Local artists are helping support at-risk youth through the inaugural Infinite Expansion Art Auction that runs until the end of August.
Augustino Duminuco started the Infinite Expansion Foundation which will use the auction proceeds for its art mentorship program.
“I feel that embracing not only art, but the liberal arts is fundamental in helping people understand the beauty in not only the world around them, but also their purpose in this universe,” Duminuco explained. “After learning to express myself only then did I finally get to know myself, and love myself for whom I am. The quest of expression to see the beauty in myself has led me to see the beauty in nature and also other individuals. Through self-expression I have learned to respect other people’s opinions and beliefs.”
After experiencing his own struggles, he started the foundation to help others. The foundation’s goal is to provide youth with the tools, environment, community, and mentors with lived experience to help them in the face of pressures at home, school and in their lives. The foundation’s flagship effort is the Art Mentorship Program for at–risk youth. Its goal is to provide a safe space for youth to socialize after school and express through visual art, music, poetry, dance and yoga.
The program uses art to have an impact not only on the youth but also on society. Duminuco’s vision includes reduced crime and social ills because the young people are getting help and changing the direction of their lives. The foundation combines art therapy, mentorship, and employment skills training to combat the epidemic of addiction which is linked to so many other modern problems, he noted.
The foundation partnered up with with Luke Eddie Original Artworks, a Langley City gallery, and Freda Lombard, of Zealous Art, for the art auction which will be an annual event. City Mayor Val van den Broek and City Councillor Rosemary Wallace both contributed artworks for the fundraiser. There’s also donated Bill Reid works, sterling silver earrings, and paintings in various styles.
It’s not the first event the foundation has held in the community. The foundation hosted a Christmas dinner for 200 people in December 2016 and held it annually helping various groups including a food program in Kamloops, and Ishtar Transition Housing Society. It has provided more than 2,000 free haircuts to children and adults through a program called Haircuts for Hope.
The public can learn more on the group’s Facebook site.