Culture and History of Puerto Rico Celebrated in New Exhibit at San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – Puerto Rico’s history and culture come alive in this new exhibition presented by the City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture. Currently on display at Centro de Artes Gallery, “$t@tU.S.? Prints from Puerto Rico to San Antonio” features the work of master Puerto Rican printmaker Antonio Martorell, his students from the collective workshop Taller Alacrán, and his contemporaries including renowned artists Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, and José Rosa Castellanos, as well as works from San Antonio artists.

This exhibit of 77 prints, which runs through Dec. 17, 2017, highlights serigraphs from Puerto Rico produced from the 1950s to the present, alongside contemporary prints in a variety of media from San Antonio artists. The exhibit’s title, “$t@U.S.? Prints from Puerto Rico to San Antonio,” is taken from Martorell’s poignant print, “Bandera para el Status” (Flag for Status), and offers a bridge between Puerto Rican and San Antonian printmaking by considering artists’ responses to the state of sovereignty, power, political action, heritage, democracy, and equality. Puerto Rican printmakers incorporated text and letters in their posters and fine art prints not for strictly informational purpose, but rather, with aesthetic purpose. To San Antonio artists, wordplay in their art serves as a powerful means to speak to the hybrid, code-switching Borderland experience.

“Viewers will enjoy the artistry, resilience, and understated humor of these bold prints from Puerto Rican and San Antonio artists, who combine striking imagery and text while addressing contemporary issues,” said Dr. Teresa Eckmann, exhibit curator and associate professor of Latin American art history at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Participating artists include:

Puerto Rico - Antonio Martorell, Luis Alonso, Analida Burgos, José Rosa Castellanos, Lorenzo Homar, Carlos Raquel Rivera, Nelson Sambolín, Rafael Tufiño, and Rafael Tufiño II.
Taller Alacrán - Jesús Ruiz Durand, Manuel García Fonteboa, Cirilo Meijers, Aarón Gamaliel Ramos, Enrique Salgado

San Antonio - Richard Armendariz, Juan de Dios Mora, Joe Harjo, Andrei Rentería, Ethel Shipton, and Gary Sweeney.

The exhibit is coordinated in partnership with the Puerto Rican Heritage Society of San Antonio with loaned works from Antonio Martorell’s personal collection, the University of New Mexico’s Center for Southwest Research, which houses the Sam L. Slick Collection of Latin American and Iberian Posters, and from the Museum of History, Anthropology, and Art at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.

“$t@tU.S.? Prints from Puerto Rico to San Antonio” is made possible by the Department of Arts and Culture, the Puerto Rican Heritage Society, the University of Texas San Antonio, Air Force Federal Credit Union, HEB, and Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio’s Zona Cultural on the grounds of Historic Market Square, Centro de Artes is a two-story exhibit space dedicated to telling the story of the Latino experience with a focus on South Texas through local and regional art, history and culture, and showcasing Latino artists and Latino-themed artworks. Centro de Artes, located at 101 S. Santa Rosa in Historic Market Square, is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Centro de Artes is free and open to the public.