When: June 20 @ 3PM to 5PM

Where: Taller Puertorriqueño, 2721 N. 5th St

As part of En Blanco y Negro: Gay & Boricua, an exhibition of the artwork of José Luis Cortés, GALAEI, and Taller Puertorriqueño are pleased to present a panel discussion on important issues affecting the LGBTQ Latino community.

The panel will examine, from different perspectives, their past, and the current and future paths. The topics addressed will include the discussions of the intersectionalities of insider/outsider, invisibility, homophobia, resilience, migration, ethnicity, race, class, and gender, the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the social and political organization of LGBTQ Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico. This will be a public and open forum.

Panel participants include: José Luis Cortés, artist; Elicia Gonzales, Executive Director of GALAEI; Erika Guadalupe Núñes, artist and community organizer; Emmanuel Coreano, a youth member at GALAEI; Bella,a trans* identifying youth who is passionate about the Queer community; and Louie A. Ortiz from The Gran Varones Project.  David Acosta, AIDS activist, writer, cultural worker and current artistic director for Casa de Duende, will moderate the discussion.

This is part of the citywide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Reminder Day demonstrations in Philadelphia. For more information on the celebration go to http://waygay.org/reminder2015.

For more information on the panel contact Rafael Damast at rdamast@tallerpr.org or by phone at 215-426-3311.

About the panelists

•David Acosta is an AIDS activist, poet writer, cultural worker and the Artistic Director for Casa De Duende. His writings have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. Among the most notable are Mayrea, The Evergreen Chronicles, The Americas Review, American Poetry Confronts the 1990s (Black Tie Press 1990), The Limits of Silence (Asterion Press 1991), Poesida (Ollantay Press, 1995), and Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of Latin American Poetry in The United States (University of Washington Press, 1998). He will be included in the first anthology of Latino LGBT history in the United States and Puerto Rico to be published by University of Texas Press in September of 2015. He is the recipient of many awards for his long time-work on LGBT civil rights and HIV/AIDS advocacy. He was the founder and Executive Director of the GALAEI Project from 1987-1997. From 1997 to 2015 he was the Coordinator of HIV Prevention Programs for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office; he has stepped down in 2015 to focus on community arts and his own writing.

•Valentina also known as Bella, has been a part of Galaei for 4 yrs. She is a trans* identifying youth who is passionate about the Queer community. Bella has numerous dreams and goals – from starting a home for Trans identifying youth to opening a LGBTQ & Ally Charter school in Philadelphia.

•Emmanuel Coreano is a native Philadelphian and published writer. Being a bisexual person of color, he faced many challenges, however with music, writing, and other creative outlets he found himself. Coreano is truly an artistic and creative person.

•José Luis Cortéss work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country and as well as in Europe. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, and Out Magazine and many other publications. You can see more of his work at the Visual AIDS Online Registry, and learn more about him at jlcortes.com.

Cortés is also a founding member of The Archive Project, and was included in the landmark exhibition, The First Ten (1995), which showcased the work of artists living with HIV. Currently he works with urban youth in Puerto Rico, teaching them about art, and how it can become a part of their daily lives. In 2013, Cortés participated in VIAL, an exhibition at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR).  The exhibition in Taller Puertorriqueño will be his first in Philadelphia

•Since 2009, Elicia Gonzales has enthusiastically served as Executive Director for GALAEI: A queer Latin@ Social Justice Organization where she leads a team of dedicated, hard-working, and passionate individuals. Gonzales serves on the Board of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA, on the Community Advisory Board for the UPENN Mental Health and AIDS Research Center, and on the Leadership Council for the National Latino AIDS Action Network. She has worked in the social justice field for more than 16 years in various capacities ranging from reproductive justice to queer Latino social justice. Gonzales moved to Philadelphia in 2004 to get a Masters degrees in Social Work and Human Sexuality Education from Widener University. She is originally from Denver, Colorado where all of her beloved family resides.

•Louie A. Ortiz is a facilitator who uses both his passion for working disenfranchised communities to promote team building and organizational development. Over the last 20 years, he has worked with influential nationally recognized agencies and has been a part of HIV prevention and youth development programming in Philadelphia. Ortiz understands first hand the impact of the intersecting oppressions of poverty, homophobia, AIDS phobia and racism. These experiences continue to inspire Ortiz to work with marginalized communities in Philadelphia.

Ortiz is also a published spoken word artist and photographer. His current project, “The Gran Varones” is a documentary and photo essay highlighting the experiences of Latino Gay and Queer* Men in Philadelphia.

•Erika Guadalupe Núñez is a queer artist and activist who works with Migrant Power Movement, National Immigrant Youth Alliance, and Juntos focusing on topics on racial justice and immigrant rights. She came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was a young child and was undocumented until she received her green card in 2013. Most recently, Núñez’s part in the movement involved working on NIYA’s “Bring Them Home” campaign where she helped ease the return of five people who were deported. She was also part of a civil disobedience action that ended a private prison contract between Immigration & Custom’s Enforcement and Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Her other work includes working on ending deportation cases, creating art for rallies and campaigns, and holding workshops for the community. Erika also serves on the board of Juntos and is a member of their LGBT Committee.

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Opened on April 17, 2015

“An older man was pushing a grocery store cart and selling his paintings.  He was selling his Christ portraits and (of the) last supper…  I was in awe of them all, they were original, not prints. My Tia asked the man how much he wanted for them. I think she paid him 4 or 5 dollars and let me pick one. When I held it in my hands I felt like it was the most sacred treasure I owned. It left a big impression on me since from then on I realized the power art had over me as a collector and as one that could possible do the same. The moral of this memory is not the price of the work, or that my aunt got a bargain. Since you and I know how hard it is for artists to make a living when we choose this career but the power of art to the young. That’s how it began for me.”  –  A story on the power of art to inspire and excite the mind as told to us by the artist Marta Sanchez

For its 40-year anniversary, Taller Puertorriqueño is trying something radical. Eschewing the selection and curatorial process, Taller is opening the Lorenzo Homar Gallery for very special exhibition. Building on the premise that creativity is not exclusive, and that art is for everyone, from April 17 to May 9, 2015, in an exhibition entitled Art Pages, All Art is Welcomed, Taller’s gallery will host an art show of work submitted by our talented community.  The only guidelines for the show are that the artwork is the artist’s own and can fit in a painted 11 inch square box on the wall.  Proceeds from the show will help support Taller.  In this exhibition art is truly the focus and the public is the star.

Art work for sale by:

Antonio Matorrell, Marta Sanchez, Henry Bermudez, Theodore A. Harris, Erin Bernard, Nanette Acker Clark, John Macdaniel, Amy Newman, Juan Bustamante, Michelle Marcuse, Maria Dominguez, Ariel Vázquez, Daniel de Jesús, Robert Levin, George Zoloto, Matthew Jacobs, Cynthia Jiménez, Elba Jiménez, José Luis Cortés, Jaime Alvarez, …


Opened on March 6, 2015

Noting that the Spanish name for Philadelphia, Filadelfia, is similar in spelling and sound but implies a foreign perspective, this exhibition highlights the views of a select group of eight Latino artists living in the city. Working in installation, sculpture, video, photography, and quasi-relational aesthetics, these artists check their connections to places and objects, social markers and urban environments, the nature and relationship of power in society, and the role of history and migration in shaping identity. Informed and formed by their distinct histories and experiences, these artists share their vision and offer us New Perspectives.

Grimaldi Baez, “Anatomy of a Handsome Sailor” (2015) Crayon and pencil

Grimaldi Baez, a Puerto Rican born artist from Massachusetts, crayon and pencil wall drawing Anatomy of a Handsome Sailor (2015) can be viewed as a statement to his virtuosity as a draftsman and to the flirtations of his youth.  Made with spiraling humor and whimsy it echoes with familiar characters the imagination of childhood.  We see in the wall the vestiges of Kilroy, Popeye, Mickey Mouse and the crawling of ants like ripples of memory, and yet through the layered spirals in yellow and blue we also note the adult mind at work linking the seemingly arbitrary lines like a long string of thoughts into fleeting ideas. But to Baez, the work represents a record of the four hours it took for him to put this together, lost in the mechanical process of drawing and in the background sound of jackhammers pounding the street.

Yet, in further analysis Baez acknowledges in his description of the work the greater complexity of his creation,  that there are elements to “love” and to “study” and admire in what may other wise be a “generic man.”  Once the exhibition is over, the work will be painted over and it will become memory with its traces outlined in documentation and anecdotes.

Roxana J. Pérez-Méndez, “Cortando Cana II” (2014) Pepper’s Ghost Hologram and mixed media

With the field song and rhythmic sound of slashing and hacking we come to Roxana Perez-Mendezs Cortando Caña II (Cutting Cane II) (2014), a single channel video installation with air plants.   The video installation uses an old theater trick called the Pepper’s Ghost Hologram, which uses mirrored two-way glass that when standing directly in front of the work creates a three dimensional effect.  In this work we see multiples of the same woman cutting and slashing stalks of cane that are represented by the air plants. The “women” are toiling in the black field of the screen while a Spanish hymn hauntingly plays in the background, Psalm 29, as if in prayer for deliverance from the back-breaking work and a difficult life.  Standing before this holographic work that almost slips into reality the viewer is forced to bear witness to what must be the daily drudgery of their life.  Yet, in their faces and movements exists an inner strength and resilience.

Perez-Mendez is an artist whose work focuses on the experiences that shape immigrant identity that she sees specifically through her lens as a Puerto Rican woman.  In her work she puts herself as a protagonist, embodying the pain and challenges of the people she depicts.  The audience is always implicated, forced by the method of her technique to stand just so to appreciate the circumstances of those she is “embodying” and maybe just wonder what they can do.

Mark C Martinez, “Hinesville, GA to Philadelphia, PA” (2015) Mixed media on canvas.

Mark C. Martinez as both a Korean and Puerto Rican-American artist is also interested in exploring the power of identity in shaping perceptions.   His work, though, is both abstract and concrete, referring to objects and images that permeate his life and memory.  In his three-dimensional work for the show, Hinesville, GA to Philadelphia, PA (2015), he brings elegantly these references to bear.  In the form of a three-panel screen he evokes the memory of the divider that was in his home in Georgia. In the neon junk car signs papering the face of the divider he took from his current neighborhood, he references Latino North Philadelphia.  But these signs, like the divider itself, have been internalized and transmuted by his experiences. The signs have been cut and reworked into puns, gibberish, and forms of color and light and combined with the physicality of the divider subtly imposing its presence on the viewer: forcing the viewer to walk around it in wonder of what lies behind it, or what is being hidden.

Martinez, a recent Tyler School of Art graduate, is an artist who is not only interested in the surfaces of his work but also in the way we interact with it.  His artistic investigation often creates an environment that makes the viewer move through, not just see it, causing the viewer to question their relationship to his work that borders on experience.  Martinez describes his process as an investigation into identity and the dynamics of power – by blending sculpture, painting, collage and decollage he aims to do so.

José Ortiz-Pagán, “Exit #1” (2015) String art and wood panel

The realities and the power relationship between his native Puerto Rico and the United States form the basis of José Ortiz-Pagán’s current work, Exit #1 (2015).  The work, made with nails and red thread to form the contours of the island of Puerto Rico with the word “Exit” neatly spelled in it, comments on the current state of affairs gripping the island: its economic troubles, the increasing migration of its citizens, and the high crime rate. For Ortiz-Pagán, the problems affecting his home, where his family lives, contrast with where he lives now, in the United States – a country that he sees as a colonizer that exacerbates Puerto Rico’s problems by  unjustly asserting its will to control the politics and freedom of his people.

Ortiz-Pagán’s aim is always to create a space in his work for conversation about what he calls “post-industrial realities” that affect the tropics.  Time and power dynamics are always at play, corroding perspective and interfering with how we communicate with each other.  In considering the migration aspect of Exit #1, it is as much a question he asks himself of what he is doing here as it is an expression of the situation affecting his homeland.

Miguel Antonio Horn, “Guardian I” (2015) 3D Printed ABS

Where we sit in relation to power, is the focus of Miguel Antonio Horn’s two sculpture pieces Guardian I (2015) and Cajalleros (2015).  Situated just over our eyesight on a slender iron pedestal, the fully armored foot-tall police officer with shield of Guardian conveys an ominous sense of menace.  It is commentary he says on the underlying question that plagues not just American society but the world in general with the increasing militarization of police forces.  As an American and a Colombian/Venezuelan he recognizes a similarity in the way that police dress and conduct themselves in answer to protests in Ferguson as well as in Caracas, Venezuela.  Are the police, he asks, dressed to keep peace or are they dressed to suppress dissent?  With their armor on, and the anonymity that their mask provides, that question becomes increasingly difficult to answer.

In contrast, Cajalleros, a series of cast concrete figures set across the floor of the gallery in a variety of poses from sitting to standing to lying seemingly unconscious, is of the forgotten and invisible of society.  The name, cajalleros, in Spanish means people of the street. By making their faces indistinct it highlights their invisibility to us.  For Horn, the use of scale is also intentional. For both series, the foot-tall size of the sculptures and the relative position to the viewer puts into relation ideas of power.  To stand above the eye line, is to look down with strength; to be below the eye line is to be removed and presented as weak.  The way the figures stand also conveys that persons power.  Horn in these two series brings our humanity into question in the way see each other and behave.

Michelle Angela Ortiz, “Quizas Mañana Nuestro Llanto Quede Atrás” (2012) Cut wood, acrylic paint, high output lighting, straw hat and looped audio

Philadelphia-born Michelle Angela Ortiz draws from memories and personal stories in her installation Quizas Mañana Nuestro Llanto Quede Atras (Hopefully Tomorrow our Sorrow Remains Behind Us) (2012). The installation, an eight-foot square light box with  cut out outlines of a shanty, represents the home where her deaf grandfather in Puerto Rico lived and, with a looped recording of her father singing, is a meditation on family bonds and longing for something better.  The work is both elegant and powerful. It tells the story of a son who although blessed with a lovely voice could not offer comfort to his father who was unable to hear.  This distinction, Ortiz points out, is what alienated her grandfather from his community on the island.  The song “Amor Adios” (Goodbye My Love; listen to it here) is what her father used to sing to his father.  It is ballad of longing and of wishing that the person returns to a better time without suffering. Ortiz in her installation creates an atmosphere of sadness but one that also embodies hope and want.

Ortiz, who is a prominent muralist, is an artist who sees art as playing an active role in society. In her work, she strives to give back to communities the stories and the culture that she often sees co-opted.  Finding this humanness, and sense of respect for others is where she finds her place, and in this installation it is where she hopes we find our compassion.

Jaime Alvarez, “Memento” (2012) Framed archival inkjet prints

For the Puerto Rican born photographer Jaime Alvarez removing the relationship to objects as codified by memory is the subject of Memento (2012).  Starkly photographed with black backgrounds, the color prints of small tchotchkes that he mainly bought from second-hand stores are made bereft of sentimentality with plastip – dark tinted liquid rubber.  The giraffe, the angels, the little boy and other items that in homes are often imbued with sentimental value are stripped of expression. Photographed from the back the viewer is forced to question their relationship to them. Each photograph, side by side, then reflects on to the other that question of its own connection to memory and in turn our own connection to the objects.  He causes us to wonder if we really know what is in front of us: the shape of the tchotchke, its weight, or its size.  The exquisite photographs in this context becomes anchors to the here and now.

Alvarez is also an installation and video artist.  In his work he has paid homage to science fiction, space, and abstraction. In Memento he confronts the power of nostalgia by forcing us to see without distractions, removing light and focusing on detail.

Juan Bustamante, “Escucha la Ciudad” (2015) Water color, printed posters, and mix media installation

The artist/dj/cultural event producer Juan Bustamante rounds out the exhibition with his installation Escucha la Ciudad (Listen to the City and the Tropacalismo event he is producing with his co-founder, Greg Scruggs, for Taller on March 27.  With roots from Colombia and his interest in sound system culture from South America to the Caribbean and beyond and his attraction to street art, he creates exuberant events that not only  promote urban Latino culture but place them in Philadelphia’s backyard. To promote these events he creates hand drawn posters that he distributes across the city.  Working in this manner he says, brings him into direct contact with the artifacts people leave behind: from the yard sale signs to the lost cat signs, to commissioned street signs and graffiti. In these images he sees a rhythm in urban society taking shape which he reflects in his drawings and events.  As the part of the events he creates elaborate dj booths out of the hand drawn posters, postcards and ephemera he finds and which represents in his in installation at Taller.  Partnering with Scruggs, he brings us their fifth annual Tropicalismo event, a scholarly celebration of the various incarnations of Carnaval in Latin America and the world.  This will be the closing event for the Filadelfia exhibition, signifying, with his installation, the increasing influence and intermingling of a vibrant urban Latino and Caribbean culture in America.


For more information on this exhibition contact Rafael Damast at rdamast@tallerpr.org

Art Pages HEADER

Requesting submissions of art from all artists and artists at heart for a very special exhibition

For its 40-year anniversary, Taller Puertorriqueño is trying something radical. Eschewing the selection and curatorial process, Taller is opening the Lorenzo Homar Gallery for a very special exhibition. Building on the premise that creativity is not exclusive, and that art is for everyone, from April 17 to May 9, 2015, Taller will host an exhibition entitled Art Pages, All Art is Welcomed. The exhibition will feature artwork created and submitted by its talented community. The only guidelines for the show are that the artwork is the artist’s own and can fit in an 11 inches square box painted on the wall.  The art will be listed anonymously and will sell for $15 each. Proceeds from the show will help support Taller.  In this exhibition art is truly the focus and the public is the star.

The requirements are:

  • Submit only one work
  • The work is no larger than 11” square  (If the work measures 8.5 in x 11in, Taller can provide a frame.)
  • The work is your own
  • The work is ready to hang on the wall
  • Works in all mediums are accepted, e.g. photography, paintings, and drawings etc.

The artwork must be brought to Taller any time, Monday to Saturday, from 10 am – to 4:30 pm between the dates of April 6 to 15 for hanging. No late work will be accepted.

*The exhibition is open to all artists.  Space is limited. Taller retains the right to refuse work it deems inappropriate.  The work will be on display from April 17 to May 9 2015.

For more information and for details contact Rafael Damast at 215-426-3311 or by email at rdamast@tallerpr.org

Download the PDF here.

Opened on November 7, 2014

Taller's first staff
Taller’s first staff in 1974.In the upper left with beard and glasses is Rick Hall, a founder of Taller who helped shape the original mission with Domingo Negrón. Domingo Negron is pictured sitting in the front in the lower right corner.

Celebrating 40 years of engaging and building community through the arts, this exhibition is a survey of Taller’s response to the needs and aspirations of the community it represents.  Multi-media installations, videos, photographs, art and interviews retell the story of the struggle,  resilience and creativity of the people behind Taller who made and make the organization.

The exhibition begins before Taller’s creation in 1974, when heightened postwar migration and immigration of Latinos to Philadelphia resulted in ethnic tensions. After World War II, Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican population grew to the third largest in the country.  This exhibition examines how Taller’s founders used art and cultural  production as instruments for ethnic pride and a means of self-sufficiency. Printmaking was not only an art form to be maintained but also a trade that could be capitalized on.  The bookstore (as it was known then) not only promoted and sold culturally specific items but was also an introduction to running a business.  Taller became a center for artists and intellectuals to gather, and also a place for community investigation and documentation, as “Batiendo la Olla”, the oral history project, demonstrated.

Taller Timeline
Taller Timeline

As Taller’s members changed and its role in the area expanded, the programs began to include more and more youth activities.  It was through meeting their needs that Taller best fulfilled its mission to promote Puerto Rican and Latino culture and understanding.  Art was a doorway leading to self-expression and personal growth.

With this perspective, an artist’s work, no matter how abstract or esoteric, is never separate from the community or culture to which it belongs.  Art is part of a broader conversation that references history, language, privilege and experience.  And artists, as members of a community, refer to this conversation – whether consciously or not. Through the public display of their work the artist speaks to their community and the public, and in so doing echoes their people’s aspirations by demanding acknowledgement.

The United States has been called a melting pot because of the ethnic and racial diversity of its population.  Taller Puertorriqueño, by calling attention to cultural distinctions and experiences, both challenges this notion and proves it true: Integration matters, but not at the cost of losing one’s identity.

For further information or images, please contact Rafael Damast @ 215-426-3311 or rdamast@tallerpr.org


For more information, download the description of the show here.

Para obtener más información, descargue la descripción del espectáculo aquí.

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Opened on September 21, 2014

Online at YoSoyOro.com, and on view along N. 5th Street, and in HACE’s Visitors Center at 2708  N. 5th St.

As part of this year’s 30th annual Feria del Barrio, the creative team of AMerican MEdia Output will introduce a re-branding campaign for the N. 5th Street commercial district, El Centro de Oro, leading with the slogan Yo Soy Oro (I Am Gold). The Yo Soy Oro campaign will appear in advertisements on big belly trash receptacles along the Golden Block, in the HACE Business and Visitor’s Center, and online.

2014 Feria del Barrio
During 2014, Feria del Barrio the artists and their brand ambassadors will use participation marketing to engage the public, handing out branded swag and taking photos with the commercial corridor as their backdrop. They will implicate attendees into a dialogue between the realities of the area and the promises of El Centro de Oro. The overall effect of the project will alter the purpose and tools of advertising and marketing to paint a portrait of the Latino community as they look to the future. The campaign will exist in select performances, and will have ongoing print and web components as well as an exhibition in
HACE’s Business & Visitors Center at 2708 N. 5th. Street, through Septmeber 21.


AMerican MEdia Output is a partnership of Maya Escobar and Andria Morales. The two artists, based in Chicago and New York respectively, have worked together over the Internet since 2010. They produce digital media and performance art that explores the role of self-representation in visual culture. In 2011, Escobar-Morales established AMerican MEdia Output (AMO), an online marketing and brand design agency that focuses on tourism and travel. AMO’s advertising campaigns blur the line between performance and reality, asking viewers and participants to check economic and social issues through the lens of advertising. In addition to their online presence, AMO has presented its campaigns in several major US cities.

Yo Soy Oro Big Belly
Yo Soy Oro big belly on N. 5th Str

Conociéndote (Getting to Know You): Bridging the Audience Divide is Taller Puertorriqueño’s 2013 Knights Art Challenge award-winning proposal, Conociéndote, bridging Philadelphia’s audience divide with events and exhibitions in May, July, and September 2014. Partner organizations are HACE, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas, and A Seed on Diamond.

For more information or images, please contact Rafael Damast @ 215-426-3311 or rdamast@tallerpr.org

*Download the press release here.

**La versión en español del comunicado de prensa está aquí.

Exhibition sponsors

Opened on August 15, 2014

The closing summer show highlights *new artwork made by the children and youth in Taller’s art education programs. In this past year under the heading “Our Cultural Roots,” they explored the cultural origins of the customs, traditions, celebrations and legacies that make their Latino identity and connect them to the people of the world.  Their curriculum also covered the basics of drawing, painting, and design as well as theater and dance. Through creative play the kids in the summer camp program were introduced to the concepts of perspective, cubism, and the use of complementary colors.

Esta exhibición agrupa mucho de el trabajo de los niños y jóvenes en los programas educativos de arte del Taller.  Este pasado año se dedicó a “ Nuestras Raíces Culturales.”  Los participantes exploraron  los orígenes culturales de costumbres,  tradiciones, y legados que forjan su identidad latina y los conectan con los habitantes del globo.  El corrículo también enseñó dibujo básico, pintura, diseño, teatro y baile.  Através de juegos creativos el programa de verano introdujo los conceptos de perspectiva, cubismo y el uso de colores.

*September, 2013 – August, 2014

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The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Logo

Photos from the June 16 closing reception of José Ortiz-Pagán Por Las Nubes Peoples Banquet (Arroz y Habichuelas!!!)

Check it out here.


 Opened on July 11, 2014

Según el censo 2010, la población latina en Filadelfia ha crecido un 46% desde 2000.

La instalación de José Ortiz-Pagán retrata un vehículo que transporta a miles de puertorriqueños y otros latinos al Norte de Filadelfia. Los espectadores pueden contemplar el lugar, el espacio y el tiempo en lo que se refiere a los sueños de una vida mejor y la desafiante realidad de los migrantes. “Por las Nubes” es una expresión que describe qué lejos algo está de poderse alcanzar.

Este proyecto es parte de la serie Conociéndote (Getting to Know You): del Taller Creando Puentes entre Audiencias el cual recibiera una aportación del Knight Foundation en el 2013. El proyecto tiene como meta crear conciencia de la historia del norte de Filadelfia y su riqueza cultural latina.

According to the 2010 census, the Latino population in Philadelphia has grown 46% since 2000.

José Ortiz-Pagán’s site-specific installation portrays a vehicle that transports thousands of Puerto Ricans and other Latinos to North Philadelphia. Spectators can contemplate place, space, and time as it relates to the migrants’ dreams of a better life and their challenging reality. “Por las Nubes” is a popular Caribbean expression that describes how far and out of reach something could be.

This installation is part of Taller’s Conociéndote (Getting to Know You): Bridging the Audience Divide 2013 Knights Art Challenge award-winning proposal to bring awareness to North Philadelphia’s Latino history and cultural richness.

Exhibition sponsors


May 17, 2014 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

 Consisting of selected artists from the Taken Exhibition Cycle, that explored icons and motifs in Latino artwill delve deeply into artistic intent and the use of cultural imagery. It will also consider how artists’ choices may engender a rich dialogue between diverse communities and potentially impact social change. The participating artists are Miguélàngel Ruíz from the Vejigantes of Puerto Rico: Origins Myths and MessengersDaniel de Jesús from A Contemporary Madonna Counter Point: Mexico & Puerto Rico, and Cecile Chong from the exhibition The Iconography of Meaning.  Due to illness, Shelley R. Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has graciously agreed to lead the discussion as moderator in Dr. Susan Aberth’s place. 

Opened on May 2, 2014

The Iconography of Meaning is the concluding exhibition of the Taken exhibition cycle that began in the Fall of 2013. The cycle, starting with the exhibition Vejigantes of Puerto Rico: Origins, Myths, & Messengers and followed with A Contemporary Madonna Counterpoint: Mexico & Puerto Rico, brings attention to the icons and motifs that represent diverse perspectives, styles, and aims within the Latino community.

Iconography of MeaningIn this exhibition Cecile Chong, Ramón López Colón and Favianna Rodriguez use contemporary cultural imagery to convey ideas and thoughts about cultural identity, politics and the immigrant experience. Chong, as an ethnic Chinese-Ecuadorian living in the US, speaks to the inherent tension between cultural assimilation and personal identity formation. Her sculptures of guaguas, tightly wrapped babies, are icons of her Ecuadorian birthplace that she lusciously stylizes with Chinese imagery and aesthetics. López utilizes historical and political symbols, which, placed in other contexts, depict the many political contradictions and stormy realities of modern-day Puerto Rico. Rodriguez’s works address the human rights of migrants in the United States and speak out for women’s equality

Curated by Rafael Damast

For further information or images, please contact Rafael Damast @ 215-426-3311 or rdamast@tallerpr.org

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Here is our online map to where the Conociéndote events will take place.

View Conociéndote (Getting to Know You) Map in a larger map

Brocados ExhibitionMay 9th Reception – Brocados New York-based artists Patricia Cazorla and Nancy Saleme’s site-specific installation in Taller’s adjacent garden pays homage to the history of the area’s textile industry and it’s connection to Latina women and their struggles. (2721 N. 5th St.)

For the Reception on May 9th, a trolley will transport the public between sites on 30-minute loops from 6-8 p.m., beginning at Raíces & ending at Taller. The final trolley begins at 8 p.m. & ends at Taller’s Education Building (2557 N. 5th St.) for the performance at 8:30 p.m.

The event starts at 6 p.m.:

  • Congreso:Presenting works from Taller’s private art collection, primarily including prints and photographs by exhibited artists.
  • Raíces: Led by muralist César Viveros, this mural project prompts residents to engage each other to discuss topics of local and personal concern, while expressing themselves through art-making.
  • A Seed on Diamond: Can a work of abstract art show intimate details of one’s past? Abstraction is a group show featuring the work of visual artists Hayes Mcleod, Sandra Gonzalez and Stephen Haigh.
  • Taller’s Lorenzo Homar Gallery presents Iconography of Meaning, three artists who use contemporary imagery to convey ideas and perceptions of cultural identity, politics and the immigrant experience

The May 9th opening events concludes at 8:30 p.m. in Taller’s Robert Hernandez Theater with a performance by  Magdaliz and Her Latin Ensemble CRISOL and members of Al Bustan Takht Ensemble (Hanna Khoury and Hafes Kotain).  Latin and Arab music come together. A special poetry reading by Motivos youth opens the concert.

Conociéndote is Taller’s 2013 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Arts Challenge project, a series of art exhibitions starting May 9th, July 11th, and September 21st. The events connect the work of partner organizations in North Philadelphia around commissioned, month-long, socially conscious outdoor art installations.

Learn more about the Conociéndote Summer long program here or download the program here.

Brought to you by: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation With additional support by: Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Impacto, Motivos, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Philadelphia Foundation, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Independence Foundation, and PECO.Participating Organizations: Taller Puertorriqueño, A Seed on Diamond Gallery, Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas, and Congreso de Latinos Unios