‘One of life’s greatest battles is in knowing, embracing, and accepting one’s self, despite one’s flaws. For the residents of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, the struggle gets all the more difficult. Self-portraits mirror the complexities of how one perceives the self. It is a defining experience that is so honest, yet so denuding, so delicate, yet so freeing. Richard Schmid puts it best: ‘Your experience of something, not the something itself, is the true underlying subject of every work you do.’
Portrait painting by painting artists with disabilities, was the main feature in the Mirror-Mirror Art Exhibit held last February 20-21, 2017 at the activity area of the IL Centro, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, Cainta Rizal. This was spearheaded by Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc. (TWH) in partnership with NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) and Fruitions Creative Collaborations with artist Ms. Adelle Quiogue. Mirror-Mirror is a rare and special collaboration between TWH artists and distinguished figure painter, UP College of Fine Arts lecturer, Ms. Jackie Lozano. Other trainer artists who kindly volunteered were Johann Guasch, AM Valdez and Steffi Mangalindan. This exhibit was preceded by art workshops participated by TWH artists, beneficiaries Romeo Tarini, Roy Llenares, Francis Candole, Catherine Quintua, Michelle Fernandez, Marie Concepcion, Joel Cruz and Samuel Nacar. Other volunteers who participated in the exhibit were Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, ADB SCF, former host Ms. Nika Alejar, Mr. Alfie Gillego and Jollibee Food Corp. as food sponsor.
This exhibit also featured a personalized approach to the viewers having a close encounter with the artists through special gadgets. Painting as an expression started in TWH in the 1980’s as a form of therapy for rehabilitation and now, it has evolved to include several styles and genre. This project aimed to showcase the exceptional artistic talents and capabilities of painting artists with disabilities. We encourage support for our painting artists through more opportunities for them from friends, advocates and partners!