By Toby Denise Concepcion
Launched in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22 to raise awareness and support for environmental protection. It continues to be celebrated worldwide with events and activities promoting environmental awareness and action. In fact, Earth Day has led to the creation of several essential ecological laws, such as “The National Environmental Policy Act,” which requires various agencies to evaluate the environmental effects of their proposed actions and provides for public participation in the decision-making process.
This 2023, “Invest in Our Planet,” is Earth Day’s international theme, with the goal of convincing businesses, governments, and people worldwide to invest in our planet by protecting and preserving it for future generations.
With that, FilipinoArt.ph is also taking part in this year’s goal by pointing out that art can be a powerful means of encouraging people to take action in protecting the natural world.
Meet Marielli Arnaldo, who believes that art’s creative expression is essential for the human spirit, and that a society that encourages art cultivates compassion and understanding, resulting in a healthier environment. A quote from Amanda Palmer, an American artist, inspires her: “Art is food for the soul, and an artistic climate is a healthy climate because it breeds empathy.”
What inspired you to become an artist, and how did you develop your artistic style?
“I was inspired to become an artist because I come from a family of artists, so it was innate to be creative and paint intuitively. I have always loved to paint, and it became natural for me to start painting and drawing. I developed my style while studying Fine Arts in Interior Design at the University of Santo Tomas. Later on, as I worked on interior projects, I would always draw and paint for my presentations; so from there, I would slowly develop my style of painting/ rendering.”
Tell us about a particularly memorable experience or encounter with nature that inspired one of your artworks.
“One particularly memorable experience was going to Boracay in 1983 when it was still very pristine and virtually a paradise island for me. My memories of the beauty in nature of Boracay and other beaches here in the Philippines inspired me to do three artworks, namely “Beauty Under the Sea,” “Pearly Shells,” and “Under the Sea.”
In what way can we achieve a sustainable future as a society?
“The best way to achieve a sustainable future is to conserve water and other resources, recycle and reuse materials, preserve and replenish our natural resources and marine life by planting trees, etc. The role of local government should also be at the forefront to encourage citizens in this endeavor.”
What impact do you hope your art has on the audience in inspiring action toward environmental conservation and promoting sustainable practices?
“I paint nature-themed subjects, capturing their essence and importance by making the viewer appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of these ethereal creatures and verdant plants. By doing this, the audience will have the inner realization to focus on nature and feel an affinity to preserving and understanding that everything is interdependent so we can help maintain the ecosystem. There is a natural union, so we must do our share in nurturing mother earth.”
As an artist, what will you invest in our planet?
“As an artist, I also should do my share in conserving water and other resources, planting trees, and, in whatever capacity, reusing/recycling materials in my everyday life. Small daily practices can help us as humans and future generations. By continuing to portray themes that focus our attention on nature, I hope to also do my share as an artist in communicating to the audience the importance of our planet.”