The paintings of a Franciscan brother are among the art works featured at an ongoing exhibit in Quezon City that honors ordinary people doing extraordinary things for the good of others.
Twenty paintings depicting the theme, including those of Bro. Tope Villanueva, were included in the “Everyday Heroes” exhibit at the SM North Edsa that opened on Aug. 28, and runs until Sept. 4.
Organizers said each piece represents an artist’s personal hero who is admired for his or her strength, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities.
The Samar-based missionary is said to be one of the top selling artists of the exhibit organized by SM in partnership with Art Show Philippines (ASP) for this year’s National Heroes’ Day.
Villanueva said the art display shows “that average Filipinos from different professions and trades coming together can make a big social impact for the country”.
“Everyone is a protagonist in his own little world,” Villanueva said. “Each of us is a hero in our own little battles.”
“Sometimes, those thought of as ordinary people are overlooked, when in fact, they are the true heroes in everyday life,” he added.
Villanueva holds that art should not only treat the public to the beauty in arts, but also touch on the issues facing the lives of the people.
“The visual art of today must provide its audience with both aesthetic expression and socio-cultural insight,” he also said.
Villanueva had long been painting but he only started joining art exhibits during the pandemic.
Proceeds from his paintings have enabled him to provide traumatized children who survived natural disasters and armed conflicts with art therapy.
Villanueva said he had conducted art workshops for children in Yolanda-hit communities and for the Lumad kids after the earthquake in Cotabato province in 2019. He also brought his ministry to the children of Basilan and Marawi.
He had also organized a fund-raising exhibit dubbed “Pin Tabang” for the survivors of typhoon Odette that devastated Visayas and Mindanao regions in December 2021.