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Tabula Rasa | Honing the next generation of artists

This story appeared on Page 10 of the September 1, 2019 issue of Mindanao Times. To download a copy, visit www.bit.ly/MindanaoTimes

The great painter Pablo Picasso once said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” It is indeed difficult for young and aspiring artists to pursue their passion in the arts because of different factors. However, the Arts and Design Track of Davao City National High School has one goal: to never let the students’ artistic side to die.

The Arts and Design Track is one of the tracks under Senior High School, following the K-12 Curriculum. This track offers different specializations catering to the different art fields namely Visual Arts, Dance Arts, Vocal and Music Arts, Theater Arts, Media Arts, and Literary Arts.

The Visual Arts specialization develops the artistic skill of the Visual Arts Students in painting and sculpture using traditional and contemporary medium and approaches. Their teacher Jefferson S. Bangot continues to develop his students from basic to advanced drawing, painting (acrylic, oil, watercolor), and sculpture techniques.

The Arts and Design Visual Arts is also privileged to have partnered with the renowned Mindanao Artist Kublai Millan. Kublai has been very supportive for the arts and design visual arts program. Significant projects with Kublai include: the Project Lullaby for Peace (DCNHS Mural), the establishment of Datu Bago Gallery Cafe , the Mindanao Art Mural (for Mindanao Art Backdrop) and the sculpture apprenticeship with Milan himself.

The Dance Arts specialization, under the tutelage of John Riv Akiatan and Yvonne Valdez, provides the students an avenue to improve their skills in dancing whilst promoting local and international dances. The students are exposed in prestigious dance groups outside the campus such as the Madayaw Cultural Ensemble and Kathara Theatre Collective as part in their immersion and apprenticeship. They are also annual winners in Indak-indak sa Kadalanan from 2017 until present. Apart from cultural dances, the Dance Arts students compete and champion in hiphop, cheer dance, and dancesport competitions. Because of this displayed tenacity, the Dance Arts students are often requested by the Dep Ed Division of Davao City as intermission presentations in Cluster, Division, Regional and National events.

Arlon Vicentino, who handles the Music and Vocal Arts specialization, also established the senior high school glee club named “Kaduyog Glee.” The Music and Vocal Arts students have also performed in regional and national events and had their recent performance in the Kadayawan exhibit opening in Felcris Centrale.

Markee Narreto teaches both Theater Arts and Media Arts students. This September 28, his Theater Arts students will perform the songs of the classical play and 19th Century French novel written by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, under ICEA Performing Arts, a non-profit theater arts organization in Davao City. ICEA Artistic Director Criztop Lacno lauds the active participation of the Arts and Design Theater Arts Program as it continues to produce passionate and talented actors who are committed to the craft of acting and recognize theater as a tool to inspire consciousness and social responsibility.

The Media Arts students also have apprenticeship and collaborations with four media organizations to hasten their expertise in the field of media production. Cinematheque Centre Davao provides hands-on training on film preservation and restoration; Home Radio Davao demonstrates methods on broadcast simulation and audio production; State of Mind delivers comprehensive technique on Television Programming; and Brock BnB delves on advertising, photography and events respectively.

Lastly, the Literary Arts specialization, under the tutelage of Ria Valdez, continues to develop their writing skills in the different literary genres namely poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction. The students have been writing fellows for different local and regional writing workshops such as the Ateneo de Davao Writers Workshop, the Cagayan de Oro Young Writers Studio, and the Davao Writers Workshop. Their works have been published in Dagmay Online Literary Journal and Sun Star Davao.

The Literary Arts students also conceptualized and wrote the script of “Layag 2019”, the Arts and Design Grand Recital, just last February in celebration of arts month. Truly these students, through their writing, embody “writing Mindanao for Mindanao” to empower and promote Mindanaoan literature.

The different specializations under Arts and Design serve as building blocks that continuously mold the young artists of the next generation. This track does not only aim for mastery of the craft but continuity of practice of the craft as well. The future is bright at the hands of these young artists.

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