‘ARTS AND BEYOND’: Himbon celebrates 5th anniversary in full circle

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Himbon Contemporary Ilonggo Artists Group, in partnership with SM City Iloilo and Pro-Wood Designs, launched an art exhibit dubbed “Full Circle” in celebration of its 5th anniversary on Monday, Sept 19, 2022, at SM City Iloilo Northwing, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Over 30 Himbon artists participated in this year’s exhibit as they showcased their works of art inside the mall that aimed to further strengthen the impact of arts in society.

Himbon President Harry Mark Gonzales said during the program that the celebration symbolized how the organization survived through the years and expressed that “art is more than just the paintings and sculptures but the feelings and emotions that everyone feels while making or just staring at different masterpieces.”

Ed Defensor also emphasized the importance of arts in society and talked about how the madness of the artists “create dynamism in the art which is called creativity.”

He also shared how the Himbon was created as an offshoot of a conflict of personalities five years ago.

“What happened was ang mga myembro could not like each other very much, so may differences in personalities, may gailinaway kag may naga hikayanay. All these things started to reach me and I said it is just normal,” Defensor said.

SM City Mall Manager Engr. Gilbert Domingo said that SM City is much happy to be a venue of such works of art from the members of Himbon “as these artworks truly celebrate the wide arrays of talents from established, renowned and even up and coming artists of Himbon.”

“We are truly honored to have these works which I’m sure will be surely appreciated by our customers and by the Ilonggo community, and we look forward to more meaningful exhibits or art installations in the mall,” Domingo added.

Gonzales also thanked SM City Iloilo for the support they received since the start of their organization.

“We would like to thank SM City Iloilo for a very long partnership with our organization. For five years, we survived some struggles on finances and venues, and this mall has been a big help in giving a lot of exposure to those artists who are just starting their careers and at the same time the opportunity to continue their art,” Gonzales said.

The exhibit runs from Sept 19 to Oct 3, 2022. All artworks are not just for display but are also on sale for the artists to earn and raise funds for the organization.

Himbon is a word that means “to gather together,” making the group a collective of artists from all over Panay engaged in multi-disciplinary art forms.

It was formally formed in 2017 by Harry Mark Gonzales, Vic Fario, Gina Apostol, and Marrz Capanag, with the guidance of Ed Defensor and Prof. Martin Genodepa.