Have you seen this UP Fine Arts student’s thesis exhibit about teeth? Seanelle Banaag is the artist behind “Bad Mouth: Visualizing Negative Traits Through Dental Articulators”. For her undergraduate thesis, she interpreted prevalent negative traits in society through the use of mouth models. These models are used in dental examination and inspection. She made this exhibit to create a rich variety of visual metaphors for the said traits.
An Art Exhibit Inspired by Dental Tools and Materials
When asked what motivated her to create this exhibit, she mentioned that both of her parents are dentists. (Read the full interview by When in Manila here.) Seanelle said that she grew up around dental tools and materials and had used them for art practice. In her thesis, she mentioned that the versatility and artistic appeal of these materials led her to recognize their potential as an art medium.
Reading about her thesis and seeing the photos of her art online made me reflect on these “sins in society”. I felt that “tug-of-war reaction between attraction and repulsion, beauty and horror, desire and disgust (Kristeva, Powers of Horror, 1982)” that she talked about in her paper. Honestly, I was just fascinated with her work.
As a mother, it made me think about how her parents have nurtured and supported her obvious talent for the arts. I interviewed Seanelle’s dad and mom, Drs. Odeq and Sharon Banaag. I believe that nature and nurture are both factors in producing such a skill. As it turns out, Seanelle’s father used to join and win drawing contests when he was a kid (remember GMA Network’s Uncle Bob’s Lucky 7 Club?). Aside from taking after her father, her parents fully supported her love for the arts ever since she was a child. Actually, both of her siblings Aliyah and Niah are inclined in the arts as well! As a dentistry student, Aliyah utilizes her knowledge in the arts in her studies. Younger sister Niah makes drawings, paintings, and digital art.
How To Nurture Your Child’s Artistic Talents
If you want to know how you can nurture your child’s artistic talents and inclinations, read these tips from my interview with Drs. Odeq and Sharon Banaag.
1. Recognize the benefits of supporting their artistic talents.
When Seanelle’s parents know that art benefits their children’s development. Because they gave them their full support, their kids were able to produce art that has quality and meaning. Art has helped their children to focus their energy on something meaningful. It enabled them to become more intelligent and disciplined and focused on how it can help them in their future. Art will enhance your children’s lives for the better.
Aliyah’s, who is now a dentistry freshman, she can now utilize her knowledge in the arts in dentistry because the hands are important when treating patients.
Niah used to be bullied by her classmates. But her classmates stopped bullying her when they saw her amazing work. They have even apologized to her after that.
2. Enroll them in professional art classes.
If you see that your child has artistic potential, give them that extra support by sending them to a good mentor. Seanelle, Aliyah, and Niah all received their training from Maestro Fernando Sena, the Father of Philippine Art Workshops.
3. Encourage them to read.
It is important to know about art theory as well as its influence in world culture. You become influenced by the artists who came before you. Reading about art will help them understand its importance and influence in society.
4. Help them know their strengths and limitations
Self-awareness is one key to becoming a great artist. When you know your strengths, you can use them to your advantage. Recognizing your limitations will help you to stay humble and to ask God for guidance and wisdom. It is very important to communicate with your children and to let them know that you are there to guide them and to support them.
5. Pray for them everyday.
Your children are a gift from God. Lift them to Him and dedicate them for His glory. Then you will understand that God uses his children for a great purpose.
Thank you, Dr. Odeq and Sharon Banaag for sharing your advice to the parents who are reading this!
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