Photo: Public art in the square in Ponce.
We drove across the island on Saturday morning, through the mountains, to Ponce. I had heard that there's a drought going on here in Puerto Rico, but nowhere was is more evident to me than when looking over the dry countryside and farmlands. Arriving in Ponce, we were once again in a metropolitan setting, near the sea.
We arrived at the studio of renowned artist, Antonio Martorell for a tour. He first had us look around his space full of a vast array of works and mediums. We sat out back, in his work space near the garden, and he imparted some wisdom on us before walking us through the gallery again to explain some of his lovely pieces.
Antonio joined us for lunch at a nearby restaurant by the same called El Ancla (the food was delicious!) and then we parted ways. Next stop was Museo de Arte de Ponce to see a retrospective on multidisciplinary artist, Jack Delano: 100 Años. From photos documenting Puerto Rico in the 1940s (juxtaposed with his photos from the 1980s), to book illustration, film production and music composition, the retrospective was inspiring.
From there, we made a pit-stop in the center of town to grab some ice cream and we saw a public art project: a bunch of lion statues (as the lion represents Ponce) decorated by various Puerto Rican artists (very similar to the cow statue project that was in NYC a few years ago, which I was not a big fan of).
On our way home we went into a residential area of Ponce where there is a homage to the great salsero, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez. With a mini-museum full of album covers and photos, a party space, two outdoor stages, (as well as an altar area in the back for El Conde) I can only imagine what kind of parties they hold on that street, which was officially named for the hometown legend.
After that, we dropped off our fearless leader, Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, at the Afro-Latino Festival, where she would be receiving an award later that night. We took the long drive back to campus, under the stars, as it was already getting quite late.
(For more photos, check out my Instagram: @whippedhoney.)
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