PHOTOS: Solenn Heussaff on How She Uses Her Art to Give Back

We chatted with the actress and TV host about her newly launched art exhibit.


( The last time Solenn Heussaff mounted an art exhibit—her very first—was over a year ago. Our People was three years in the making, and Solenn would be the first to say that since then, she's come a long way.





"Mas nabuo ‘yong confidence ko for this [new exhibit]," admits Solenn in an interview with She adds that her husband, Nico Bolzico, gave her the much-needed push to do another exhibit. "I paint at home and that’s it, but he’s the one who says, 'Just show them. If they don’t like it, then they don’t like it.'"



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Solenn notes that the exhibit, aptly titled Kalsada, is far more personal than her first efforts. The paintings are a collaboration between her and her three-year-old nephew, Kaeden. "We did the canvasses together but since he lives in Singapore, I work on the subject while he’s gone," she explains. "He’s the one who chooses the colors. I ask him, 'What do you want?' So if he wants blue, I’ll choose the specific shade from the 55 blue paints I have." The result? Striking paintings with splashes of color across the canvas.





Her subjects were inspired by the underprivileged children she met while traveling around the Philippines. What she couldn't photograph herself, she uses the photos taken by friends as reference. With the help of Globe, Solenn's travels took her to Biri, Northern Samar, where she met and interacted with the kids living in the area.





Solenn takes her exhibit further and plans to use her new art to give back. A portion of Kalsada's sales will go to Kalipay Negrense, a foundation that supports underprivileged children in Bacolod. Solenn also admits that her work in showbiz has exposed her to the harsher side of the Philippines.



"Sometimes I’m in the car looking’s just, you complain about the little things, but then there are people who [live like this]," she says. "Of course, you can’t help everyone but this is a start for me. It’s my way of giving back. If they don’t want to buy a painting, the exhibit also has details on the foundation."


Kalsada also serves as the preview for Solenn's return to fashion: LAHI, her clothing collection alongside her sister Vanessa Heussaff and designer Mia Arcenas. The oversized jackets are sourced from vintage shops around the world, revamped with local indigenous materials, then embroidered with colorful art by Solenn and Vanessa.





The embroidered designs all somewhat incorporate Filipino culture, whether it's through words, symbols, or distinctly Pinoy food. (Think designs like mango trees, carabaos, and sampaguitas.) Each piece of LAHI, Solenn says, is one-of-a-kind.




"You get to choose the jacket you want and every embroidery you want. But every piece will be different because we’ll be the ones to choose what material to use, where to put the embroidery," she explains. "Every single jacket will be one piece each, so it will be very special."


Some of Solenn's celebrity friends were also around to celebrate the opening of Kalsada on October 20, including:


Iza Calzado and Rhian Ramos



Tom Rodriguez and Carla Abellana


With Carla Humphries and Raymond Gutierrez


Kalsada runs from October 19 to November 5, 2017 at Provenance Art Gallery in Shangri-La at The Fort, Bonifacio Global City. LAHI is available by leaving a DM to Mia Arcenas on Instagram (@miaarcenas) or logging on to her official website.


Photos by Ian Santos and Jilson Tiu

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