Artworks of the indigenous people (IPs) of Ilocos Norte were showcased in the 3rd Annual Indigenous People’s Visual Art Exhibit of Kalinawa Art Foundation in partnership with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) which opened last February 4 at Provincial Capitol Auditorium, Laoag City.
The annual exhibit which featured the artistry of Bago, Iyapayao, Tingguian, Igorot and Isneg tribes from Adams, Carasi, Dumalneg and Nueva was participated in by 38 artists, summing up to a total of 61 artworks.
The opening program which included the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the public viewing was graced by arts enthusiasts, teachers and students across the province, Raquel Palma Gil, executive director of Kalinawa, Ilocos Norte Provincial Administrator Atty. Windell Chua, Provincial Information Officer June Arvin Gudoy, and the exhibit’s curator Nestor Horfilla.
Horfilla said that the exhibition aims to bridge diversity through heightening people’s “sense of cultural awareness and understanding”, celebrate Philippine cultural wealth, and in Ilocos Norte, portray the “distinct lives, livelihoods, and lifestyle of Ilocanos.”
“The artwork are our [IP] artists’ contribution to society. These gestures are their commitment to ‘bayanihan’,” Horfilla added.
On the other hand, Atty. Chua highlighted on his speech some of the art-related projects of Governor Imee Marcos such as the Looking for Johnny Moon Creative Media Arts Festival, one of the province’s education programs which got its name from the first global Filipino visual artist “Juan Luna” who hailed from the town of Badoc, Ilocos Norte and the Tan-ok Festival of festivals, a grand showdown of all town festivals in the province.
“From these, I can say that this kind of endeavor is always at home in Ilocos Norte,” Atty. Chua added.
Kalinawa Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote indigenous people’s arts all over the country. Since its inception in 2006, it has been actively influencing various local government units in putting up similar exhibits with the aim of upholding Philippine indigenous culture and heritage.
Aside from conducting exhibits and arts competition, Kalinawa also works to establish copyright standards to protect the artworks and promote institutional mechanisms to maximize opportunities for IP’s visual arts.
The event culminated last Friday, Feb. 8 at 5:00 PM with the awarding of winners.—Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO