The Pérez Siquier Centre building completes the offer of the City of Culture
The City of Culture of Olula del Río has completed its artistic offer with the inauguration of the new building of the Pérez Siquier Centre. The Provincial Council, the City Council of Olula del Río and the Ibáñez-Cosentino Foundation have inaugurated this afternoon the new facilities of the Centre that enriches the cultural and tourist offer of the province while consolidating it as one of the most important artistic references in the southeast of Spain.
The President of the Provincial Council, Javier A. García; the Mayor of Olula del Río, Antonio Martínez Pascual; the photographer Carlos Pérez Siquier; the artist Andrés García Ibáñez as President of the Ibáñez – Cosentino Art Foundation, and José Martínez – Cosentino, representing the Almerian multinational, inaugurated the extension of the building which completes the Pérez Siquier Centre, an exhibition space dedicated to the Almerian author, winner of the National Photography Award, and other avant-garde photographers.
The new building, conceived as a tribute to the classical order of Michelangelo, has 1,400 m2 divided into two floors, with five rooms on the ground floor and seven upstairs. Two of these rooms already have content; one dedicated to Pérez Siquier’s most recent work and the other to Spanish photographers under the title ‘Contemporary Photography 1970-2020’. The rest of the spaces will be progressively equipped with works so that they can be enjoyed by the public.
The president of the Provincial Council has acknowledged the perseverance and hard work of the Foundation and the City Council for making this “dream” come true and for counting on the Provincial Council to give it shape because, as he pointed out, “the great projects, those that make history and outlive their creators, are those that are built as a team, combining efforts and enthusiasm”, and has highlighted the cultural and tourist potential that this project means for Olula del Río, the Almanzora region and the whole province.
In this line, the president has reaffirmed the commitment and commitment of the Provincial Council for the City of Culture since its inception because “it is one of those ideas that become opportunities for all Almeria. In opportunities to create wealth and employment, to encourage culture and promote quality tourism through it …, and that all this translates into a more prosperous province. The Diputación de Almería will always be there, with all those projects that build the province and give us reasons to be proud to be from Almería”.
Finally, the president stated that “the history of the City of Culture is the same history as that of our land: a province that has made itself thanks to the work and talent of the people of Almería”, and asked García Ibáñez and all his team to “never stop dreaming and sharing with all of us the illusion of creating because, as Ibáñez himself says: “progress is the realisation of utopias”.
The mayor of Olula del Río, Antonio Martínez, stressed that “it has been a complicated path” full of enthusiasm and work: “Back in 2011 we dreamed of this building and today it is a reality. The collaboration between institutions has been fundamental to achieve it. This project is made great by the people, its visitors and neighbours of the region, neighbours like the Cosentino family who have committed to this project. Together we can all see this dream come true today”, he assured.
In addition, Martínez Pascual recalled that “the City of Culture has open arms to other administrations such as the government of Spain” while highlighting the work of the Provincial Council: “Thank you President for believing in it and betting on all the people of the province and the projects that give life to it”.
For his part, Andrés García Ibáñez said that without the Diputación this cultural dream of opening the first photography museum in Spain with the name of a photographer of the stature of Pérez Siquier would not have been achieved. “It is amazing that a photographer who is almost 91 years old can have this talent and concentrate it in this space that we have the great honour of inaugurating today. This is your museum, this is your home”, he assured.
José Martínez Cosentino emphasised what an honour it is for the Cosentino Group to be part of this project: “Thanks to Pérez Siquier for his contribution. It is a luxury to be able to see his work and bring it together here. The building has an architectural quality worthy of admiration and it would not be possible without the help of the Diputación. We have in this town of Olula del Río the largest artistic and museum concentration in southern Spain. We have a great commitment to our land and our support for this museum is one more example of this and not the last one….”, he detailed.
Finally, Pérez Siquier recalled that “I am a man of image and not of words and this museum has stolen them all from me. Thank you for your praise and I hope you enjoy my work and this exceptional museum that houses them”.
Alliance for Culture
Since 2011 the Diputación de Almería has maintained a firm and close collaboration with the Fundación de Arte Ibáñez – Cosentino for the promotion and maintenance of the Museum, as well as other cultural activities in the province. This fruitful collaboration is based on the overall objectives of consolidating the Museum as a cultural reference point, promoting cultural tourism in the region and the rest of the province and guaranteeing access to culture for the entire population.
Another of the major projects shared by the Provincial Institution and the Ibáñez-Cosentino Art Foundation is the future Museum of Contemporary Spanish Realism, the first in the country, which will be located in the Provincial Hospital, the only 16th century civil building still standing in the city of Almería.
25 years sculpting a dream
The inauguration of the extension to the Pérez Siquier Centre marks a turning point in the City of Culture, an ambitious project that began in 1996 and opened its doors in 2004. Visitors will find in the Museum one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Andalusia and one of the most important spaces dedicated to culture in the Southeast of Spain. Inside, works by Goya, Sorolla, Benlliure, Antonio López…, and García Ibáñez himself are exhibited.
In 2017, the Pérez Siquier Centre opened to the public, culminating in the extension inaugurated today. The Centre contains the most significant work of the Almeria-born photographer, from different styles and periods. The new building now has two rooms with content. One of them shows the work of Pérez Siquier produced between 2001 and 2021, an exhibition that is more than 60% unpublished.
The other room of the extension is dedicated to current Spanish photography and is called ‘Contemporary Photography 1970 – 2020’, where you can see images by artists such as Alberto García Alix, Miguel Trillo…, or Ouka Leele, and by six artists from Almería: Manuel Falces, Jorge Rueda, Carlos de Paz, Antonio Jesús García, Rubén García and Pablo García Ibáñez.