I first met artist Spencer Ozo during the opening of his solo exhibit, titled positive | negative, at Conrad Manila’s Gallery C.
I remember being touched by his story of how his artistic journey began, how he channeled his pain of losing loved ones into the canvases.
And when someone survives that unbearable pain, it becomes his emphatic tool to become an emotional support for others.
This is perhaps one of the many reasons the artist participated in the fundraising exhibit organized by the Rotary Club of Manila, the Expanding Horizon.
Ozo spent weeks with the members of Angels of Rendu Art Club (ARAC), the young artists living at Hospicio de San Jose in Manila City.
The artist created two artworks for the exhibit, together with the children. He did the initial sketches, and let the young artists paint the rest.
“I had so much fun working with the children. I would go here on weekends to paint with them. They have the talents, you just need to guide them and refine their technique,” said Ozo.
What struck him during his visits was how much love and kindness these children have in their hearts even if they have nothing.
“There was one time when someone delivered food. They made sure that everyone had food. One of them was not in the room, but they saved food for him. It’s easy for some of us to forget to be kind, but these children, it seems innate to them,” shared Ozo.
Being generous even when you have nothing is simply love.
Generosity seems to be the theme of the exhibit. Other artists Solenn Heussaff, Melissa Yeung Yap, Kate Bautista, Jean Uy Yam, and Phillip Ong also shared their talents and materials with the kids.
RCM also tapped these artists to join the art exhibit for the benefit of Hospicio de San Jose Rendu Ward.
Aside from showcasing the artistic abilities and unique perspectives of the young artists, Expanding Horizon aims to raise funds for the completion of the Rendu ward, which will serve as the shelter of kids with special needs staying inside the welfare institution.
True to its mission of making a positive difference in the community and creating hope in the world, the Rotary Club of Manila (RCM) has been supporting the hospicio for years.
Built in 1810, Hospicio de San Jose has been taking care of vulnerable children, and elderly, and people with special needs.
Hospicio de San Jose has taken many of them under its protection, providing them with a nurturing and supportive environment where medical and rehabilitative care, spiritual enrichment, psycho-social support, and companionship are available to them.
“I was looking for an opportunity where my talent will be an instrument to help others, I am so glad that two of my collaborative artworks were sold and will benefit the kids of Hospicio. The exhibit is still open and all are encouraged to get a piece of artwork in order to help,” Ozo said.
Expanding Horizons Art Exhibit is on view until October 1, at LRI Design Plaza in Makati City.
With every painting, you get a feel of these children’s love and more.