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The Visual Arts Helping Hands Foundation, Inc., invites you to witness the beginning of its third fundraising exhibition titled “CHAPTER 3: A Room to Think.”

“A snapshot of the times we spent in isolation.”

“CHAPTER 3: A Room to Think” will be open for viewing on January 15, 2023, at Pinto Art Museum, 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo, Rizal, with all artworks up for sale. The formal opening ceremonies, book launch, and raffle will be on January 22, 2023, at 4 P.M.

This exhibition will have a special event for interested buyers in the form of a “raffle category” for certain select artists. Anyone eager to add to their collections must be present at the opening ceremony, and upon registration will drop their names into boxes for their preferred artworks. At 6 P.M., those whose names are drawn will be given the first chance to purchase the piece. No advance reservations on any artwork in the “raffle category” will be entertained; this is to ensure a fair chance for everyone who is present during the event.

None “raffle category” works can be bought beforehand. All works at the exhibits will be “book pieces”.

Please watch out for new posts and information here on our main Facebook page as we take the time to introduce all the participating artists, their works, and the

book. Check out our teaser video below for a glimpse of what’s coming!

For any further inquiries, please contact

Ms. Jennifer Villanueva (+63 927 764 6270)

Mr. Daniel dela Cruz (0927-5212824) or Ms. Cora Abad (0918-5729050)

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Artists Helping Hands aims toward creating a fund-giving body to address the needs of artists and will hold its first fundraising exhibit.


“It all started with a simple idea,” says sculptor Daniel de la Cruz. “I was having a conversation with another artist about the Philippine art scene and we both agreed that prices were getting very expensive and commercialized. We wanted to do something charitable that would counter this but we weren’t certain at first.” After many discussions with other artists and members of the art community, de la Cruz discovered that there was a clear need for the visual arts community to have an organized charitable body that would serve its own members. “Not all artists are commercially successful,” he continues. “Many cannot afford their medical bills and in the past we have only been more reactive to the needs of our peers, scrambling for ways and means to help when needed. We decided that whatever we instituted would have to benefit artists and should help us move from the reactive to proactive in our ability to provide emergency funds.” With this in mind, de la Cruz, together with a board of six other individuals made up of both artists and art patrons, formed Artists Helping Hands earlier this year. The foundation is aimed toward creating a fund-giving body to address the needs of artists.

In order to provide seed money for the foundation to operate and begin its mission of service, de la Cruz is spearheading a fundraising exhibition that will take place on September 24 at the Pinto Academy for Arts and Sciences in Antipolo. This exhibit will showcase collaborative works between himself and 23 other active artists: Elmer Borlongan, Plet Bolipata, Pam Yan-Santos, John Santos, Johnny Alcazaren, Max Balatbat, Renz Baluyot, Zean Cabangis, Mariano Ching, Alfredo Esquillo, Manny Garibay, Renato Habulan, JC Jacinto, Romeo Lee, Ferdie Montemayor, Raffy Napay, Veronica Pee, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Arturo Sanchez, Soler Santos, Yasmin Sison, Hamilton Sulit, and Reg Yuson.

Well-versed in using a wide range of art materials, de la Cruz approached each of the aforementioned artists with the idea of creating molds for their hands. The resulting sculpture would serve as a launching point for further artistic exploration and collaboration between himself and each other artists, Once completed, a series of 12 sculptures by each of the artists would be produced. With 12 works from 24 artists, 288 pieces will be exhibited and put for sale along with three more individual sculptures made by each artist, bringing the total number of works for 360. To be sold in lots, interested individuals will have the opportunity to buy a single set of six different sculptures from various artists, carefully assembled by the foundation’s board members, taking into consideration the artistic style and the maturity of the artists.

“If you collect an artist’s paintings or sculptures, wouldn’t you want a copy of the artist’s hands? That is where they come from,” de la Cruz points out. Highlighting the artists’ unique ideas and generosity toward this foundation, each piece of work emphasizes their desire to reach out to the visual arts community and their success with his foundation is definitely something to look forward to in the future. “I have gained tremendous personal insight from this project in how different artists work and think differently and I hope they share that sentiment,” continues de la Cruz. “But the true again for all of us is the opportunity to be able to be part of something that will live beyond our individual careers. This is our legacy to our community.”

September 24, Pinto Art Museum, 1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Road, Antipolo, Rizal, 697.1015.

This story was originally published in the September 2017 issue of Town&Country.

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Daniel dela Cruz casts a story of artists’ hands

PLATFORMS By Pristine L. De leon (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 11, 2017 - 12:00am

By Sept. 24, a throng of hands will have populated the Pinto Academy for Arts and Sciences, some emerging eerily out of painted cabinets, some having the anthropomorphic capacity of riding on little bikes, others like objects long dead resting peacefully on their glass box. In this exhibit spearheaded by sculptor Daniel dela Cruz, the hands of 24 prominent local artists have been cast in resin, eternally suspended in time, or moving every now and then when no one’s looking.

“Hands — they’re what the artists use to make a living. I live off my hands,” says dela Cruz. “And from a collector’s point of view, I collect the artist’s work, I’d love tohave a copy of their hands; you see all the characters of the people there.”

Juan Alcazaren, Max Balatbat, Renz Baluyot, Plet Bolipata, Elmer Borlongan, Zean Cabangis, Mariano Ching, Alfredo Esquillo, Manny Garibay, Renato Habulan, JC Jacinto, Romeo Lee, Ferdie Montemayor, Raffy Napay, Veronica Pee, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Arturo Sanchez, Jose Santos III, Pam Yan-Santos, Soler Santos, Yasmin Sison, Hamilton Sulit, and Reg Yuson complete the cast of “Helping Hands Chapter 1,” running until Oct. 8 at the Pinto Academy, 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights Rd., Antipolo, Rizal.

“My being a sculptor allowed me to help the artists interpret their visions in a lot of different media: wood, steel, metal, lights, what have you,” says Dela Cruz. The collaboration spawned a series of 12 works per artist, sculptures referencing the craft and character of their creator.

Thread wraps Raffy Napay’s resin-cast hands, giving emphasis to the material that prompted his shift from painting. Alfredo Esquillo depicts the wounds of Christ on hands forming the figure of a dove, a sculpture based on one of his paintings, and reflecting his penchant for invoking cultural tropes and icons of the sacred.

Plet Bolipata, whose series is decidedly the most elaborate in the exhibit, spins a narrative on the Little Red Riding Hood. Knitting hands, emerging from cabinets and acrylic cases, allude to the artist’s fascination with coaxing imagined creatures into life through a variety of found objects. “I love to knit and crochet in my spare time,” she adds. “Especially, these past few years, with my nieces studying abroad and requesting me to knit or crochet them scarves or beanies for the cold weather. It was my act of love and generosity to them. So knitting and crocheting hands felt like the perfect symbol to represent the kindness and generosity the Helping Hands project wishes to extend to visual artists.”

Initially intended as a small charity exhibit, Dela Cruz’s project has given rise to a more noble, if not

ambitious, initiative to give back to the artist’s community. To be launched along with the exhibit is the

Visual Arts Helping Hands Foundation, conceived by Dela Cruz and now comprised of an external board

represented by artists and art patrons Dr. Joven Cuanang, Trickie Lopa, Jonathan Que, Mike Tomacruz,

Manny Garibay, Reggie Yuson, Atty. Tonico Manahan, Dr. Steve Lim and Dr. Raffy Tuason.

The main purpose of the foundation for the first two years, explains Dela Cruz, is simply to address

visual artists’ medical emergencies and medical needs. “As the doctor in the group,” says Cuanang, “I

will present an agenda of health promotion and disease prevention for the artists and their families. We

will establish a group of medical experts in all fields who will assist them when they get sick.”

As a counterweight to the increasing commercialism in the art scene, the foundation similarly makes a case for art made and sold for the purpose of enriching the art community at large. “To provide for the emergency needs of the artists is the immediate purpose of the foundation. But I think what’s more important is the spirit of community it creates among artists,” says Garibay.

“In the art scene,” Garibay continues, “very few artists have the fortune of living comfortably off their art. Most are actually struggling to get a share of the market. A foundation that encourages sharing and compassion especially from more established artists can start a culture that hopefully will be observed by everyone including the galleries.”

From the collaborative process of making the sculptures to how they’re sold and where the proceeds go, “Helping Hands Chapter 1” aims at demonstrating the possibilities of making art more democratic.

The 300 or so resin-cast hands from the different artists’ series are grouped into collections of six. Whether a set includes Jacinto’s ceramic hands entombed in glass, Dela Cruz’s hands aboard a bicycle, or Borlongan’s handcuffed hands praying to a deity somewhere, collectors will pay the same price for any collection. “It’s different, it’s changing the game,” says Dela Cruz of the effort to render the pieces with equal value and level the playing field.

The token piece in the exhibit, called “Chapter 1,” is a composite of all the artists’ hands, on blocks resembling pieces in a board game. “You can move the hands around,” says Dela Cruz, “The main point again is (to have) no one above another, and there are slots left open — the reason being the story is not done. The title is “Chapter 1.” It’s just the beginning. More and more will come in the future; there is space for everyone to join.”

“Chapter 1” draws attention to details lending distinct character to the artists: the smallness of Sison’s hands, the lines in Borlongan’s, and all the telling gestures. The historic piece goes up for silent auction to benefit the Center for Possibilities. Through the exhibit, the focus shifts from the individual to the community. Hands hearken to the artist’s capacity to breathe life into objects, to create, to preserve, and in this case, to build — to establish not only a foundation but a strong sense of kinship in the art field.

As Dela Cruz puts it, “What we are working on, what we are putting together, is something that is meant to outlive any of us. Long after all of us are gone, ideally this will still be there, and will continue. What’s important is that these artists banded together to give birth to this foundation.”

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