THOMASIANS, meet St. Thomas Aquinas.

This seems what Sunstruck, an exhibit featuring St. Thomas Aquinas, to say. A brainchild of UST Graduate School Regent Rev. Fr. Jose Antonio Aureada, O.P., the exhibit not only aims to re-introduce the saint to the public but to “show St. Thomas’ human side.”

Currently displayed at the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences, the exhibit features the saint as a dreamer, a believer, and a survivor—as the slogan of the popular talent search goes.

Conceived in 1998, Sunstruck is the result of Fr. Aureada’s research on St. Thomas Aquinas for his doctorate studies in Rome six years ago. Only now it is finally brought into reality with the help of some College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) faculty members.

By simplifying the life of the saint to appeal to today’s generation, the artists and curators worked on presenting the exhibit as if traveling through the saint’s life. Using traffic signs and a model street-way, visitors are led to highlights of the way St. Thomas lived. These posters provide not only detailed accounts in several places the saint has visited, but also a complete family tree of the Aquinos. Also on display are pieces from the museum’s collection, such as a bas-relief of the saint’s profile, an antique print, and several ancient rocks from the ruins of his hometown, Roccasecca.

Aside from the UST pieces, the CFAD faculty made new art to display. Victoria Mortel and Noel Flores created a scale replica of the Aquino Castle at Roccasecca, which was destroyed during the Second World War.

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Graphic artist Jaime Pacena contributed posters, and Advertising senior Ige Trinidad worked on several caricatures.

The exhibit proved to be a bit bare, visitors would have felt “closer” with the saint if more pieces were on display. The posters were laid out in a manner not really that interesting to its viewers. Done in bullet form, the posters bore the visitors and left unnoticed because of the effort to read them. But the use of the traffic signs is a very good concept, as it amused most of the visitors. Wholly, the idea, though creative, was executed very simply and far from what they could have been.

Through this exhibit, St. Thomas becomes more than a saint, a friar, and scholar. He becomes the role model Thomasians are supposed to take after.

After Sunstruck, poor theology lessons or perpetually absent professors cannot be much of an excuse for not knowing our patron, St. Thomas Aquinas. F. C. Garcia

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