Artists from Puerto Rico take spotlight at USF Contemporary Art Museum

The USF Contemporary Art Museum, part of the Institute for Research in Art in the USF College of The Arts, presents Constant Storm: Art from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora, which will gather, display, record, and conceptualize artistic responses to Hurricane Maria by artists from Puerto Rico and the diaspora. The exhibition (September 24 through December 4, 2021) will present artists’ individual and collaborative expressions, illustrate the challenges faced by artists after the storm, and reveal the largely unpublished record of artists’ reflections on post-Maria Puerto Rico. Through artworks and their narratives and socially engaged initiatives, voices from the island and Puerto Rican communities in New York and Florida will materialize a comprehensive view of Puerto Rico’s fragile recovery as part of an evolving, 121-year-old historical crisis.

The virtual symposium “Bregando with Disasters: Post Hurricane Maria Realities and Resiliencies” will be held on October 2 from 11am – 3:30pm. The bilingual event brings together artists and leading academicians from Florida universities who will present recent research in a discussion of the Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida. Access is free through the USF Contemporary Art Museum website.

Artists in the Constant Storm exhibition include Rogelio Baéz Vega (New York), Sofía Gallisá Muriente (San Juan), Jorge González Santos (San Juan), Karlo Andrei Ibarra (San Juan), Ivelisse Jiménez (New York), Miguel Luciano (New York), Natalia Lassalle-Morillo (Los Angeles-San Juan), Angel Otero (New York), Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (Orlando), SkittLeZ-Ortiz (New York), Gabriel Ramos (Tarpon Springs), Jezabeth Roca González (San Diego-Añasco), Gamaliel Rodríguez (San Juan), and Yiyo Tirado Rivera (San Juan).

Media will include painting, sculpture, drawing, video and installation.

Miguel Luciano’s Pimp My Piragua (2009) riding with the Classic Riders in the Bushwick Puerto Rican Day Parade, 2019. Photo: Argenis Apolinario
Miguel Luciano’s Pimp My Piragua (2009) riding with the Classic Riders in the Bushwick Puerto Rican Day Parade, 2019. Photo: Argenis Apolinario

Sofîa Gallisá Muriente and Natalia Lassalle-Morillo have been commissioned to produce a video installation titled I-4 that will explore the experience of Puerto Ricans who have been displaced to Florida cities such as Orlando and Kissimmee. Among many works to be exhibited will be Angel Otero’s meditational, draped paintings; Miguel Luciano’s Pimp My Piragua, a customized shaved ice pushcart with sound system, video and LEDs; Wanda Ramimundi-Ortiz’s sculptural dress fashioned from FEMA tarps and other storm detritus; Yiyo Tirado’s Caribe Hostil, a neon sculpture referencing Puerto Rico’s tourist industry; and Gamaliel Rodríguez’s ghostly drawings of airport control towers all over Puerto Rico that were closed after Hurricane Maria.

Constant Storm: Art from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora is curated by Noel Smith, former CAM Deputy Director and Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Art, and Christian Viveros-Fauné, CAM Curator-at-Large, and is organized by the USF Contemporary Art Museum. The exhibition will be on view September 24 through December 4, 2021 and will include free educational programs.

ABOUT USF CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM

USF Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) organizes and presents significant and investigative exhibitions of contemporary art from Florida, the United States and around the world. Serving as a teaching laboratory, USFCAM’s curatorial and socially engaged initiatives and educational programs are designed to present the students, faculty, and community with current issues of contemporary art practice, and to explore the role of the arts in society.

USFCAM publishes relevant catalogues, presents critically recognized traveling exhibitions and commissions new projects by national and international artists.

USFCAM maintains the university’s art collection, comprising more than 5000 contemporary art works.

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