Biodiversity, autism awareness come together in benefit exhibit

This is a press release from the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. 

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), in partnership with the Center for Possibilities Foundation, will celebrate biodiversity and art in a benefit exhibit on Thursday, October 17, 2019, featuring the exemplary work of a young artist with special needs.

The exhibit titled “Biodiversity Through My Eyes: An Art Exhibit for Biodiversity and Autism Awareness” to be held at the Enderun Colleges in Taguig City, Philippines, will showcase 40 paintings of Samantha Kaspar, 22.

Diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, Kaspar finds expression through visual art and inspiration from nature and biodiversity. (READ: Our Ausome Anton: A mother’s journey with her son on the autism spectrum)

“Kaspar's  work tells us the value of nature in art and well-being. Nature fuels passion and creativity among artists, enabling them to create artwork that raises awareness and appreciation of our rich biodiversity,” ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim said.

Using either watercolor or acrylic on canvas and piña cloth, Kaspar's style has piqued the interests of art enthusiasts. She has been invited to display her artwork at the Fashion Arts Autism Benefit in New York and other various exhibitions in the Philippines and abroad.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the exhibit, a short concert featuring performances by Kaspar, students from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet.

Dignitaries, representatives from the government and the private sector, ecologists, and art enthusiasts are expected to grace the exhibit, which will open at 6 pm. 

“Aside from painting, Sam has many other talents. What’s puzzling is that she barely talks to anyone. She speaks a few words but when she sings, she utters every line clearly and beautifully,” said Michelle Kaspar, Samantha’s mother.

Proceeds from this benefit exhibit will go the projects of the ACB and CFP.

Kaspar’s painting of the Medinilla theresae, a newly discovered plant species that only grows in Mindanao, will also be unveiled. The rare plant species was named after Lim, a wildlife advocate and former director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

The dinner at the event will be prepared by the chef instructors and students of world-renowned chef Alaine Ducasse’s Ducasse Education Philippines. – Rappler.com 

The ACB is an intergovernmental centre created by the 10 ASEAN Member States in 2005 as a regional response to the challenge of biodiversity loss. It facilitates cooperation on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of such natural treasures.