FEU CES, IARFA Exhibit paint new beginnings

FEU Advocate
December 08, 2022 15:29

Far Eastern University Community Extension Services (FEU CES), in partnership with the Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts (IARFA) Department, launched the Pasinaya Exhibit under Project HOPE (Harnessing Offenders' Personal Empowerment) last November 15 to 17 at the Nicanor Reyes Exhibit Hall.

The showcased artworks were made by persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) under the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory. The exhibit titled “Pasinaya” is another term for the Filipino word ‘simula’.

In an interview with FEU Advocate, IARFA Dean Raquel Lim Baquiran shared how the institute aided in the project with FEU CES through painting workshops.

“They teach the PDLs fundamental color theory and painting techniques, which they then use into their own work,” she explained. 

According to Baquiran, Fine Arts Department Chair Jaclyn Dating, and CES Representative Julieta Gonzales have been heavily involved with the project as instructors for the PDLs.

Baquiran also added that the representatives began training online, but with the ease of health protocols they have now conducted on-site workshops. 

In a separate interview, Gonzales recounted how she began teaching the PDLs online due to the pandemic as they are now reaping the fruit of their hard work. 

“During the pandemic, can you imagine it diba? Na maghohold ka ng workshop with the inmates na hindi mo naman sila nakikita only online lang, so nag-workshop ako about color theory…then tinuruan ko sila how to put textures sa mga artwork para maging 2D effect siya or 3D effect so ito na finally, ito na ‘yung fruit ng aming paghihirap (During the pandemic, can you imagine it? You're going to hold workshops with the inmates that you only see through online, so I did a workshop about color theory...then I taught them how to put textures into the artworks so that it could have a 2D effect or 3D effect so finally, this is the fruit of our hard work),” she said. 

During the exhibit, artworks such as paintings, shirts, and bookmarks were up for bidding since the proceeds from the project will be going directly to inmates, which they can use to start-up an artwork livelihood once released from jail. 

According to Gonzales, a lot of artworks were already sold on the opening day itself, emphasizing that the FEU community were most interested in the bookmarks. 

Marami na yata [purchased artworks], especially ‘yung bookmarks kasi na-intrigue sila, na-intinimidate sila, na ang liit-liit lang niya pero may intricate designs (I think there is already a lot [purchased artworks] especially the books because they were intrigues, the were intimidated, that even though small it has intricate designs),” she said. 

Gonzales also shared that the University, FEU CES, and IARFA Department of Fine Arts donated materials such as canvas and tote bags for the painters in order to make their livelihood products more profitable.

With the success of the project, Baquiran said that IARFA intends to continue the painting workshops alongside FEU CES as long as the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Manila City Jail-Female Dorm continues to collaborate with them. 

“We will continue to provide our services to PDLs as long as our collaboration with BJMP persists, because we feel that art serves as both a source of revenue and a form of therapy for PDLs. Furthermore, it gives them a sense of success while also allowing them to meet and connect with people from the outside,” she ended. 

FEU CES is the University’s community-based research program under the Academic Development Office aiming to help various sectors of the community to become sustainable by monitoring various extension programs of different institutes.

-Randy Espares Jr.

(Photo by Euxim Garcia/FEU Advocate)