Art book to showcase Ilonggo culture, promote local artists

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, first lady Rosalie Treñas, IFFI president Jose V. Layson Jr., and project’s creative director Frannie Golez sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the Ilonggo Art Book on Wednesday, Jan 4, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Arnold Almacen/CMO)

By John Noel E. Herrera 

The Iloilo City Government and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) will soon launch an art book showcasing Ilonggo culture and values and promoting local artists in Iloilo.

The 200-page Ilonggo Art Book, which is a catalogue of local Ilonggo artists and their artworks, will feature over 200 artworks of 180 local artists from 13 art groups in Iloilo, according to the project’s creative director Frannie Golez.

“We requested the artists to submit works they want to be featured. We also took works from the Iloilo Pop-Up Studio. We tried to put in as many artwork representatives from the art groups and what they wanted to show as their best works,” Golez added.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and IFFI president Jose V. Layson Jr. also signed on Wednesday, Jan 4, 2023, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the publication of the art book.

They were also joined by Iloilo City’s first lady Rosalie Treñas (Executive Project Director); Frannie Golez (Creative Director); Leny Ledesma (Project Manager); Himbon’s Vic Nabor (artists representative); City Administrator Melchor Tan; Councilor Miguel Treñas, and special assistant to the mayor Mathilde Treñas.

Mayor Treñas said the project is a way for the city to support local artists, promote the tourism industry and art culture for all Ilonggos, and to preserve the heritage and traditions.

“The City of Love is filled with colorful and amazing artworks. We encourage more art, improved artists’ talent and highlight Ilonggo skills. Through this, we are able to present our culture and values,” Treñas added.

Treñas had earlier committed to continue implementing art projects and programs in the city, like the Iloilo Arts Festival, and support all the renowned and even up-and-coming local artists as the city government aspires to make Iloilo City the Arts Capital of the Philippines.

He added that they have been pushing for the promotion of art awareness and appreciation to the public and to add more attractions for visitors to witness during their vacations.

“Art is the soul of the city, and we cannot be a Queen City of the South again if we do not strengthen the soul of Iloilo City. We can only strengthen the soul of Iloilo if we support arts,” Treñas previously said.

The MOA stated that the IFFI will provide financial support amounting to P400,000, while the city government will provide auxiliary support and develop strategies in engaging and building support from the community, among others.

“We want to encourage and highlight our visual artists, and we are happy with the partnership with the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, because they have not only remained strong when it comes to Dinagyang and other festivals, but we are also cooperating with them in other fields such as cooking and visual arts,” Treñas said.