Island-themed artwork is spreading across the Marianas with 44 concrete utility poles getting a facelift through Project Haligi.
Project Haligi (“haligi” means pole in the indigenous Chamorro language) was launched in July 2019 and welcomes volunteer artists to decorate poles on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian. Over 30 poles on Saipan have been painted by various volunteers, and students on Rota have painted 11 poles.
“As we try to educate our visitors from abroad about our language and culture, we are beautifying our islands at the same time,” said first lady Diann Torres. “Every individual that passes by these poles and recognizes the artwork should bring some hope, joy, and happiness as they go about their daily lives.”
Participating artists have been Veronica Mendez-Arriola, Maryann B. Arriola, Regina Frances T. Pangelinan, Natasha Tan, Jinhui Jeong, Abby Racoma, Linda Concepcion-Torres, Meena Benavente, Sheelane Santos, Mark C. Manglona, Domonique N. Deleon Guerrero, and students on Rota.
Paint and other supplies are provided, and applicants are still welcome to participate. Project Haligi is a cooperative effort of the Lady Diann Torres Foundation, Marianas Visitors Authority, and other government offices and tourism partners, including the Rota Mayor’s Office, Tinian Mayor’s Office, and Tinian Municipal Council. Additional organizing sponsors are Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Tasi Tours, Rotary Club of Saipan, the Department of Corrections, and Pratt & Lambert Paints by Hong Ye Hardware.
“We are so grateful to all the artists for volunteering their time to spread happiness and inspiration throughout our islands with the Project Haligi artwork,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo. “There are still many poles to cover and still many image ideas to share, so we encourage all interested individuals to apply today to be a part of the program or to contact our office for more information.”
The project aims to beautify about 220 utility poles on all three islands. Pole locations on Saipan are Beach Road, Pale Msgr. Guerrero Rd., Airport Road, and Isa Drive. Locations on Rota are PinatangPark, Tatachok Beach, Teteto Beach, and Guata Beach. Locations on Tinian are Jones Beach, Broadway, San Jose, and Marpo Heights, and Carolinas Heights. Each area has been assigned a respective theme, including ocean, history/culture, flowers, and nature.
Applications and additional details are downloadable at www.mymarianas.com/press-release-reports. Artwork submissions must include Chamorro and Refaluwasch descriptive words. Minors age 11 and older may participate with parental consent and supervision. (PR)