By Michael Aaron Gomez
The Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) hosted a lecture by Associate Professor of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Fine Arts Department Fr. Rene B. Javellana, S.J., titled “Teaching Arts Appreciation with an Interdisciplinary Approach,” and launched his college textbook titled “Understanding, Valuing, & Living Art: Art Appreciation for College,” last Saturday, 23 June 2018, at the Pakighinabi Room of the Ricci Hall, Community Center for the First Companions, Jacinto campus.
Members of the University community, most especially faculty members who teach courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences, attended the events. Among those present at the panel discussion woven into the lecture were Academic Vice President Dr. Gina Montalan, Assistant to the President for Quality Assurance Ms. Suzette D. Alino, Director of the University Publications Office Dr. Macario D. Tiu, and Assistant to the President for External Affairs Mr. Romulo Vinci Bueza.
Fr. Javellana explained the pressing need to teach college students how to appreciate art through the lenses of history and theory, as well as through actual application. “Art is more than a tool,” he said, “art is a relationship with reality and connection with nature. It is a mode or way of thinking.” He also noted the practical roots of art, saying that “Art is…embedded in life.” Finally, Fr. Javellana also cited the religious links of art, especially through ceremony and ritual. “The Mass is one of the most primitive forms of theater,” he said. “The oldest form of theater began with ritual and Mass is a ritual.”
“Understanding, Valuing & Living Art: Art Appreciation for College” is compliant with the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) curriculum of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), covering three areas of the curriculum: art appreciation in six art forms (visual arts, architecture, dance, music, theater, and film); art history and aesthetics; and basic skills training in the covered art forms. The book contains nine chapters, which correspond to the standard eighteen-week schedule of the Art Appreciation course. Each chapter is taken up over two weeks of classes, or over six sessions.
Fr. Javellana will also be the lead discussant for the Pakighinabi on “The Invention of Colonial Art and Culture in the Philippines from 1565 to 1850,” in connection with the recent publication of his book “Weaving Cultures: The Invention of Colonial Art and Culture in the Philippines from 1565 to 1850,” by the ADMU Press. This Pakighinabi will be held on Monday, 25 June 2018, from 3:40 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Finster Auditorium, 7th Floor Finster Hall, of the Ateneo de Davao University, Jacinto campus.