The new and improved Ponce Art Museum celebrated its open house [Casa Abierta] activities on November 14, 2010, when audiences of all ages were able to enjoy the newly-renovated and more spacious museum throughout the day, with artistic and educational activities, interactive programs for children, art workshops, music and dance performances (such as the Children’s Choir of Puerto Rico and traditional music band Los Pleneros del Lago), artisan exhibitions, and tours of the exhibitions and new facilities.
The Ponce Art Museum (MAP in Spanish), is one of the icons that distinguish Ponce, also known in Puerto Rico as the Pearl of the South. It was founded in 1959 by former Governor Luis A. Ferré. After two years of remodeling, the MAP reopened its doors so that the public could appreciate its collection of over 800 works.
Activities began at mid-morning with an official opening by Antonio Luis Ferré and his daughter, President of the Luis A. Ferré Foundation María Luisa Ferré Rangel. First Lady Lucé Vela and Mayor of Ponce María Meléndez Altieri were present. Meléndez Altieri pronounced, “This is the legacy of a man [Luis A. Ferré] that believed in the language of art, which is the language that can unite us all. . . We [the Ponceños] must be proud.” Other attendees were the Ferré Rangel family and the children of writer Rosario Ferré, Benigno and Luis Trigo Ferré. Also present were former Governors Aníbal Acevedo Vilá and Rafael Hernández Colón.
The celebration included a series of simultaneous activities. While there were guided tours in several sections of the museum, in the Puerto Rico Garden, the group Verso y Tambor [Verse and Drum] recited African-influenced poetry. Children participated in various workshops, where they produced their own crafts and artistic creations. Also early in the afternoon, architect Javier Bonnin offered a lecture on the museum and its salient architectural features. An interesting addition is the Rosario Ferré Library, where several readings were offered throughout the day. Among other materials, the library will include a collection of the author’s works and secondary materials on her literary production.
[Many thanks to Linda Rodríguez Guglielmoni for bringing this item to our attention.]
Photo: Lord Frederic Leighton’s 1895 “Flaming June,” an iconic painting from the MAP’s collection.
See full articles (in Spanish) at http://www.elnuevodia.com/renaceelesplendordelmuseodeponce-818351.html and http://www.ellibrepensador.com/2010/11/12/abre-el-museo-de-arte-de-ponce-con-%E2%80%9Ccasa-abierta%E2%80%9D/