WASHINGTON, DC - In line with the Philippine celebration of National Arts Month this February, a week-long exhibit entitled "Art and Soul (The Healing Power of Art)" featuring the works of Artist and Curator Julian Oteyza and restaurateur and cookbook writer Mrs. Sony Florendo, will be shown at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy from February 10 to 16.

This year's celebration theme, "Malikhain. Mapagbago. Filipino," underscores the creative power of the arts and its role as a catalyst for change. It also highlights the arts as a reflection of the nation's soul, and a source of pride in being Filipino.

"Tonight, we reflect on Philippine culture. We look into the Filipino soul. In so doing, may we all express and embody the hope that the Filipino's creativity and ingenuity will continue to empower Filipino communities to become partners for change wherever and whenever possible," said Minister Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga, Acting Head of Post, as he welcomed guests to the exhibit's Opening Reception hosted by the Embassy in the evening of February 09.

Romulo Hall was transformed into a mini art gallery full of colors, stories, and poetry of both Mr. Oteyza and Mrs. Florendo's paintings.

"And one of the intuitive ways we Filipinos celebrate pakikipagkapwa is in the arts - such as in our community theatres, in our traditional and not-so-traditional dances, in our common passion for music, in our colorful visual arts, and in film. In these collective expressions we find ourselves, our shared experiences, our culture, our identity, our sense of nation, and our being Filipinos," Minister Chan-Gonzaga added.

Mr. Julian Oteyza, in his brief remarks, shared his personal experience with the healing power of art, and how it channeled his creativity and sense of adventure in using rotating canvasses for his artworks.

"All of the paintings here are rotatable - you can create your own. I also encourage you to touch the art. Usually, when you go to a gallery, you can't touch the art. In this one, you can touch and rotate them," said Mr. Oteyza.

The exhibit will run until 16 February 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except on Saturday and Sunday.

Mrs. Sony Florendo will share her experiences and creative self-expressions at the Closing Reception which will take place on 16 February 2017 at 6:00 p.m. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs