ÁREA Art Project Space Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary

Carmen Graciela Díaz (El Nuevo Día) reports on the five year anniversary of ÁREA, a space for showcasing emerging art. Interviewed by Díaz, artist Quintín Rivera Toro describes how shocked he was when he first entered what would become a cutting edge art space; there was no electricity and it was dark, but when co-founder José Hernández Castrodad showed him this “place for projects” Rivera—who served as ÁREA’s creative director from 2005 to 2007—noticed its ample space: “I had never seen a space like this in Puerto Rico,” he recalls. The “raw” and “industrial” aesthetic of ÁREA le provoked in him a sense of insecurity coupled with a need to channel his energies into this space. Five years have passed since then. Tonight, December 11, 2010, the ÁREA team celebrates it anniversary with an artistic feast.

Two specific projects will be shown at the art space. Abdiel Segarra presents a retrospective look at ÁREA through his work of documentation and historiography. Simultaneously, Norma Vila Rivero will unveil her  tridimensional project—“Proyecto: Instalaciones, Construcciones y Ensamblajes”—with the participation of Migdalia Luz Barens Vera, José “Quique” Rivera, Christto Sanz, Manolo Rodríguez, René Sandín, Omar Obdulio Peña Forty, Melissa Raymond, and a tinsmith named DUA, whose work presents an artistic reading, integrating the work of Michelle Gratacós. These projects will be on view until January 28, 2011. 

Rivera considers that “all the artists, intellectuals, and creators that have passed through ÁREA, have been able to provide a portrait of our generation, a cultural patrimony, because we have been the critics, advocates, and workers [dealing with] the problems that need to be solved in our society.” Vila says, “As an artist, to be able to count on having a space like ÁREA for five days or five years is a privilege. To be able to have a platform to prove one’s hypotheses, that is a space for projects, as the name specifies, is something really pertinent.” The latter adds that after going through so many ups and downs, due to factors such as the economy, ÁREA “cannot be allowed to fall apart.”

Segarra—who, with Vila is also one of ÁREA’s co-directors—explains that this anniversary constitutes “a celebration of continuity.” According to Segarra, this cornerstone shows the potential of these four walls to become “the first and strongest independent cultural center in the metropolitan area.”

ÁREA, sponsored by entrepreneur Hernández Castrodad, is located across from the Walgreen’s Pharmacy in the Las Catalinas Mall in Caguas (exit 18 on Route 52), Puerto Rico.

For full article (in Spanish), see http://www.elnuevodia.com/unageneracionregresaacasa-834904.html

Photos (from top to bottom): Abdiel Segarra, Norma Vila, and Quintín Rivera.

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