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Teaching art to teachers

The art of the matter: BPI Foundation Inc. teams up with Filipinas Heritage Library to offer a refresher course on art education to 46 public school teachers from 26 elementary and 10 secondary schools in Makati City.

MANILA, Philippines - A nation is remembered not just for its history, but also for its art. This idea was at the heart of the Herencia Lectures on Philippine Art that aimed to update public school teachers on ways of introducing students to the visual arts.

BPI Foundation Inc. teamed up with Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) to offer this refresher course on art education to 46 public school teachers from 26 elementary and 10 secondary schools in Makati City. The teachers were tasked to disseminate information they have gathered from the lectures to their co-teachers.

The Herencia Lectures are an introductory course on Philippine art to teachers. It contextualizes Philippine art in Philippine history, treating Philippine art as history, a heritage that Filipinos ought to know and care for.

Art critic and artist Cid Reyes, who was one of those who worked with the teachers during the lectures, pointed out that today’s school children would become the country’s future leaders. By introducing them to the arts, this appreciation would instill pride among students.

The Herencia Lectures are based on Herencia: A Legacy of Art and Progress, which BPI Foundation published in 2008. The book explores the BPI art collection, which represents nearly all periods, styles, and genres significant to Philippine visual art history. Through the lectures, BPI Foundation and FHL addressed the lack of art education projects and training programs for teachers of art in the country. 

“The public school teachers’ general knowledge of the arts is very little. But what can that little knowledge do when they are responsible for educating the minds of the future leaders of the country,” Reyes emphasizes.

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The lectures tackled the history of art from the colonial to contemporary times, as well as the concept of art patronage. There were workshops on art appreciation and the practice of art, as well as on creating art-oriented lesson plans and classroom activities.

The facilitators were artist and teacher Brenda Fajardo, artist Don Salubayba, and art teacher Ma. Lourdes Nazarebo-Roque.

The Herencia Lectures on Philippine Art coincided with the yearlong celebration of the Bank of Philippine Island’s 160th anniversary. The lectures are just one in a series of events that marks the banking institution’s leadership in the Philippines. For inquiries, call 892-1801 local 22.

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