On view: September18, 2020 – June 19, 2021

Raúl Romero’s Onomonopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape explores how Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia connect back to the island through sound. The sounds of the iconic native frog, el Coquí, will be played throughout El Centro de Oro. Hearing el coquí will evoke memories for many and introduce the soundscape from Puerto Rico to those unfamiliar. Sculptures referencing the world-famous observatory in Arecibo, PR, will serve as the central station collecting and transmitting sounds. Gallery visitors and people from the community will be interviewed and asked how they connect back to Puerto Rico. The interviews will be available to listen to online. presents a kaleidoscopic view of the community through portraits, vernacular photo albums, archival images from the state, and oral interviews. Los Paisanos explores a forgotten intersection of Chinese and Latine identities while seeking to question and redefine our definitions of both.

Curated by Rafael Damast

Become a part of the project and share your stories of the Coqui.  Is it your first time hearing the Coqui or have you heard it before in nature?

Does it bring forth any memories?  Tell us your story: 267.587.6622 Send us your story:



About the artist

 A native of Tampa, FL, Romero lives in West Philadelphia. He graduated from Yale University School of Art with an MFA in Sculpture, 2018, and a BA in Communication from the University of South Florida, 2008. He currently works at the University of the Arts with the position of Film Coordinator and Lecturer.

Romero has shown at Vox Populi, Olio Projects, and the Land Gallery Collective, Philadelphia, PA, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT, The Kitchen in New York City, NY. The Denver Contemporary Art Museum in Denver, CO, Transformer Gallery in Washington D.C., Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art in Wilmington, DE, The Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, FL, The Tampa Museum of Art in Tampa, FL, and The Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, FL. He was also awarded the William and Nancy Oliver Gallery Prize by Anne Pasternak for the 32nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition at The Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, FL.

Onomanopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape is supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Southwest Airlines and the Surdna Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant Program

Project support provided by The Velocity Fund administered by Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.