she wants to paint and without much ado went to it with patience focus and love,” said Tessie Javier, Adelaida’s daughter.

The other exhibitors tried their hand at art later in life, and while art takes second place to their careers, it is nevertheless consuming enough that they are able to paint enough to join group shows.

“I am a nephrologist by profession and it is still my passion. But I discovered art this past year and since then, my love for painting has inspired me to create works that I can share with others. I enjoy learning new things, and art and painting are certainly very new to me. I have had no formal training, I learned to paint from workshops. Discovering the joy of creating works of art at my age just proves that it is never too late to start something new,” said Dr. Mayleen Laico, now in her early 50s.

Tatsuko Naya is a Japanese who claims to have a Filipino heart and has found Cebu as her home, she is currently furthering her studies in the arts in the region. Retired lawyer Marlou Velasquez, who is in his mid-60s, is currently enjoying his time playing golf and painting using art materials that his children no longer use in school. “Painting is more than just a hobby. It is a lasting imprint of your existence that will live on the walls of your loved ones, friends and admirers.” As a closing statement he continued, “I am retired, but am not tired.”

The show was the last exhibit of the organization for the year 2016 and with it, CAI hopes to encourage others to pursue their passion and interest for the arts. The artists hope to encourage other budding artists not to be discouraged by considerations of age or the thought of lack of formal training.