Ateneo Artbase Documenting the University Art Collection to Celebrate Cultural Heritage and Increase Community Appreciation for the Arts

AUTHOR/S: Pamela Del Rosario Castrillo

DATE COMPLETED: February 19, 2014



             Ateneo ArtBase is a documentation and research project that (1) organizes diverse artifacts in the Ateneo de Davao University; (2) unearths knowledge about them; and (3) shares knowledge through the online database, Ateneo ArtBase, and lesson guides. The artifacts can be roughly grouped into three distinct categories: Christian art (reproductions of European masters, original watercolors of Biblical scenes and their stained glass reproductions, and Paete wood carvings); Philippine fabric art (Mindanao textiles, i.e., Tausug and Yakan textiles, as well as Northern Philippine weaves, such as Narda’s fabrics); and Asian fabric art (Chinese tapestries and rugs and Indonesian batik)

             Ateneo ArtBase is an invitation to enter and enjoy worlds other than the world of the academe. These otherworldly are really self-contained and beautiful ways to prayer evoking different traditions and faiths–Catholic and Islamic, Filipino and foreign to the Filipino—yet almost all ways to the divine. Ateneo ArtBase, is a respectful nod to Fr. Antonio S. Samson SJ’s collecting vision, to his paean to beauty of different cultural traditions, and to his keeping the faith as he sees it in in woven silk, resist-dyed cotton, hewn wood, painted papyrus, and carefully printed poster paper.

             Ateneo ArtBase pulls together all these seemingly disparate threads of art in a digital home ( that echoes the wonders of the multisited gallery that is Ateneo de Davao but provides more by way of knowledge about arts—not only their forms but also their functions, particularly its faith function.

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