PWU SFAD: Founding an Education in the Fine Arts

“The stimulation of creativity and self-motivation of the learner must therefore be emphasized in the education of the career artist. Thus, education must provide for the development of the individual’s full imaginative potential in addition to technical skills, which are the basic tools for professional practitioners and leaders of the art world and creative industries. It is important to point out that this emphasis must be delicately balanced with moulding competent artists who are imbued with a strong sense of responsibility and a commitment to the advancement of the society that nurtures their art.

- “Policies and Standards for Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Program”
Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Series of 2008

For every goal, for every desired outcome, the consensus is that the journey starts with a strong foundation. A foundation is about what is basic and preparatory. How well a foundation is laid determines the reliable support for the layers that constitute formation. The pinnacle for that progression is excellence; leadership in one’s practice, where discipline and standards of competence, creativity and ethical values make up the bases for such recognition.

A student of fine arts and design complies with various prescriptions of foundation. In PWU SFAD, the route of proficiency towards fulfilling a BFA degree in the programs of Industrial Design, Painting and Visual Communication are the series that make up the Foundation Courses in Techniques, Materials and Visual Perception. Within each basic course, rudiments of skill, critical knowledge and creative application are exercised. An art project is about levels of preparation: laying ground or primer; establishing a structure or an armature; making decisions in the utilization of design; and familiarization with the most primary of art materials. Most importantly, these initial ventures in art practice are programmed to align with PWU’s core values, guided by “personal integrity and responsible citizenship that fosters community engagement.”

Before the word’s source in Old French (fondation), an etymology of ‘foundation’ tells us of its Latin origins; in words that describe the bottom (fundus) of a hollow or a concavity, such as in certain anatomical parts where an opening leads to a bottom or a base (e.g., the fundus of the uterus, opposite the cervix). Then too, it describes the action of pouring and spreading, or to melt and mould as in the smelting of iron ore (fundere).

Digging deeper into its roots, how we accept foundation as base should also be reinforced with the nuances of its intent. In art, the role of foundation is to be the hold before dispersal. Imagination dares to play by learning unknowns as well as unlearning what is known. It is about abiding to collective standards and mores before unleashing individual innovation. It is where the student tests creative freedom and accountability as a future career artist. Foundation is the anchor of the artist’s response and responsibility to society.

With this group exhibit, a premiere as it is to represent the first accomplishments of the Foundation Courses for this school year, we assemble a first look at the talent, the conceptual visions, and daring that describe our students at the entry level of PWU SFAD. What bides at the future is not fixed at ascertaining that every participant will go on to professions in the visual arts. For now, we uphold and appreciate process and what stands to be gained--in terms of tools, rules and decision-making; what is found even at this point of becoming.

The exhibit “Found” opens at the MainSpace of the SFAD Studio Gallery on September 03, 2015 at 6:00pm. Also opening at the GreyWall is a collateral exhibit “State of the Pre-Thesis” by graduating students of the Painting Program. Both exhibits will run until September 26, 2015.

The SFAD Studio Gallery is the exhibition space run by the Philippine Women’s University School of Fine Arts and Design (PWU-SFAD). It is located at the Leon Guinto Street wing of PWU Taft and is open on most days from 10am to 7pm daily except on Sundays and Holidays. Admission is free and open to visitors. We recommend that you make an appointment. Contact us at sfadgallery@pwu.edu.ph, +63 2 5268421 local 134 or Mobile +63 918 9002682.

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