Hotel Nikko Guam, Opake teaming up for "Art to Life" - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Hotel Nikko Guam, Opake teaming up for "Art to Life"

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 by Joan Aguon Charfauros

Guam - Hotel Nikko Guam and the Opake Shop are partnering up to offer a 5-week program called the "Art To Life" project.

They'll provide an opportunity for high school students to develop their artistic skills while also helping the community, to expand their portfolios, and to expand with the mediums they use. Public relations/promotions manager for Hotel Nikko, Sandra Flores said, "What's going to happen is after the five-week mentorship program is over the students along side with their mentors are going to design a collage for the bus stop, for the bus shelter. So that's actually going to be their main goal for the program is to have all of the five different personalities reflected in this one bus stop."

The Hotel Nikko adopted and funded a much needed concrete bus shelter in Dededo on Route 3. With the adoption, they pledged to maintain and manage the upkeep of the shelter. In keeping in line with their commitment to the community, the "Art to Life" project was created. Opake Shop representative and lead designer for the program Tim De Leon Guerrero says when the shop was approached to be part of such a project, they were excited. "At Opake we like to do things outside of the box, we definitely like to be innovative and do stuff that normally not every organization would think of or think of doing. So when the Hotel Nikko came and approached us we were all up for it. We couldn't pass," he said.

To be eligible, students must be incoming freshmen to incoming high school seniors. They must fill out an application and submit 3-4 pieces of artwork as part of their portfolio. Encouraged, but not required are a letter of recommendation or certificates from art programs or contests. The panel will review and select 6 students. "The message we're trying to spread out there to those kids that are interested especially in street art. There is a legal way to do it, there is a legal way to express yourself. With this program we're not trying to advertise or promote graffiti all over the island, by all means that's not what we're trying to do. We're trying to teach these students that there is a proper way of doing things there is a proper way of expressing yourself and there are people out there who want to help them, who want to take their talent and make them just blossom and show the island what they can do," he explained.

The deadline to submit applications and portfolios is July 3.

De Leon Guerrero encouraged, "Just don't be scared to express yourself. Turn in an application it's going to be a lot of fun and I'm excited as well because I'm kind of eager to see what I'm going to be learning from the students themselves because the more I interact with different artists the more I get to put that interaction into my art, so I'm pretty excited so to everyone out there turn in some applications and we'll get busy."

If you have any questions or want more information, you can e-mail arttolifeguam@gmail.com

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