Video Still: Photo by C.Acevedo

Video Still: Photo by C.Acevedo

The urban area of Santurce is fast evolving again into the center of the contemporary art scene in Puerto Rico, prefering the shabby streets of the urban core of this town. Just when the local art institutions are crumbling from lack of funding, private initiatives in Santurce emerge as the only alternative for the arts. Right now, the area is buzzing with opportunities, cheap rents and creative energy.

In December, shows opened in Santurce just days apart from each other. The first was at LA15 Contemporary Art Space, which presented Chiquitolinas, an exhibition of small format works that featured over 40 local contemporary artists. Although hardly a new space, for it has been presenting exhibitions for over two years, LA15’s most recent show succeeded in bringing together established artists such as Julio Suárez and Zilia Sánchez to emerging ones like Carlos Rubio and Arnaldo Román. The space is located on #703 Ernesto Cerra Street and is directed by Jorge José Roman.

On adjoining Cerra Street, graphic designer Angel Alexis Bousquet opened the following week C787STUDIOS, a space specialized in experimental graphic design, web design and alternative media for companies and independent clients. The studio includes a gallery space where monthly exhibitions from emerging artists will take place, recently opening with the show “M” Papel by artists Melisa Xiloj and Mariela Alvarez. Melisa presented a series of small works comprised of c-prints and drawings on paper, while Mariela showed a series of photographs. Formerly a restaurant serving typical Puerto Rican food, the space was transformed into a gallery that echoes the urban flare of New York’s Lower East Side.

Apart from these two spaces, a precursor to this urban transformation that is still going strong is La Respuesta’s gallery space, where the exhibition Death: Transition and Celebration of Life was shown this past November. The exhibitions shown here are a great addition to all the concerts and events that this locale already brings to the area. Another space reviewed on DaWire that is also located in Santurce is TASK Studios, a space created by young architects and designers, whose purpose is to maintain an industrial design scene. TASK Studios is located on #420 Calle San Antonio.

With so much going on, it seems that Santurce’s urban area is transforming itself once again to what it used to be a few years back, when artist run spaces such as =DESTO and galleries such as Galería Comercial were still around, sparking an artistic boom that hasn’t been seen since.

by C. Acevedo for DaWire
Original Article: