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PAINTINGS by Robbie Sanchez are among those for sale in A Celebration of Smiles: Creating smiles and second chances at life through art. — NICKKY FAUSTINE P. DE GUZMAN

ON VIEW at Solaire’s The Shoppes Artway gallery is an art exhibit for the benefit of kids with cleft palate in the Philippines.

A Celebration of Smiles: Creating smiles and second chances at life through art is strategically located in view at the casino — where money flies — until Sept. 2.

Proceeds from the sale of the works on show will go to Smile Train, an organization of medical professionals who provides free cleft palate surgery and comprehensive cleft palate care to children around the globe. In the Philippines, the organization has performed 50,000 surgeries since 2001.

The exhibit features works by professional artists and some former Smile Train patients.

There is an obvious unedited rawness and simplicity in the works of seven former Smile Train patients — Julia Robert Capili, Angel Ibo, Gelli Ann Agus, Pearl Angeli Miranda, Jervy Hobo, Elijah John Valeza, and Nickson Cabote. Their subjects are basic — a nipa hut, a mother and child, a tree, a woman jumping in midair — and all are colorful.

The proceeds from the sales of art from these former patients will go to the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Philippines Inc.(NCFPI), which is a non-profit organization that aims to establish craniofacial centers in the country.




Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, area director for Smile Train in Southeast Asia, said newborn babies and kids with cleft problems should undergo surgery as soon as possible, preferably before they turn four. But the majority of their Filipino indigent patients come for help when they are older, making the process difficult in a sense that they will need speech pathology to correct their nasal speaking.

The other participating artists are Roberto Sanchez, a DJ, entrepreneur, and self-taught artist; Jon Ray Fernandez, a former airline professional who is now a mixed media artist; Camy Franciso-Cabral, a former design and advertising maven who has become a full time artist; and Albrech Behmel, an author, playwright, and artist.

Twenty percent of their sales will go to Smile Train.

The fund-raising event is initiated and made possible by Acts of Kindness, a group that supports causes and charities through art. — Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman









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