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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Hundreds of international, local artists to feature works in Poly/Graphic of Puerto Rico: Latin America and the Caribbean



The Poly/Graphic of Puerto Rico: Latin America and the Caribbean is part of the evolution of the San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Engraving, and the Poli/Graphic Triennial of San Juan: Latin America and the Caribbean.

By The Star Staff


Hundreds of international and Puerto Rican artists will participate in the island’s most significant arts event, the Poly/Graphic of Puerto Rico: Latin America and the Caribbean (PGPR), which will begin on Friday, April 19, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) announced Sunday.


This event, titled “Bajo pressure / Under Pressure,” will take place until September 15 at the Old Arsenal of the Spanish Navy and the gallery in the ICP’s headquarters in Old San Juan. It will also include dozens of other participating museums and galleries.


“We are honored to officially present the Poly/Graphic of Puerto Rico: Latin America and the Caribbean, a varied art exhibition highlighting the imprint of graphics and its experimentations. It is the most relevant art event in Puerto Rico and one of the most anticipated in Latin America and the Caribbean, and we will have over a hundred participating artists. This edition, in addition to being a great celebration for art lovers, thanks to Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi’s allocation of ARPA funds, has allowed us to financially support cultural organizations, museums, art projects, and artists. We welcome all the representatives of the participating countries to this important artistic meeting by including a diversity of artistic media and languages,” said Carlos Ruiz Cortés, executive director of the ICP.


The event has not been held in Puerto Rico since 2016.


The Poly/Graphic of Puerto Rico: Latin America and the Caribbean is part of the evolution of the San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Engraving, and the Poli/Graphic Triennial of San Juan: Latin America and the Caribbean.


The artistic event is the longest-running visual arts project in Puerto Rico and was designated as an official activity of the Government with the approval of Law No. 512 of 2004.


This year’s event features Elvis Fuentes, chief curator, art historian, and director of the Coral Gables Museum in Miami, and Lisa Ladner, curator and cultural manager, as curator for Puerto Rico. Fuentes and Ladner have collaborated for more than a year to ensure a balanced and meaningful representation of the diverse perspectives and realities present in contemporary art from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the Caribbean.


The project includes seven other exhibits at museums, nonprofit organizations, and community-based art projects using funding from the Cultural Rescue Program and ARPA (American Rescue Plan).


“This edition commemorates 54 years since the first celebration of the San Juan Biennial of Latin American Engraving, a meeting that brings to the fore the voices and perspectives of the plastic artists of Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean, who make up the curatorial selection. In total, 103 individual and collective artists are participating, through the ‘Bajo Presión/Under Pressure’ proposal, to connect with visitors and stimulate new currents of thought. Beyond being a bridge between our archipelago, the Antilles, and Latin America, Puerto Rico resumes a vital project for strengthening our visual arts sector, the art market, and the recognition of local artistic talent. It also opens new opportunities for participating artists and for all professionals of our ecosystem during the more than four months of Poli/Gráfica. Its exhibitions at the ICP will be free of cost, and educational and accessible workshops will be offered as part of the calendar,” said María del Mar Caragol Rivera, director of the ICP Plastic Arts Program.


In addition to the two exhibition venues at the ICP, “Bajo pressure / Under Pressure” will have a series of commissions and artistic projects around Puerto Rico, educational workshops throughout the archipelago and over 50 satellite exhibitions. In addition, a symposium will be held, and a catalog of the participating works and artists will be published. The event will highlight more than 300 local and international works which explore the existential, economic, and sociopolitical pressures of those living in the world’s Western Hemisphere.


The Latin American countries represented in this important art meeting are Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia. Likewise, the Caribbean will be present with artists from Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Bahamas.


Other places in the metropolitan area that the public can visit to enjoy subsidized exhibitions are the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Miramar Museum of Art and Design and the 5th Chiringas Festival, Portrait of La Perla in Old San Juan. Likewise, outside the metropolitan area, the Ponce Art Museum, the Afro Corridor in Loíza and the Porta Coeli Museum and Church were subsidized, with the vision of Antonio Martorell and a collective of artists.


Among the cultural entities that come together with satellite activities and exhibitions are the Museum of Art, History and Anthropology of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Río Piedras, the MUSA – Museum of Art of the UPR in Mayagüez, Museo Dr. Pío López Martínez of the UPR in Cayey, Museum of Art and History of San Juan, School of Plastic Arts and Design of Puerto Rico, Art League of San Juan, Museum of the Americas, Women of the Island in Culebra, Museum City in Añasco and many other initiatives.

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