I am writing to you with the urgency of an incredible opportunity that has just been placed in my vision. An opportunity I have little time to secure funding for and so it is with great hope that I ask for help making this dream manifest.
As many of you know I am in my final year of a BFA program at Parsons. A journey that has been mountains of lessons learned through much hard work and sacrifice. In my final year I have the privilege to work on one solid body of work for my Senior Thesis, which will be my final requirement to graduate. Having spent nearly a decade using my talents to work with and for community as a teaching artist and muralist and mentor, I knew that my senior work should resolve something very personal for me. PUERTO RICO.
My Thesis is on Nuyorican identity. To unpack that- my thesis is about the shifting identity of Puerto Ricans born and raised in NYC, confronting the intimate connections and disconnections to and from the Island. My work will explore what it means to be mas -o-menos- Boricua, more or less Puerto Rican depending on where you are. I will be creating a body of work that will fit inside a suitcase to mobilize an identity that will make me Puerto Rican anywhere, not simply because of the objects and art work created but in the journey it will take to have made it.
Why I need Help
Days ago I was forwarded an opportunity from one of my Professors to take a trip to P.R as part of a crash course in artistic and scientific field studies. This trip would take me ALL OVER THE ISLAND to study the ecological landscape studying the living environment of the island with a crew of artists AND SCIENTISTS to digest the nature politics of the island with.
The course is this:
Through hands-on observation, artistic interpretation and various biological methods, we will learn to utilize the natural habitat as a studio/lab to make informed art about tropical plants, animals, and nature.
Art+Science instruction that includes: field sketching/drawing, animal behavior observations, nature photography, species identification, watercolor painting, ecological sampling, UV light nocturnal insect collecting, visualizing plant and fungal micro-textures and patterns, nature journaling, floral and botanical illustration, environmental-art and found object eco-installations, and various field biology and natural history methods.
Daily individual and collaborative artmaking and instruction in the field at various tropical ecosystems (e.g., rainforest, coastal beach, mangrove, cloud forest, etc.)
Hiking excursions to EL Yunque Rainforest, National Park
Kayak/boat night excursion to a bioluminescent bay
coral reef explorations
Travel in various terrain types, including walking and hiking up hillsides, through the rainforest, and forest scrub
The money I am trying to raise will cover the entire course plus air fare.
Beloved People: I was born of Puerto Rican parents born of Puerto Rican parents and have only seen the island once briefly. In order to make this work I KNOW that I need to " go home" to the place of my ancestry. Everything in my spirit tells me I need to get there- I just cant get there on my own. I live my life on the principle of reciprocity. I ask not for one-way donations "“ I will return your kindness with gifts for each of you. There are numerous yummy art perks for contribution if you help me in this venture. Please consider forwarding this to anyone looking to buy some art or help an artist.
Thank you sooo much for your consideration to help, or to pass the word on or just in keeping me in positive thoughts / prayer. I only have days time to secure this spot. Wish me luck and again thank you!
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