The Alliance Française de Manille (AFM), with the support of the Embassy of France, present Collective Dreams, an art exhibition featuring the visions and aspirations of the kids from Boystown, Davao, through the FreeArt Association.
The exhibition, a product of a year-long exercise in dreams and colors, allows people to see the visions and aspirations of 50 Boystown kids through their collaborative works.
This endeavor started in 2015 when Mindanao artist Rey Mudjahid “Kublai” Ponce Millan linked up with Boystown to engage the boys into artistic expression. He brought with him his artist friends, Rogelio Cayas Jr., head of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts Education (CAFAE) of the University of Mindanao; UM-CAFAE faculty member Victor Dumaguing; special program for the arts senior high school teacher Jeff Bangot, and Sun Star Davao editor-in-chief Stella Estremera, who joined the boys in several Saturday to learn about dreams, colors, figures and drawing. The kids were made to write down their dreams for themselves—to imagine their perfect world, their happy thoughts. Some were more graphic than others, surreal even.
As such, Collective Dreams reflects the concept of FreeArt Association.
“It is based on a very simple idea. Everyone should make a step a head in this world to do something good. If many people will do small step, it will eventually become a big step. This is what I believe, by developing the creativity of children to build their imaginary world, we show them that everything can be possible in their imagination, and from their imagination to real life,” Micha Laury, founder of FreeArt told The Sunday Times Magazine during the exhibition’s opening on November 17 at the Alliance Total Gallery in Bel-Air 2, Makati.
“I founded FreeArt here in the Philippines because I wanted to do something in this country. I am an artist, I make many exhibition and museums so I thought that this country is a good place to do something with kids that need help. The idea is that through dreams, we can change people,” he added.
The exhibit—which will run until January 20, 2017—is not geared toward raising funds, nevertheless, Kublai said the money that will be raised from the auction will be used for an arts center in Boystown, Davao.
“The problem is the availability of space, equipment and materials for the kids inside. The board agreed and allowed us to put a place there where the kids can do art anytime since we have empowered them already—they knew that they have the power to create. Many were helping, so now they have the chance to say thank you. They can use their paintings as a gift for their benefactors,” Kubali told The Sunday Times Magazine.
“The most important thing we have contributed is that, us as art teachers, they knew that they have the ability to draw. There is a sudden realization that ‘Hey I didn’t know I have the power to do this from nothing to somewhere’. Now, they are very proud that they have this kind of exhibit. Those 50 kids are now inspired to make their art better,” he ended.