Arts & Entertainment

Caribbean culture on display at burgeoning Puerto Rican art park

By Marina Villen

Dorado, Puerto Rico, Nov 18 (EFE).- Afro-Caribbean women and the fauna of the Caribbean region are among the themes of a series of murals at a budding open-air art park in this northern Puerto Rican town.

The second edition of the “Color Caribe” festival, which kicked off on Friday and will run for two consecutive weekends, brings together the talents of Puerto Rican visual artists Celso, 2Alas, Ana Marietta, Sergio Stuff and Stencil Network, the Dominican Republic’s Angurria and renowned German muralist Andres Von Chrzanowski (AKA Case Maclaim).

The Caribbean-inspired murals painted on the facades of shipping containers are on display at the Agrotourism Park in Dorado, where other pieces of graphic artwork created during the festival’s inaugural edition also are being exhibited.

“All of the pieces created here in the park will remain as part of a permanent exhibit that will be accessible to the public year-round. The idea is for it to keep growing and to create Puerto Rico’s first art park,” Joel Diaz, the festival’s producer, told Efe.

A wide variety of murals are on display, but the common denominator is the varied riches of the Caribbean region – its sports, music, culture and flora and fauna.

“We feel that as Puerto Ricans or Caribbeans there’s a lack of that pride in (our identity), and we wanted to start creating that pride and (show) the great talent that exists in Puerto Rico and in its sister islands,” Diaz said.

One mural by Dominican artist Omar Garcia, known by his artistic name Angurria, is a new version of his long-running work titled “Doña Patria,” a strong, curler-wearing Afro-Caribbean woman who on this occasion appears to spring from a pool of lava that surrounds her.

“The sandal that’s falling away behind her symbolizes the social ‘establishment’ that dictates that a woman should be a certain way, but she’s skipping free, happy, liberating herself from that society that wants to repress her,” Angurria told Efe.

The muralist said “Doña Patria” has been the focus of his acrylic and spray-painted work for some time and is a “recurrent figure from his childhood” because his mother used to run a beauty salon.

Other works on display include a sculpture by Celso that pays tribute to late Puerto Rican composer and salsa singer Ismael Rivera.

The activities at this year’s edition of “Color Caribe” include art, drawing and painting workshops and graffiti classes, while students from the School of Plastic Arts of Puerto Rico assisted with the colorful mural by Sergio Stuff located at the festival’s entrance.

One of the goals of the event is to “instill in young people (the idea) that you can live and make a career from art,” Diaz said, adding that it also serves to increase awareness of Puerto Rican artists, some of whom have achieved international fame yet are not as well known on the United States commonwealth.

Among the murals will be an inverted portrait by Case Maclaim and a homage to an Aztec god by Puerto Rican artist Don Rimx.

The event also has a musical component, including performances by Puerto Rican bands Buscabulla, Cultura Profetica and Vivanativa, Venezuelan rapper Apache and other artists that showcase a different facet of Caribbean culture. EFE


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