SAIPAN – The Lady Diann Foundation has launched Project Aligi to give local artists an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of the community through artwork representing the Mariana Islands after Supertyphoon Yutu.

Aligi is CHamoru for "pillar."

Veronica Mendez-Arriola, an art teacher at Saipan Southern High School, is among the local artists who volunteered for the project.

On Saturday, she painted an image of Sirena on a concrete pole on the Beach Road pathway.

Mendez-Arriola said painting island images on the concrete poles will bring out Saipan's personality and vibrancy.

"This is also one good way to expose our local artists and promote the arts – it's really positive," she added.

Project Aligi is open to students and other individuals interested in the arts.

Lady Diann Foundation founder and President Diann T. Torres said, "We are looking for local artists, but we welcome tourists as well."

As part of her foundation's local language literacy projects, "We will also add CHamoru and Carolinian words on the painting to describe the images," the first lady stated.


The foundation is working with the Marianas Visitors Authority, Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Department of Corrections, Tasi Tours and other private companies to implement the project.

Torres said the foundation has extended the deadline for interested artists who want to submit an application to Sept. 16 at the Marianas Visitors Authority office along Beach Road in San Jose. The deadline previously had been set for this month.

Applicants will be required to sketch a sample of what they want to paint. If approved, the artist will be provided with materials.