Where the skies are candy colored

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Monday, March 17, 2014

IN HER perfect world, the skies are candy colored: a mix of pastels, luscious reds, pink cottony sweets, and all sorts of rainbow colored candies.

As a child, Cindy Ballesteros often dreamt of flying, to feel and touch the skies, happily looking down from above.

Now at 31, Cindy still has the same dreams. It keeps on recurring that she titled her first solo exhibit as just that: Candy Colored Skies.


Candy Colored Skies opened Saturday, March 15, at the Gallery Orange in Mandalagan, and will run until March 31.

On exhibit are 18 of her works, a collection of oil in canvas which reflects her personality, ideas, hopes, thoughts, and dreams.

And yet, as film director Lore Reyes says, it wasn’t candy colored when Cindy started painting again.

“It was in the midst of a dark night of the soul, a period of sorrow and melancholy, that Cindy found the will to start drawing and painting again,” Lore says in his introduction of Cindy at the opening of her exhibit.

(Cindy had worked with Lore as a production manager for the film Sonata, a collaboration between Peque Gallaga and Lore himself. The film, shot in Negros, stars Cherie Gil and tells the story of a unique friendship and the healing power of art and the countryside. It won Indie Movie Production Designer of the Year, Indie Move Sound Engineer, and Indie Movie Musical Score at the recent 30th PMPC Star Awards for Movies.)

Cindy says the candy colored skies remind her of her happy childhood days when her father was still alive. She dedicates this exhibit to him.

Cindy says Lore is very supportive and appreciative of her art works. In fact, he bought five of her previous artworks, and another two paintings last Saturday.

In his speech, Lore says that like many artists before her, circumstances have always conspired against Cindy from pursuing an education and a career in the arts.

It was while working in the set construction crew of Peque’s play in the University of Saint La Salle that Cindy finally found a rekindling of her craving for a life in the arts, he adds.

She paints, even if all that was available to her were used canvases, retazos of stage scenery—and leftover paints—that were the surplus of the stage sets she was working on at the time, he recalls.

Cindy thanks artist Charlie Co, the man who saw the potential in her work, and gave her the much-needed encouragement and exposure, by involving her in exhibits in Gallery Orange.

She also thanked businessman and art patron Bong Lopue and his family for having the vision to create an artist’s sanctuary that is the Art District, where Gallery Orange is located.

Lopue delivered the welcome remarks, while Co and his wife Ann delivered an inspirational message.

Before the opening of the exhibit, Cindy thanked Charlie in her email. In his speech, Charlie said, “I am very happy that in some way, I have been able to inspire you. But always remember, what you have achieved in your art, it's because of your dedication…it's something that makes you happy.”

“Despite your everyday struggles, you still made time for your art and because of this, it makes me even more proud of you. Like me, you are also a story teller in your paintings. So continue telling stories through your art and be true to it,” Charlie adds.

Cindy’s boss, provincial elections supervisor Jessie Suarez, also graced the opening. The setup of the exhibit was designed by artist-friend Manny Montelibano.

Candy Colored Skies is free for public viewing from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays. (With reports from Ana Patricia Talam)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 17, 2014.


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