Nina was only three years old when she was diagnosed with autism. Despite the initial pain of shattered dreams upon learning of her condition, her parents resolved to love her even more and help her become the best that she can be. This love nurtured and paved the way for their daughter to fully realize her gift.
As a child, Nina struggled to speak, and when she finally did, she still could not fully express herself. What she lacked in verbal articulation, however, she more than made up for with her immense talent in drawing, sketching, and painting. Her passion for art grew and she began creating masterpieces of color that captured her vivid imagination and displayed her enormous creativity and artistry.
Fast forward to now, she is a thriving 27-year old international artist who has held several exhibits at the United Nations and the Philippine consulate in New York, Macau, and the Philippines. Her favorite mediums to use for her pieces are acrylic paints, watercolor, charcoal, and colored pencils, and recently, she has also started creating digital works of art.
To celebrate her 27th year, Nina will be holding a solo exhibit titled “Enter the Dragon” from February 6 to 15, 2024 at the prestigious Galerie Joaquin at the Podium Mall in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. The exhibit will showcase her fascination with the Chinese Zodiac animals that is perfectly suited to the coming Year of the Dragon.
Everyone is welcome to experience Nina’s world of colors, music and imagination. She is a ray of sunshine who brings hope, happiness, and the freshness of a new day.
Nina’s journey as an artist
Since 2010, Nina’s artworks have been recognized and put on display in several publications and exhibits both locally and internationally. Her big break came in 2017 when she became part of a select group of artists with autism that represented the country in the United Nations in celebration of the World Autism Day. They also had their works featured on Piña and in a fashion show by renowned designer Patis Tesoro at the Philippine Embassy in New York.
Nina had her first solo exhibit “Chiquitita” in 2018 that displayed her sensational works that depicted a spectrum of ideas, from fun Disney characters to sophisticated Sarimanok. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibit was donated to REACH Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Mandaluyong City that is dedicated to helping Persons with Disabilities from depressed communities.
Through her art, Nina and her parents were able to help uplift others by establishing Arte Autismo Filipino (AAF) in 2019. AAF is a social enterprise composed of parents and their artistic children with autism. To date, it has put together several exhibits and projects to showcase and sell the works of the artists.
Nina’s works have also been printed on merchandise such as clothing, ecobags, greeting cards, stationary, and stickers for her brand SPECIAL HANDS BY NINA that support other NGOs and inspire many others—using her amazing talent to give back to those in need. Truly, every stroke of her brush has been a gift.