The IEA bestows its Gold Shield on Andrés García Ibáñez

This Saturday, the Institute of Almeria Studies, IEA, awarded its most prestigious distinctions to the painter and sculptor Andrés García Ibáñez and the historian María Dolores Durán. In addition, the artist, who does not belong to the Institute, has been named an honorary member of the IEA. These tributes to two people from Almería who, with their work, have contributed to enhancing the culture of the province of Almería were carried out this Saturday, June 1, coinciding with the celebration of the IEA Plenary Session at the Municipal Cultural Center of Garrucha. 

The mayor of Garrucha, Pedro Zamora, accompanied at the presidential table by the president of the Provincial Council, Javier A. García, the vice president Almudena Morales and the director of the IEA, Mario Pulido, was in charge of welcoming the members of the IEA to your municipality. The mayor has highlighted the historical and cultural roots of Garrucha and has thanked the Provincial Council for holding this event in his town, while at the same time showing his willingness to welcome new initiatives of these characteristics.

The president of the Provincial Council of Almería, Javier A. García, has valued these recognitions as “a show of affection and gratitude towards two people who, from their professional fields, have made and make a great contribution to the promotion of culture, history and heritage of the province of Almería. Andrés García Ibáñez and María Dolores Durán perfectly represent the committed Almeria character that is based on effort, perseverance and talent, giving the people of Almería reasons to feel proud of who we are.” 

In this sense, regarding the painter and sculptor from Almeria, García has noted that “his creativity and artistic excellence is proven internationally, but his role as a cultural promoter through the excellent work carried out by the Ibáñez Cosentino Art Foundation, with projects As the City of Culture, they have turned our province into a world artistic reference. That contribution has found its maximum expression this year with the great work of García Ibáñez and his entire team in the launch of the first Museum of Contemporary Spanish Realism in Spain in the old Provincial Hospital of Almería. 

In the case of María Dolores Durán, the provincial president has referred to her as “one of the best sentinels in the history of Almería. Through her works, research or coordination of activities or exhibitions she has disseminated some of the most significant aspects of Almeria culture, helping to understand the magnitude of our cultural and artistic heritage. The work of artists such as Jesús de Perceval or Celia Viñas or treasures such as La Alcazaba, Almería Barroca or the Fischer farmhouse have been the subject of some of her most brilliant works and for her entire career she is deserving of this recognition.” 

Art, culture, heritage and commitment to Almería

María Dolores Durán has been a member of the Institute of Almeria Studies since 2000. Her cultural and research career has been recognized with various distinctions, such as the “Joaquín Guichot” Award for the promotion of Educational Research and Innovation. Junta of Andalusia. 2005. Women Researcher Award 2018 by the Almería City Council or the Golden Shield of the City of Almería in 2020.

Her connection to the field of culture with the Provincial Council of Almería and especially with the IEA has been and continues to be very intense and the following can be highlighted: the coordinator of the commemorative events of the Centenary of the birth of the artist Jesús de Perceval and the writer and professor Celia Viñas (2015); Curator of exhibitions by Almeria artists: Perceval, Luis Cañadas. Dionisio Godoy. Miguel Rueda. Jose Leal. Moncada Calvache…; publication of books such as ‘The Royal Hospital of Santa María Magdalena. Image and Memory’ or the coordination of the Carmen Pinteño Virtual Museum (2023), among many other projects.

María Dolores Durán thanked the institution for this recognition which, as she stated, “has given me a splendid moment of happiness,” and recalled that her entire professional life has been spent between teaching and research to “transmit our enormous heritage as a great priority.” Furthermore, she added that “I want to keep my husband, Antonio Galindo, in mind at this moment today, as he would also be a member of the institute and would feel very emotional. Without his support and his wonderful doing this would not have been possible.” 

Andrés García Ibáñez, an internationally famous painter and sculptor, has exhibited in numerous halls in Europe, mainly in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. One of the aspects of his artistic activity is mural painting, with his works in the Cathedral of San Salvador (El Salvador), and in the Santuario del Saliente, in Albox (Almería), seeking a full integration of his work in architecture preexisting. Another important facet has been teaching, participating in numerous workshops taught alone or with other artists, among which those he has given with Antonio López stand out.

García Ibáñez’s artistic career cannot be summarized without highlighting his work as a creator and promoter of art, exhibition and museum spaces, developed from the presidency of the Ibáñez Cosentino Art Foundation, from the core of the Casa Ibáñez Museum, in Olula. from the river. Its latest contribution in this line is found in the city of Almería where, under the direction and management of the foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Realism, MUREC, was inaugurated in the old Royal Hospital of Santa María Magdalena, which depends on the Provincial Council. from Almería, with works by Antonio López, Zuloaga, Romero de Torres…, among other greats of this artistic movement.

Andrés García Ibáñez has thanked the president, Provincial Council, the IEA and all its members for this recognition and for working together to enrich culture and art in the province of Almería. Likewise, the painter and sculptor recalled the close collaboration of the IEA with the Ibáñez Cosentino Art Foundation in the publication of books or exhibitions, such as the honoree’s own biography or those dedicated to Pérez Siquier. García Ibáñez recalled that this year he celebrates four decades of artistic career, he praised the work of the IEA and concluded his intervention by saying “continue on the path you are going and long live the Institute of Almerian Studies!” 


After the ceremony to award the IEA Gold Shield, the institute’s annual Plenary Session was held. In it, among other points, the work, activities and publications that have been carried out throughout 2023 have been reviewed and the lines to follow for the current year have been set out. The vice president and deputy for Culture, Cinema and Identity of Almería, Almudena Morales, has once again highlighted the role “of each and every one of the members of the IEA, who are its soul and a reason to feel proud of being from Almería.” . 

For his part, the director of the IEA, Mario Pulido, has been in charge of presenting the strategic lines of the study center for 2024, whose main challenge is to continue opening the Institute to the entire society and, especially, to the population. younger.    

The authors of the book ‘Poems about walking around class’, Diego Reche and Diego Alonso, also participated in the Plenary Session, sharing their experience with the publication of this work, which has enjoyed very good acceptance and which has had The objective is to bring poetry closer to Almería schoolchildren. Likewise, IEA members José Domingo Lentisco and Julián Pablo Díaz participated to talk about the collections ‘Pueblos de Almería’ and ‘Diccionario bioográfico almeria’, respectively.    

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