Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Art Book Aims to Involve Children in Conservation

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (November 2008): The Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting greater awareness and appreciation for Philippine art, culture and the environment is proud to announce the publication of MESSAGE IN THE SAND, a new children's story by internationally bestselling author Charmaine Aserappa. The new children's book will be launched with an exhibition of original acrylic on canvas paintings which were specially created for the book by rising Filipino artist Roel Obemio. Obemio's solo exhibition will open with cocktails at 6pm on Thursday, November 27, 2008 at the prestigious Ayala Museum in Makati City.

An exquisite art book for children, MESSAGE IN THE SAND introduces the young eco-champion, Miguel, who loves the sea and sets out to save it. He is armed with nothing but faith, imagination and his mother's love and encouragement; his only weapons are those that the sea has provided for its own preservation – seashells, seaweed and sand. With these simple tools, Miguel must battle two giants: the powerful mining company, whose toxic waste is ruining the beach and killing the beautiful fish and seabirds; and the powerful ocean that keeps washing away his words. The book teaches gentle lessons in perseverance, and in finding unusual and peaceful means to effect change. It inspires and empowers children to act against seemingly insurmountable odds, showing us how even one child can make a difference.

Proceeds from the sale of the paintings and the book will benefit and be used to further CANVAS efforts to promote Philippine art, culture and the environment. The book, and a complete range of giftware featuring the paintings from MESSAGE IN THE SAND will also be available at its online store CANVAS Downstream.

First edition hardbound versions of MESSAGE IN THE SAND are available through CANVAS, the Ayala Museum and 1/of Gallery in Serendra. A special e-book version of MESSAGE IN THE SAND, together with an accompanying teaching module, is being prepared by CANVAS, and will be made available for free downloading on its website.

Charmaine Aserappa is the author of IN A JAPANESE GARDEN (with woodcuts by Akiko Naomura; Council Oak Books, San Francisco, U.S.A 1999). A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Gift Book, an Amazon.com Five Star, Most Wished For and Most Gifted Book, IN A JAPANESE GARDEN appears on Bestselling Lists all over the world in categories as diverse as philosophy, architecture, and poetry, and is used in many schools. Charmaine Aserappa said, "It was an honor to be invited to write MESSAGE IN THE SAND for CANVAS. I am delighted with the book and hope its message will spread across the world. We all share this wonderful but fragile planet, and children must be taught that caring for it is the sacred duty of every human being."

Roel Obemio's glowing acrylic paintings for the book have been inspired by the art of Fernando Botero (Colombia), and Mauro Malang Santos (Philippines), but are entirely original, and the unique and endearing characters in MESSAGE IN THE SAND are tenderly and amusingly rendered.

For more information, please email info@canvas.ph, or text/call +63 917.890.6160.

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