Cover Artist Danny Santiago working on a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the child Jesus holding Carmelite scapulars (Photo: SSBCDFI)

The San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation, Inc (SSBCDFI) is opening a digital exhibition fundraiser on January 28 featuring alluring pieces crafted by 22 local artists out of the historic rust taken from certain sections of the 130-year-old basilica

Entitled Para Sa Ina: Rust to Art Exhibit, the fully digital fundraiser presented by the SSBCDFI aims to be a celebration of faith, innovation, and art. Proceeds of the said exhibition, which runs from January 28 to April 2022, will be going to financially support the teams of people who continue to work on the restoration of the historic basilica.

The exhibition features 35 unique paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces that all incorporate rust that was collected from the architectural marvel basilica in Quiapo. 22 local artists have experimented with various methods and materials to create magnificent works of art, which are drawn out of their reflections on the undying devotions to Nuestra Señora del Carmen de San Sebastian (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel of San Sebastian) and Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health), and their history in the basilica.

"The rust takes on new meaning. . .becomes a new beginning, a renewal of faith, a birthing of new ideas, and best of all, a conduit of our love to the Blessed Mother," exhibit's curator Asst. Prof. Mary Ann Venturina-Bulanadi, PhD of the University of Santo Tomas explained. "It becomes light in a moment of darkness and despair," she said.

Para Sa Ina will be the second rust-to-art exhibit by the foundation since 2018 with Reredos, an informal group of artists specialising in religious art. This year's exhibit lineup of 22 artists include others outside of Reredos such as Joe Datuin, Lawton Ladao, and AJ Perez.

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