This Pup-Art Exhibit Features 3D Paper Pet Illustrations—Catch It This November at SM Aura

We don’t always have to think out of the box; sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones we already have in front of us, inside our little box. We have been so “boxed” during this pandemic and, for a lot of people, it has been very challenging to think of creative ideas and ways to earn or pass time. But one good thing about the lockdowns is that it brought out the resilience, resourcefulness and creativity in a lot of people, despite being “boxed.” While some got into gardening, baking and online selling, Grace Enriquez pursued her passion in arts & crafts while working part-time as a freelance marketing consultant. 

During the first lockdown, she explored a lot of different crafts and eventually ended up creating artworks made out of layers of papers. Each artwork requires an average of 10 layers of papers and a minimum of 5 shades of paper. She also paints details and sculpts the papers to complete the three-dimensional (3D) effect of the portrait. It takes at least 1 full day or as long as 4 weeks to make an artwork, depending on how complicated the details are. She then unexpectedly started receiving commissions after posting on social media: cajadegracias

cajadegracias Pup-Art Exhibit SM Aura Premier

Caja de gracias is Spanish for “thank you box,” a present given to show gratitude. “My artworks are in special box frames and each one reflects my heart filled with gratitude,” she explains. “I am not a well-known artist. I’m just an ordinary person doing what I love and I want to share this to encourage others to never tire creating, exploring [inside your box] and being grateful. Even during difficult times, gratitude is a value people should never lose.”

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the US every November; similar festivals and holidays are celebrated in other countries. Locally, we’ve adapted the American tradition. Although we have nothing to do with the origins of this holiday and we don’t celebrate it, there is no reason why we can’t express our gratitude. This would be the 2nd holiday season under the global pandemic – we sometimes need to be reminded that there are a lot of things to be very grateful for

cajadegracias Pup-Art Exhibit SM Aura Premier

Enriquez is grateful for 2 main things; one is their dog, who has been their source of joy and comfort throughout the pandemic. Pets, specifically dogs, have been her main subject. She has illustrated Heart Escudero’s dog among many others for over a year. Another thing she is most thankful for is the trust, support and encouragement of her family, friends and those who have commissioned art from her, which has led to her first public exhibit in SM Aura Premier

“SM Aura Premier is one of the most pet-friendly places that people are confident go to despite the pandemic because of its open spaces and strict health protocols,” she says. “To have my work displayed there for a month is something I never expected to happen in my first year of doing 3D paper illustrations.”

cajadegracias Pup-Art Exhibit SM Aura Premier

This November, get out of your box and visit the PUP-UP ART EXHIBIT at the Book Nook in SM Aura Premier Level 3 and see 3D paper pet illustrations, a.k.a. “pawtraits,” in person. Follow cajadegracias on Instagram: @cajadegracias, post your photo at the exhibit and get a chance to receive a “thank you box” filled with goodies for pets and pet owners, given to select followers every week of November.