Fil-Am’s artwork in NY reaches rural communities in the PH

by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News


NEW YORK — Fil-Am David McQueen is a sculptor and installation artist in Brooklyn. His art is all about impulse: hopes, dreams, and desires.

His works of art have been shown at spaces and galleries in New York, including the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and the Bronx Museum of Art.

“I really love bonsai that gets shaped into these objects, and I wanted to do a 20-year project where I go out in the woods and shape a tree into the ribs of a boat, and then plane it down so that it looks like its growing out of a tree,” McQueen told BA. 

Much like a tree that provides food for humans, McQueen’s art helps feed hungry children in the Philippines through Advancement for Rural Kids, or ARK, an organization led by Ayesha Vera-Yu provides opportunities for children in rural communities in the Philippines — through feeding programs, arts initiatives, and economic investment.

“We use art and music as a way to help our partner communities in the Philippines heal after Haiyan, and so we saw the power of how art enabled all these kids and their parents and their communities reach and dream beyond what’s in their villages,” said Vera-Yu.

Through the ARK program, $15 dollars can a feed a child for a year, and a $50 donation can put one kid through school in a scholarship program.

McQueen worked with the kids to build their dream home. Kids get to write their dreams on a bamboo wall, and are inspired to work hard on making these dreams come true.

“Only the students are allowed inside, and the students are allowed to graffiti the interior,” McQueen shared. “They’re meant to write their hopes and dreams for themselves.”

“As soon as one person wants something, everyone wants, so everything builds in this really beautiful way, like imagination and dreaming build.”

ARK’s goal is to re-build 3 classrooms that were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

To date, the organization has benefited six villages with 10,000 residents in Cartero, Dumarau, and Capiz.


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