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SWU-PHINMA to offer arts, design

by April 26, 2017 General

SEEING a growing demand for creatives, a homegrown university, recently acquired by a conglomerate, is investing in an arts and design school for senior high students.

In a press conference yesterday, Southwestern University-Phinma (SWU-PHINMA) announced that it is slated to offer an arts and design program for senior high school this June. The newly-opened program will offer specializations in fashion design and merchandising, graphic design, and multimedia.

While considered a “non-traditional” career option for most, opportunities in the creative industry bode well nowadays, said artist, educator, and historian John Paul Olivares, who will head the program.

“Before, we (art students) were not taught how to be businessmen when we graduated. Here we are giving them the opportunity to deal business-wise,” said Olivares.

Adopting industry-based approaches, Olivares said the school will enable senior high students to work with real clients and at the same time incorporate business fundamentals in the creative industry in all its programs.

“Apart from the demand from brands and companies for young designers and artists, there is also an opportunity to become a ‘designpreneur’ and establish one’s business, may it be in the field of design, retail, advertising,” SWU PHINMA said in a statement. The university has partnered with First Media Designs of Singapore in developing the program.

After completing the two-year senior high program, Olivares said the school will give students a chance to continue their studies and receive an international degree abroad.

Olivares said there are viable careers in arts and design. With the wider reach brought by social media, many artists have successfully established networks with both local and international clients.

“The Internet has neutralized this challenge. If you can’t find a client here, you can find a client abroad,” he said.

Olivares, a graphic and production designer, has clients abroad. He holds a fine arts degree from the University of the Philippines and has a masters degree in curriculum development from Far Eastern University.