(MACFest Release): The Craft Market Centre at the National Art Gallery grounds is expected to complete in time for the upcoming 6th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFest) in July.
Construction of the facility began early this year and is expected to complete in the third week of June just before the opening of the festival on July 1.
The center will host the bulk of Traditional and Contemporary Arts exhibitions. This category includes Sculptor (carving), Weaving/ Handicrafts, Body Ornamentation/ local Jewellery, Traditional Currencies, Tattooing, Fire-walking, Canoeing and Navigational art, Traditional Healing, Culinary Arts , Floral Arts and Pottery.
Visiting artists from Melanesia will join our local artists to exhibit their products during the 10 days festival.
“We are impressed with the progress of the project and we are confident it will complete in time for the upcoming festival,” said Chairman of the festival Programmes and Events and Director of Culture, Dennis Marita.
Marita said the facility will provide a permanent home for our local arts and crafts practitioners in the near future.
“This is indeed a welcoming development for our arts and crafts industry. It will certainly provide a proper home for our arts and craft practitioners as well as a boost for our tourism industry,” Mr Marita said.
He added that a Crafts Center Management team will be established to manage and run the center to ensure that there is equal opportunities for those engaged in this sector to use this facility.
“The facility will certainly generate revenue for the government through rental by eligible vendors and relevant associations or charitable organizations and groups,” he added.
The project costs more than SB$10 million with fifty percent of the cost funded by the Solomon Islands Government, thirty percent by the Republic China on Taiwan and thirty percent from the EIF/EU Programme under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.