A Giving Heart

Written by on July 31, 2012 in Art - No comments

Serving the community in more ways than one

By Bethany Houston

Originally Cape-Verdean American, Ako Jacintho lived the early part of his years on the east coast, attending Brown University for his undergrad and University of Massachusetts Medical School for his MD. Throughout his younger days, he first began to experiment with art through creative collage making. After moving to San Francisco in 1998 to complete his residency, Ako was influenced by the open and expressive culture of the city by the bay. Teaching himself to paint, he was intrigued by the story-telling quality of art and began to use his residency and daily encounters in the medical field to inspire his work. “I really strive to see the connection between my emotional view point and my art,” reflects Ako.

Art is more than a form of expression for Ako, however. “In addition to painting, I have found passion in the healing sciences.  I believe art is a form of healing, both for the doer and the viewer.  This is the idea that binds my two passions,” says Ako. Being a self-taught abstract painter, he has studied contemporary artists and their color combinations and forms for inspiration. Primarily using oil paint and large canvases, Ako has been able to reflect his work as a physician into his art. His pieces are often about sickness, recovery, loss and triumph, fear and struggle and finally, acceptance and celebration. He also has explored depicting organ systems and disease processes in his figurative pieces.

His art has been displayed at St. Luke’s Hospital, San Francisco, CA, and he has donated several pieces to various charitable organizations centered on healthcare. Recently, Ako donated a piece to Visual AIDS, an organization that helps artists dealing with HIV/AIDS, where they hold yearly art auctions to benefit their clients. His work is also available for purchase and viewing through spring and fall open studios.

Ako is currently employed through the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic – Waldon House, where he is the only medical provider at the Mission St. office. The Haight Ashbury Free Clinic and Waldon House merged on July 1, 2011, and the joint healthcare clinic focuses on serving community healthcare, substance abuse treatment and mental health services to the less fortunate.

To see more about Ako’s work, visit his website: www.akojacintho.com

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