By Florante A. Nicolas, PGIN- CMO
LAOAG CITY -The Kalinawa Art Foundation along with the provincial government of Ilocos Norte has formally opened to the public the second Annual Indigenous Peoples’ (IPs) Visual Art Exhibit at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium last February 4.
Aimed to showcase the unique art skills of the local IPs in Ilocos Norte, Kalinawa facilitates visual fine art shows and auctions from the communities of artists from the Bago, Iyapayao, Tingguian, Igorot and Isneg tribes from Adams, Carasi, Dumalneg and Nueva Era.
According to Kalinawa Executive Director Racquel Palma- Gil, the exhibit is a celebration of indigenous arts that provide opportunities for the IPs to earn a better living using their talents.
“Most of the IPs have this innate talent and skills for the art that extremely differs from those that are in the mainstream. However, majority of them lacks resources or necessary funding to create and promote their arts and this is one of the common problems to many IP artists in the country— funding and promotion,” Gil said.
Since its inception in 2006, Kalinawa had provided assistance for the development of the indigenous peoples’ art sector in the Philippines through different activities like series of exhibitions built around a competition and sales of the art which are held in various regional centers.
“While the program of regional exhibitions is ongoing, our intent is to establish a regular National Indigenous Peoples’ art exhibition in Manila, to which winners from various regional competitions will be invited to present their work,” Gil added.
Ruben Vallejos, 44, an ethnic from Adams belonging to the Igorots, said that the arts show is one of the rare avenues for him and his fellow IPs in Ilocos Norte to promote their artworks.
“Since childhood, I have been looking forward to see my artworks featured in exhibits. This time, the dream has come true, thanks to the provincial government and the people behind Kalinawa,” Vallejos beamed.
Apart from conducting exhibits and arts competition, the Kalinawa Art Foundation also works to establish copyright standards to protect the art and foster institutional mechanisms to maximize the opportunities for IPs visual arts that are consistent with their cultures and communities.
The exhibit is opened for public viewing and auction from 8am- 5pm until February 9, 2012.#