Antonio Martorell—”Becoming Puerto Rican: A Tree Grows Anywhere”


Celebrated Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell will deliver the Annual Antonio Márquez Distinguished Artist Lecture on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:00pm in Taylor Hall, Room 102, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. This event is free and open to the public.

In “Becoming Puerto Rican: A Tree Grows Anywhere,” Martorell will speak about responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico through art. Since the hurricane, Martorell and his staff of five “collaborative artists,” as he calls them, have been painting fallen trees in vivid colors: “Turning them into fish, reptiles, birds, prehistoric animals. Some are already sprouting leaves because part of the roots are still on the ground,” he said. “One of my mottos is ‘Finding grace is disgrace’ — making the most of everything. Being a Puerto Rican, that comes easily to me,” Martorell said.

Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico in 1939, Martorell lives and works in La Playa de Ponce. He has been the artist-in-residence for close to 25 years at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey. Martorell´s artwork is found in the collections of the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Museo del Barrio (NY), the Library of Congress, the Princeton University Library, the Museum of Modern Art (Mexico City), Casa Las Americas in Cuba, and Museo de Arte de Ponce, among many others.

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