Brush with art helps babies

Brush with art helps babies
Mr Hilton Alves, 35, was here for two weeks to work on three giant murals at Sentosa.
PHOTO: The New Paper

Brazilian artist Hilton Alves was hard at work at Sentosa Beach over the last two weeks.

During that time, the ocean muralist painted three giant ocean-themed murals.

One of them will be Asia's largest ocean mural, painted on a wall at the Beach Station that measures about 6.3m by 2.8m.

Mr Alves, 35, was here to join forces with DaySpring to help raise funds for abused teenage girls and unsupported pregnant women and their newborn babies.

DaySpring, which runs a centre for youths and another for women, also started a crowdfunding project called Buy A Fish, Save A Life.

Every pledge of $50 would see one of the children volunteers paint a sea creature on one of the murals.

Fifty children, aged between five and 12, were picked to be part of the mural painting through DaySpring's online competition. 

STRUCK A CHORD

Mr Alves, who when painting, was in his usual work outfit of a Hawaiian-themed printed shirt and paint-splattered trousers, guided the 50 children as they painted sea creatures on the murals during a three-day workshop he conducted for them.

DaySpring raised US$7,130 (S$10,000) through the project.

Mr Alves got involved in the project when DaySpring management committee chairman, Ms Dominique Choy, met him while on a holiday in Hawaii.

He was at an art festival there and Ms Choy bought one of his signature paintings of a turtle.

Ms Choy got to know about Mr Alves' personal project, 101 Perfect Waves International Mural Project. He aims to paint 101 ocean murals to reach out to communities around the world about different humanitarian causes.

His project struck a chord with her and she invited him to come to Singapore as part of DaySpring's annual fundraising event. Mr Alves immediately agreed.

When he visited DaySpring's centre, he felt so deeply emotional that he was on the brink of tears.

"I want every mural I do to have a meaning behind it," said Mr Alves.

"If I can do something to help people, whether (through) murals or other things, I will. Art has changed my life and it can change theirs, too."

The self-taught artist added: "When I was young, I didn't have anyone telling or guiding me about art.

"That is why I want to encourage and inspire kids to paint and express their creativity instead of them being constantly on their iPhones, iPads and social media."

I want to encourage and inspire kids to paint and express their creativity instead of them being constantly on their iPhones, iPads and social media.


This article was first published on Nov 23, 2015.
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