Can arts truly make real change?

Kristine Lim urges artists to ‘make art that’s able to do something beyond their canvas’

For years, artworks have been a part of many charities. The process usually involves artists donating pieces to galleries and auctions up for bidding, and their works’ proceeds will be given to communities and charities that greatly need help. But since the pandemic, artists are doing real actions that produce real change. Once shy and introverted people, many Filipino visual artists have come out of their studios and tried to perform roles with a mission to help fellow Filipinos.

Kristine Lim

Among them is visual artist Kristine Lim. After her 10-year hiatus in the local art scene, the artist is back, launching one exhibit after another, and with her Artist on a Mission initiative. But getting to where she is now was not an easy journey. She has to surpass many challenges including her battle with mental health issues, being clinically diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder, and the unfortunate death of her son John. Today, she is now seen as one of the missionary visual artists, doing missions and charity works and teaching art workshops to orphans and marginalized sectors of the community.

Founded by Kristine, Artists on a Mission Workshop moves around the Philippines and even to other parts of the globe to teach new generations of artists by sharing the gospel and conducting art workshops. The project is also dedicated to creating art centers in partnership with the local communities and churches.

Young artists From Zambales showing their masterpieces

“We are here so we can leave a legacy for generations beyond our own through artists who make art that’s able to do something beyond art, beyond their canvas, themselves, and the exhibit halls—all done lovingly and passionately for our God and for our country to better the world,” Kristine says. 

Currently, Artists on a Mission Workshop is using art to do Trauma Debriefing Seminars for children and families who got devastated by the recent typhoons, and those who are experiencing challenges brought by this pandemic, and other calamities.

Artist on a Mission's Art Case

Kristine is also currently serving as the director of culture and arts for Sustainable PH, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability and becomes at the forefront of “greenovation” in the Philippines. She is also one of the founders and the vice president for external affairs of Christian + Collective.

“I’m an artist but my art isn’t just about creating creative outputs,” she says. “I’ve found myself going to places and doing things that required me to stretch beyond what I know of about having a career as an artist to being what God called me for a specific moment. I can go and bring this Art Case with me to go to an art event but I’m always willing to go take a detour if God tells me I have to go somewhere unrelated or even to a battlefield. God didn’t just create us to build careers. We are here because we have a mission.”

To be part of Kristine’s initiative, you may extend assistance through the NGO’s mobilizing Artists on a Mission Workshops or through Teacher Celine Tojos / Lita Teodosio at (+639) 17 530 8847 / (+639) 25 546 4637 / (+639) 35 031 9931.

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