THE THIRD J. Elizalde Navarro (Jen) Workshop on Arts Criticism upped the ante this year as the fellowship not only dissected papers that fell under the literary and the visual arts, but also covered pieces that tackled film, the performing arts and hybrids of various art forms and modern media.

Eleven panelists and 13 fellows joined the Jen Workshop at the Colione Bed and Breakfast in Baguio City from May 29 to June 4.

“This year was special because of the inclusion of dance, which is one of the more marginalized art forms in the country,” said Elka Requinta, a Thomasian journalist, Jen fellow and former dancer who is now a sub-editor at the Manila editorial desk of the Financial Times, UK.

The panel was tasked to critique the papers passed by the fellows and share their expertise to heighten the fellows’ awareness of all art forms. This year’s panel included professors from the University of Santo Tomas—Jocelyn T. Calubayan, Ralph S. Galan, Ferdinand M. Lopez, and Varsitarian adviser Joselito B. Zulueta. Concurrent professors of UST and the Ateneo de Manila University, Oscar Campomanes and Gary Devilles, who also teaches at the De La Salle University and the Far Eastern University, were also part of the line-up.

Panelists from the University of the Philippines included Delfin Tolentino, former dean of UP-Baguio’s College of Arts and Communication; Roland B. Tolentino, dean of UP-Diliman’s College of Mass Communicarion, and Priscelina P. Legasto, former dean of the UP Open University’s joint Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Faculty of Science and Technology.

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Professionals from the visual and performing art scenes such as celebrated dancer-choreographer Myra Beltran and Manilart 2011 project director Delan L. Robillos were also part of this year’s panel.

The fellows are: Dawn Nicole Marfil, Ailil Alvarez and Elka Requinta of UST; Miel Ondevilla of FEU; Jose Eos Trinidiad, Timothy Ong and Gino Francis Dizon of ADMU; Jaime Oscar Salazar of DLSU; Patrick Campos, Maxsim Moossavinassab and Richard Karl Deang of UP; and Mark Preston Lopez of Simmons College.

Diversity in Jen 2011 papers

Papers under the literary arts “A Blind Man’s Galilean Vision of Language: The Bakhtinian Multiform and Gina Apostol’s The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata” by Dizon, “The Sky Over Dimas” by Moossavinassab, “Representation of the Native American Woman: Intersections of Gender, Colonialism, and Racial Identity in E.P. Johnson’s A Red Girl’s Reasoning” by Lopez, “The Manga Ayashi No Ceres as a Feminist Postcolonial Text Through Revisionist Mythmaking” by Marfil, “The Psychedelic Spiral in Denis Johnson’s Emergency and Gregorio Brillante’s The Distance to Andromeda” by Ondevilla, “Lyricism in Pixel: The Transnational Space of Poetry: Toward a Postcolonial and Postmodern Poetics of Digital Texts” by Alvarez and “AIDS Literature in France as a Minority Discourse” by Deang.

Categorized under film were “Noli and the Future” by Campos and “Imaging the Igorot in Vernacular Films Produced in the Cordillera” by Tindaan. Meanwhile, the visual arts was represented by “Sacrality and Contiguity of Art” by Trinidad, “Notes Toward a Contemporary Conversation with Amorsolo” by Salazar and “National Identity and the Collective Unconscious in Philippine Visual Art” by Ong. The sole paper for the performing arts is “A Selection of Published Dance Articles” by Requinta.

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“Critical appreciation and scholarship in the arts is greatly needed in order to provide possibilities for change—the change the youth must focus on,” said Trinidad, adding that one must always look at art and its facet as a substance of the people.

The Jen Arts Criticism Workshop is organized by the Varsitarian in honor of the late National Artist for Visual Arts J. Elizalde Navarro, who was art editor and columnist of the publication during his stay in the University.

Jeremias “Jerry” Elizalde Navarro was born on May 29, 1924 in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.

In 1948, Jerry, who was already working at the Ace Advertising Agency (now Ace-Saatchi & Saatch) transferred to UST from UP and became art director, poet and columnist of the Varsitarian. He became a UST professor in 1951 right after graduating from the College of Fine Arts and Architecture (Cafa), which was established by another Thomasian National Artist, Victorio Edades in 1935.

This multi-faceted artist was able to explore different genres and jumped from one art form to the next as he mastered being a writer-critic and visual artist here and abroad. He succumbed to cancer in 1999 and was given the posthumous National Artist Award in December of the same year.

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