CLASS ACT

Hannah Florendo and the dis­tance be­tween as­tro­naut and art teacher

Cebu Living - - Front Page - By RENZ NOLLASE Im­age by RYAN RACAL

“You want to know the truth? I’d say I want to be an as­tro­naut.”

Hannah Florendo, founder of art school Ar­tas­tic!, dreamed of be­ing many things: a mom, a cook, a space­woman, but never re­ally a teacher. “No. Never in my dreams.” Florendo grew up in a home filled with art. Her mom and sis­ter are both artists and were her first men­tors. “I’d watch my mom paint all the time, and I’d steal her paint brushes and art ma­te­ri­als and do it on my own. That’s how I fell in love with art.”

But in a nar­ra­tive all too fa­mil­iar, the oc­cu­pa­tion of grow­ing up and find­ing a ca­reer swayed Florendo from the artis­tic path. While she was pur­su­ing a de­gree in Fine Arts, the lack of ca­reer op­tions for artists trou­bled her. “Back then, fine arts pro­grams in col­leges weren’t that up-to-date. I re­mem­ber tak­ing up an ad­ver­tis­ing class, but our cur­ricu­lum would be about work­ing with clay. I didn’t get to use a com­puter un­til I was much older.”

Un­sure of whether she’d be able to make a liv­ing with a de­gree in art, she shifted to ho­tel and restau­rant man­age­ment. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a de­gree she didn’t use, Florendo was on her own. “In our fam­ily, once you’re done with col­lege, you’re pretty much on your own. That was my par­ents’ way of get­ting you to be more in­de­pen­dent.”

While search­ing for a job, it was her hus­band, Lorenz, who sug­gested she teach art to their friends’ kids. Ar­tas­tic!’s first class was a mod­est seven kids in a small room in Florendo’s home in La Guardia. Four years and three re­lo­ca­tions later, Ar­tas­tic! has grown from a sum­mer art pro­gram for kids to a bona fide art school with a cur­ricu­lum that evolves with

HANNAH FLORENDO DREAMS UP A VI­SION FOR AR­TAS­TIC! THAT GOES BE­YOND AN ART SCHOOL TO AN ES­TAB­LISH­MENT THAT EMPOWERS FU­TURE ARTISTS TO PUR­SUE A CA­REER IN ART.

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