Wife of a pastor of the Christian Bible Baptist Church (CBBC)

By Saul E. Pa-a

CABUYAO CITY, Laguna, March 8 (PNA) — Patience, industry, passion, creativity and care for the environment form the recipe of a wife of a pastor of the Christian Bible Baptist Church (CBBC) who has trained a team of trained young and teenage artists to craft scraps to arts at their center in Barangay Sala here.

In an interview with the PNA on “Women’s Day” celebration on Wednesday, Beverly T. Gatpandan, working mother and spouse of the Baptist Church Reverend Ernesto E. Gatpandan Jr said that her passion into scrap arts began in 1996 when she thought of where to dispose of old newspapers stocked at their residence.

The humble and soft-spoken “pastora” to the congregation members here, Gatpandan admitted she was disturbed by the “negative headlines” and stories that were published in the old issues of the tabloids and broadsheets as she compiled them for disposal.

She then thought of transforming the “bad news” into “good news” and hence her brainchild of “Good News Paintings” (GNP) was born – by recycling the newspaper scrap materials into different forms of artworks.

As a value-laden and purposive concept, the GNP aims to resolve the country’s huge accumulation of junk deposits and scrap papers by turning them into artworks and masterpieces.

Initially, her love for sketching using a mixed medium of charcoal and pencils, was witnessed by her son Ernest III who disclosed how her Mommy Beverly painstakingly crafted her work as a labor of love.

Until, Beverly, goaded by her care for the environment thought of recycling the mixed scraps and using paste, wood board, paint and mixed medium turned these into paper maché, mosaic, collage, montage and fragments dabbed into one painting masterpiece that is viewed now as the “good news.”

She then introduced the flagship product as “Good News Paintings” (GNP) as an array of hand-made artworks that reflect various themes from values, Biblical scenes, landscapes, nature, countryside farms, rural life, religious themes, landmarks and “all that the soul and the heart of the artists could capture.”

The recycled newspapers and scrap framings range from the small board works measuring 4 inches by 6 inches, 3D paintings to as big as murals, backdrops and life-sized paintings.

For more than two decades now, her GNP pet project has grown to train scores of as young as 8 year-old school children, elementary pupils, high schoolers and out-of-school youths to adults.

”Now we also train children of illegal-drug surrenderers including those who want to kick the habit on illegal drugs by engaging them in productive and creative activities,” Beverly said.

GNP now proudly displayed the masterpieces at the church activity center produced by several trained artists who have been supported by the company, patrons, overseas churches and art aficionados and have since supported the more than 200 church missions across the globe.

Beverly said they aim to reach out to students, youths and the public to underscore environmental awareness through educational workshops, field trips, exhibits, team building and for customized displays for special events.

She said that they have since arranged tour itineraries through their tour coordinators either at the CBBC in Barangay Sala, Cabuyao City or in Zambal, Tagaytay City.

Gatpandan has encouraged her trainees and amateur artists “to share, enjoy and earn” encapsulated in the acronym SEE and noted some of their artists have even landed jobs in the art profession abroad.

Alice Catapang, a socio-civic and business leader and congregation member has expressed her support to the project and even enrolled her son to the training workshop as an experiential learning and creative tutorial session.

For every GNP piece of art sold and proceeds of an art exhibition will benefit a chosen non-government organization, charitable groups and aspiring scrap artists. (PNA)

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