Sponsored by the Museum and Parks Program of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, “Bieke: Land of the Brave” is an exhibition or works by New York based Puerto Rican artist, Yasmín Hernández. It opens this Saturday, October 10 at 7:00pm at the Fort Count Mirasol Museum in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The exhibition will be on view until November 22.
“Bieke: Land of the Brave” includes 28 acrylics on camouflage cloth and mixed media with images of people who took part in the movement against the military presence [of the U.S. Navy], which culminated in the pull-out of military personnel from Vieques on May 1, 2003. According to the
artist, the show is a “tribute to the Viequenses who have had to fight for justice and peace. The materials used in the series refer to the struggle and take possession of the camouflage design to celebrate the Viequenses as true ‘soldiers’ and ‘warriors.’”
Hernández states, “I work with this fabric as a metaphor for poverty and humility and to represent the country folk and ‘curanderos’ (local specialists in traditional medicine) that honor and work with the land. For this reason, I use earthy colors for these paintings that refer to Puerto Rico’s disappearing agriculture . . . colors that represent a dry and unproductive land. In the case of Vieques, they represent lands contaminated and burned from the bombings.”
For daring to broach seldomly-touched subjects, in 2006 Hernández received the Award for Artist/Activist of the Year from the New York organization, Art for Change. In 2004, she received the Ramón Feliciano Social Justice Award from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies and an Award to Distinguished Women from the newspaper El Diario/La Prensa. In addition to “Bieké: Land of the Brave,” another recent series by this artist is “Archivos Subversivos” [Subversive Files]. This series explores government surveillance of suspected “subversives” and political repression directed at the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. Hernández received her degree in Fine Arts from Cornell University.
For more information on the artist, see http://www.yasminhernandez.com/
Photo of Hernández´s “Basta” and a photo of the artist in Vieques (munitions in the background) from http://www.virtualboricua.org/Docs/waddell071609.html
For more information or to coordinate a visit to the Vieques Fort Count Mirasol Museum, please call (787) 741-1717 or email email@example.com
More information is also available at the cultural website www.icp.gobierno.pr