Hurricane Maria was the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years, and arrived only two weeks after Hurricane Irma passed just north of the island and left 1 million people without power.
The storm cut nearly all communication across the island and destroyed the power grid. The effect on Puerto Rican families — and the island's infrastructure — will take many years to heal. The magnitude was so large that nearly two years after a deadly hurricane season, hundreds of residents are still living under leaky tarps, their poverty on display in glaring bright blue.
How artists, whose incomes and opportunities are precarious in the best of times, were managing? Some artist see this as an opportunity to create art that is based on this crisis and to try to have a more positive and forward-looking vision. Puertorican administration has faced several obstacles including unfair conditions imposed to obtain federal funds to new housing projects, loans to stimulate construction and local businesses. The tourists visiting PR would not know that the coffee farms will take years to recover — and the red mangrove forests decades — or that local artist shop is struggling to create pieces due to lack of basic necessities such as electricity and basic goods taken away.
However, Puerto Ricans artists feel the urgency of responding with their own voice to the international community expressing their many vision and socioeconomic struggles including their complex political relationship with the United States. On a daily basis, their privileges and rights slowly chipped away.
Art is indeed a crucial component of recovery. In an effort to help them to regain their confidence and economy, we invited them to display and sell their artwork at DVAA gallery.
Courageous images inspired of people laboriously picking up trees and helping elderly neighbors are represented on these paintings. Also, images of people waiting hours for gasoline... Walking under the sun, the rain and at night to get something to home...
Please join us to help PR artists with any donation you can provide. A dollar will make a difference!. Give the artists the opportunity to sell their artworks with your contribution as we are raising to pay the artwork mailing fees from the island, art pieces installation in the gallery and have one Puerto Rican artist during the opening reception. Please join us on August 21st at DVAA gallery to meet and grit with Edna Santiago (organizer) and PR artist Edward Perez Perez. This ARTshow will be possible by a community effort. Thank for giving the artist an opportunity to benefit from donations and sponsorships.