Group show exalts God, benefits less fortunate

We often remark on the artist’s God-given talent when we gaze at a beautiful painting or an expertly chiseled sculpture. It’s a sentiment shared by people for centuries. The great artist Michelangelo once said, “Art is the gift of God and must be used unto His glory. That in art is highest which aims at this.”

One community of artists is furthering this by using the proceeds from selling their artworks to help the less fortunate. More importantly, the GCF (Greenhills Christian Fellowship) Artists desire to help “bring Jesus Christ to our country’s poor, indigent, and marginalized families” via a group exhibit at ARTablado at Robinsons Galleria.

Last year, the GCF Artists began meeting regularly to support each other in developing their skills and growing in their spiritual lives. Seasoned artists Addie Cukingan and Naomi Banal talked about how they tapped opportunities to hone their talent while also serving the Lord.

Gone Tomorrow by Ana Abigail Araneta

In December, they began gathering artwork, which required united energy, enthusiasm, and faith from the group.

The result is “Heart in Art,” which they consider a historical event. According to the group, it is their first attempt to work as a team to communicate compassion and mercy through their works of art.

Pieces created by professional and amateur artists from diverse backgrounds are available at ARTablado until March 31. There’s an art teacher, a shoe designer, a foodie/retired restaurateur, a lyric soprano, a homemaker/retired banker, an advertising art director, an export business retiree, an actor-model, a homeschool mom, a grad student, a language teacher, a digital artist, and a pastor. They humbly describe themselves as “ordinary people wanting to serve an Extraordinary God.”

You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Therefore Every Part of You is Exactly as it Should by Josiah Bien Sebastian

In addition to Cukingnan and Banal, the participating artists include Ana Abigail Araneta, Aileen Espinosa Cura, Doris Disuanco, Flordz Perona, Gina Guerrero-Roldan, Jet Rai, Jimmy Tayag, Josiah Bien Sebastian, Ofemia Sy Tan, Rommel Yazon, and Tot Ligot.

The final list of participants consists of the adult members of the group who, by joining the exhibit, are “modeling an attitude of servanthood to the younger ones,” said show producer Richelle Joson-Ligot.

“We chose ‘Heart in Art’ to express the artists’ heartfelt gratitude to the Merciful and Compassionate God, the Giver of gifts–the One Who resides in their hearts. With the theme ‘Mercy and Compassion,’  each was inspired to express a message of mercy and communicate compassion through their artwork.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without their own faith experiences being recipients of God’s loving kindness. His love compelled, fueled, and enabled each to not just come up with something creative. This time, the artists put heart into their art,” Richelle added.

Smooth Sonata by Naomi Banal

Proceeds from the exhibit sale will go to GCF Mercy and Operation Compassion Ministries. Through these ministries, members of GCF extend love and service to the marginalized sectors. Some community development programs include medical and dental outreaches and livelihood assistance.

The GCF Artists said it is a privilege to hold their first exhibit at ARTablado because Robinsons Galleria is their “dear Ortigas Center neighbor and so very close to their hearts.”

Richelle described the images on display as “reflections of the artist’s faith in the One who fills the void in his heart with Christ’s unconditional love. It is the group’s prayer that the art pieces would move the viewers to get to know the God Who sacrificed Himself so that we may live and live lives that extend mercy towards others and compassion towards ourselves.” 

Ang Bantay by Aileen Espinosa Cura

Doris Disuanco, Flordz Perona, and Ofelia Sy Tan all initially felt a sense of timidity to participate, but as Disuanco put it, “What moved me to say yes was the opportunity to contribute to the ministry in my little way and give thanks to God for this talent.”

Indeed, they have used God’s gift and offered it for His glory.

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