The art exhibit “Mithing Oponganon” at Mactan’s Island Central Mall is one of the many activities in connection with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Lapu-Lapu’s victory over Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. The exhibit features not just the artworks of members of the Cebu Artists Inc. (CAI), which organized the exhibit at the request of the Lapu Lapu City government, but also of four young artists: Karina Marga Cuizon and Kevin Serad (Mactan Island), Leodito R. Bongo III (Danao City), and Michael Dondoyano (Camotes Island).

Karina is a BFA graduate majoring in Advertising Arts from the University of San Carlos who joined award-winning art and design studio Happy Garaje in 2015.

“As a child, I remember watching cartoons with my brothers and then I would doodle the characters on my notebook. Japanese anime and J-RPG videogames were the things that influenced me and my art up until now. Later on, I was introduced to graphic novels by my studio mates. The storytelling style blew me away. Moving forward, I would like to keep telling stories and making art. And I hope someday, they’ll inspire someone to pick up a pencil and start drawing their hearts,” said Karina. True enough, Karina’s art tells stories, to be read, to appreciate her anime-inspired works.

Kevin was born and raised in the coastline outskirts of Mactan Island.

“When I was young, I first discovered the connection with the magnificent and captivating seascapes and skyline of my surroundings. I then intended to transfigure the kinship I had with the natural world into my works and that lives up to this day,” he said. A classic artist, he has a traditional realistic approach for his works on portraits, figures, scenarios and landscapes. He was an animation student but shifted to fine arts in order to fulfill his passion for art. He has tried various media, but these days, he uses oil paint to convey the moods and feelings of his subject. He has tried doing sculptures and has done murals.

Leodito showed his artistic talent when he was in the third grade, a talent that has brought him many awards, including grand winner for Region 7 in “Pintahusay,” a contest organized by the Department of Education in 2019; and in 2021, a Future Artist’s Award given by the World Culture Artists Association in Seoul, Korea. He has started to join exhibits like the current Tigum Tigum+Visual in SM Seaside City Cebu. He plans to take up arts at the University of the Philippines. He has beautiful works using colored pencils but also does works in acrylic, oil and watercolor. His passion is for traditional art and he looks forward to painting subjects that promote Cebuano culture.

Michael, a graphic artist, was inspired and motivated by Cebuano artists and began painting art in 2008. To develop his talent, he enrolled at the Cebu Institute of Technology-University majoring in Graphics and Media. He was mentored by Garry Watin, who inspired him to pursue his passion for painting.

Though he works as a graphic artist, Michael always finds time to nurture his love for painting, using watercolor, oil and charcoal, developing his skills in realism. He mingles with other artists to find inspiration and pointers from them. He believes that dedication and sacrifice will help him achieve his goals in his artistic journey.

“Mithing Oponganon” is ongoing at Island Central Mall until April 30.