|Talleres abiertos - Open Studios|
|Por Lisa Ladner|
During a long weekend all the artists in a defined area of San Juan open their studios to the public. They are free to show and sell their work and offer a welcome drink to their visitors.
We would like to start with Puerta de Tierra in Summer 2011, Old San Juan's largest sector, home to more than 4,000 people - once there were 13,000! -, many government buildings, some hotels, restaurants, bars, public housing projects and expensive sea view apartments.
Puerta de Tierra has become a highly speculative ground for developers due to its unique location on the "Isleta de San Juan" which is connected to the mainland through three bridges and three main avenues (Ave. Fernandez Juncos, Ave. de la Constitucion/Ponce de Leon and Ave. Muñoz Rivera). In times of political protests or during Old San Juan events, these avenues are infamous for offering the island's worst traffic jams.
But Puerta de Tierra is also known for its parks and for "El Escambron", or "La Ocho", as locals refer to their public beach, which is frequented by residents and tourists alike. And of course for "El Hamburguer", an informal eating place and landmark for more than 40 years.
Before moving to its current location at El Morro in the sector Ballaja, San Juan's School of Plastic Arts was located in Puerta de Tierra, where the Archivo Nacional is hosted now. Famous artists such as Rafael Tufiño and Lorenzo Homar used to teach in the old art school. Puerta de Tierra was also the home of Antonio "Tony" Maldonado who moved here in 1936 and instructed artists like Antonio Martorell in his workshop. Lorenzo Homar and Carlos Raquel Rivera also had their workshops in Puerta de Tierra.
And today? Graffitis decorate the many abandoned buildings, The owner of the "Alquimista" bar on San Agustin Street displays prints and paintings in the street, young and mid-career artists such as Jesus "Bubu" Negron, Joel "Yoyo" Rodriguez, Radamés "Juni" Figueroa Jr., Alana Iturralde and Melissa Álvarez Xiloj found affordable flats here, renowed artists and cultural producers such as Carmelo Sobrino and NY based Papo Colo made this sector theirs and last but not least, also El Status established its headquarters here.
|El Status - www.el-status.com