Gifts from the gifted


Artworks allow the creative souls to express themselves—feelings, thoughts and visions—in a way that they do the best. Armed with paper or a canvas, pencils, brushes, paints and other coloring materials, artists create works that allow them to step into a different and vibrant realm and sometimes take with them people who view their works.

“Painting gives me a sense of peace. It allows me to escape into a whole new world where everything is peaceful and pleasing,” said architect Loloy Castro, one of the co-founders of the group named Arkisketchers Cebu. It is composed of Cebuano architects who love to sketch and paint various subjects from heritage buildings to rural scenes and urban landscapes.

Being in a demanding but truly beautiful and relevant profession, these architects usually had to deal with a lot of work-related stress with project deadlines, construction site visits and client meetings. For these artists, the canvas gives respite to them, and well, to the people simply viewing these awesome works. Imagine being transported into the Cebuano countryside with poignant scenes of lush landscape and simple people doing their daily activities. The somewhat dynamic urban life is being rendered in a more subdued perspective with the setting sun’s rays reflected on the waters near the pier area. How about painted snapshots of little kids playing the “bato lata” just outside their homes? Truly, it allows the viewer to ponder on the simple yet beautiful things we often ignore.

Architect Loloy further added: “To be able to use my art as a way of helping others is even more meaningful.” This is a belief shared by everyone in their group.

For the past few years, Arkisketchers has gathered its works and mounted them on exhibits for a worthy cause. Sold paintings during these exhibits meant valuable help for the children with cancer under the Cancer Warriors Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization in Cebu. This month, its ongoing watercolor show “Gifted to Love” is at Ayala Center Cebu until April 30, Friday. It is again targeted to gain funds for these sick children, who need even more assistance during this time of the pandemic.

Painting and sketching are hobbies that inspire. These make people appreciate not just artistic talent but the patience and perseverance involved in completing an artwork. However, it is truly noteworthy how these architect-artists, abundantly gifted with creativity, are continuously reaching out to those who are in need of help and be gifts to them as well.


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