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The University of the Philippines Department of Art Studies (DAS) invites teachers, cultural workers, artists, and students to participate in the 2nd Art Studies Visual Literacy Workshop from 2-4 May 2013. The three-day workshop will be held at Claro M. Recto Hall, Faculty Center, from 9am to 4pm. Now on its second year, this initiative is part of the Department's commitment to cultivate critical exchange and discourse with the publics of Philippine art and culture. Thematically organized around pertinent issues that frame Philippine art practice and reception, this year's workshop will explore notions of the contemporary in Philippine art.

Understanding the Contemporary in Philippine Art aims to provide participants with requisite visual literacy skills. Through lectures, exhibition and museum visits, case studies, and group discussions, the workshop also seeks to provide an overview of theoretical frameworks and critical approaches to contemporary art. A workshop with artists and cultural workers will also be conducted to present and discuss pedagogical approaches to visual literacy.

Interested participants may fill out the Registration Form and send to: artstudiesworkshop@gmail.com with the heading "DAS Workshop" until May 2. Early registration rate (PhP 2,500) will be given to participants who will register on or before April 12. Regular registration fee is PhP 3,000.

The Program Schedule may be downloaded here.

For additional information, please contact:
Clod Marlan Yambao
Louise Marcelino
landline: 927.05.81 or 981.85.00 local 2115
mobile: 0918.942.9507

Responding to the need to address art in an informed and rigorous manner, the Art Studies Department of the University of the Philippines-Diliman organizes a visual literacy and art criticism workshop from 2nd to 5th May, 2012. The workshop aims to provide participants with visual literacy skills, pedagogical approaches to visual literacy, and basic skills in writing about art that is both critical and eloquent.

The four-day workshop includes lectures by Professor Emerita Alice Guillermo, art historians and curators Patrick Flores and Eileen Legaspi Ramirez; and exhibition tours at the Vargas Museum and the Ateneo Art Gallery. Writing and criticism workshops will be facilitated by faculty from the Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Expressions of interest may be coursed thru artstudiesnewdirections@gmail.com, with the submission of an application form (download HERE) and a writing sample of about 500-to 800-word length by 30 March 2012. The workshop will also accept a limited number of observers (first-come, first-serve) who will be exempted from turning in a writing sample but who will only be allowed to participate during the plenary sessions. Please use "Workshop application" as your email subject heading.

Queries may be sent to:
Tessa Maria Guazon
Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez
927.05.81 or 981.85.00 local 2115


Throughout its history, the Department of Art Studies has actively promoted art education in the Philippines by conducting nationwide teachers training in Humanities and Art courses as well as taking the lead in publishing books that can be used by art educators here and abroad. A brochure of its faculty's publications is now available. Please click here for the PDF.

Statement on the Closure of the "Kulo" Exhibit at the CCP
by the Department of Art Studies, UP Diliman
13 August 2011


We, faculty members of the Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines in Diliman, urge the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to reopen the exhibition "Kulo" featuring 32 works from artists who contributed to the curatorial concept of revolutionary ferment in contemporary Philippine society as inspired by Dr. Jose Rizal's life and ideals.

While there are contending interpretations of an image presented by art, the ethical course of action is to process the contentions and that is what art ensures: a process of communicative action. The closure of an exhibition only achieved the closure of democratic, informed and thoughtful engagement.

While freedom of expression and artistic license are not absolute and must be guided with reflexivity, accountability and responsibility on the part of makers of art, the freedom is fundamental, and inalienable. The work in question is art, and while it is a site of struggle over meanings and definitions, it is protected as expression in a free society. It may violate and offend community and common standards of morality, but it would be more productive for us to bring the discussion in a well-informed manner, to study and discuss our own responses and in the process, gain new knowledge and insights, and hone our visual competencies and literacy. Why for instance do images have the power to offend and provoke an excess of emotion and action?

Now, without the artworks to look at and experience in actuality, and without benefit of proper framing and venue, such informed and engaged discussions cannot take place and so many important ideas are consequently repressed. We sadly observe that the issue has been reduced to the level of polemics, grandstanding and shouting matches over the more vital meaning of art and what role artists play in contemporary times.

The CCP should protect its mandate, reclaim and maintain its autonomy. It must take the lead, not only in guarding artistic freedom but also in ensuring a safe haven where artists as public intellectuals have the freedom to exhibit. We educators will rally behind a cultural institution that will provide the venue and platform for artists, educators, policymakers, students of art and the "public"—by no means homogenous—to come together and raise and address issues in an atmosphere conducive to forming a community of critical audiences of art.

Re-open the exhibition!
Defend the freedom of expression!

Related news:

24oras: Legal expert: Mideo Cruz, CCP walang nilabag na batas
For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

The statement above was read at the August 16 Senate hearing by Department Chair, Professor Cecilia de la Paz.


Suri Sining is an anthology of writings on art studies in the Philippines and Paths of Practice contains selected papers from the 2nd Philippine Art Studies Conference held last February 18-19, 2010. The articles have been carefully selected by the editorial board of both publications. Written by some of the best minds the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines has produced, the publications include articles which have provoked intellectual ferment, served as pioneering studies and charted new directions in the discourse on art.

For further information, please contact the Department of Art Studies
College of Arts and Letters
Faculty Center Room 2092
University of the Philippines-Diliman
1101 Quezon City
(+632-9270581 / +632-9818500 local 2115)

The 2nd Philippine Art Studies Conference
February 18 & 19, 2010
Tambunting Hall, Museum of the Filipino People
National Museum of the Philippines

Download the Conference Program.
Download the Registration Form.

The 2nd Philippine Art Studies Conference aims to chart emergent directions in art writing, pedagogy, criticism and production of Philippine art. The latter is broadly conceived, from the visual and literary to the architectural and performative and on the hypermediated. While the 2002 Art Studies conference reflected on discourses that have shaped writing on Philippine art, this conference maps out new disciplinal streams and modes of studying Philippine art. As such, it is seen as a platform of inquiry situating Philippine art studies in a critically interpretive and interrogative space. While the reflexive posture that the conference takes signals the act of looking back, it also intimates possibilities and directions, and aims to form coherent signposts and productive engagements for scholars, researchers and artists alike, in the future.

The conference explores the following themes:

  • Production of knowledge about Philippine art
  • Systems sustaining dominant knowledge of Philippine art
  • Art and the everyday – revisiting the links between art and life
  • Spaces of pedagogy and spaces of critique
  • Art practice as pedagogical possibility
  • Tracing disciplinal orientations in art studies and humanities
  • Curriculum building and textbook writing in the Humanities
  • Art Education in the Philippines: An Assessment
Curatorial Practice
  • Exhibitions as dialogical platforms
  • Curatorial models that challenge the notion of an art ‘center’
  • Curation and pedagogy
  • Curation and aesthetic debates: Variant modes of art reception
  • Collaborative curatorial practice
  • Curation and the production of contemporary art history
  • Curation, institutions, and art markets
Local Art Writing and Criticism
  • Local art writing and their specific discourses
  • Local criticism and regional, global resonances
  • Knowledge production and local art writing in relation to the question of aesthetics
  • Modes of circulation and audience formation
  • Is art history global?
  • Theory of art in the Philippines
Disciplinal Intersections
  • New studies in Philippine art and society
  • Formation of disciplinal nodes and networks via disciplinal intersections
  • Mapping creative, multi-disciplinal modes of inquiry and responses
  • Interdisciplinal trajectories
  • Methods in global art history or history of global art
  • Art and social movements (class, gender, ecology, ethnicity, spirituality)
Conference fee is P2,500.00 and includes a copy of conference proceedings, light snacks and dinner. Early bird registration is P1,800.00 until 15 December 2009.

Inquiries and registrations of interest thru artstudiesnewdirections@gmail.com or the following conference conveners:
Prof. Cecilia S. Dela Paz
Prof. Patrick D. Flores, PhD
Prof. Tessa Maria T. Guazon

Department of Art Studies, College of Arts and Letters
Faculty Center Room 2092
University of the Philippines-Diliman
1101 Quezon City
(+632-9270581 / +632-9818500 local 2115)


FILM SHOWING: "Lola" by Brillante Ma. Mendoza, 7 December 2009, 1PM; UP Film Center

LAUNCHING PROGRAM: 10 December 2009, 10AM; Vargas Museum

ART EXHIBIT: "Divination: Brenda Fajardo Retells History", 10 December 2009, 10AM; Vargas Museum. Exhibit runs from 10 December 2009 to 10 January 2010


ALUMNI HOMECOMING: "Balik-tanaw at Pagsulong", 18 December 2009, 3PM Assembly, 7PM Dinner-Program; Vargas Museum

THE 2ND PHILIPPINE ART STUDIES CONFERENCE: "New Directions in Art Studies and the Humanities", 18-19 February 2010; Museum of the Filipino People, National Museum Manila

BOOK LAUNCH: Suri-Sining: An Anthology of Philippine Art Studies, April 2010

For more information, please call (632)9270581.

College of Arts and Letters
Faculty Center Room 2092
University of the Philippines-Diliman
1101 Quezon City
(+632-9270581 / +632-9818500 local 2115)

In 1959, when the Department of English split into three units, the Department of Humanities and Philippine Institutions was one of the new departments to emerge. This unit was tasked to teach art appreciation in the style of the University of Chicago. The pioneers of the program included Aurelio Estanislao, Eliseo Pajaro, Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Ricaredo Demetillo and Virginia R. Moreno, all distinguished artists and men and women of letters.

In 1964, an A.B. Humanities Degree was instituted.

By 1989, most of the members of the department were at the forefront of research in Philippine Art. There was a dramatic shift in art writing that had been focused on the fine arts. The study of art now included the creative endeavors of marginalized Philippine communities as well as popular art forms. The faculty changed its name to the Department of Art Studies to reflect the new approaches and paradigms required in these areas.

Currently, the Department of Art Studies administers three Baccalaureate degrees in Art Studies (Art History, Interdisciplinary and Philippine Art) and three Master of Arts degrees (Art History, Art Theory and Criticism and Museum Studies). It also offers three General Education courses, Art Studies 1 (Art and Society), Art Studies 2 (Art in Everyday Life) and Humanities 2 (Art, Man and Society).