THIS champion archer has set his sight on a new target -- blending colors and creating forms with lines.
Although 19-year-old Salvador Escalante III dabbled most of his teenage years in various sporting disciplines, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic brought him back to painting, one of his childhood hobbies.
“I started painting when I was around Grade 3 (but) I thought painting is something I won’t excel in so I shifted to sports (and) then Covid came and sporting activities were stopped,” Escalante, who is fondly called as Ding by family and friends, recalled.
Ding tried oil pastels to blend colors, until his father, Salvador, Jr., who is the mayor of Cadiz City, gave him an easel and canvas.
Ding called it a break for archery, shooting, hunting and running and reverted back to painting.
“I want to make everyone in the family proud of me (because) I am not afraid to try new things,” he said.
“It’s always been a mindset that no matter how difficult life is, I will always make everyone proud,” he also said.
Ding is a multi-awarded sports varsitarian at St. La Salle, where he finished Senior High School with honors.
He was also given the Athletic Awards in high school.
Four months after his grandfather, Salvador “Badong” Sr. passed away in 2015, Ding took up archery.
He competed and won in regional meets in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and advanced to the Palarong Pambansa in Davao representing Western Visayas in 2019.
Ding was supposed to don the Negros Occidental colors again in the 2020 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet in Antique, but it did not push through when the pandemic was declared.
“Pulling a bow weighing 40 pounds is different from mixing colors and portraying strokes. The only similarity between painting and archery is myself and not being afraid of trying what I think is impossible,” the upcoming visual artist said.
Ding is one of the 43 visual artists featured in “Proclivity,” an art exhibition at the Cadiz City Mall that runs from September 20 to 26, 2021, JR Ledesma, of the organizing Hibalag Group, which partnered with other Cadiznon artists and the local government.
The event is one of the highlights of the local government unit's Tourism Month celebration.
Ledesma said the week-long exhibition is a way of giving back to the invaluable efforts as well as recognition of the contributions of frontliners during this period of the pandemic.
“Their proclivity for working hard, providing food, and preserving lives in these trying times have truly created a remarkable impact. This art exhibition is our colorful salute. As artists, this is our proclivity,” said Ledesma, a school teacher-turned-painter and leader of the Cadiz creative community. (PR)