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Constant Storm: Art from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora

September 24 – December 4, 2021
USF Contemporary Art Museum + Online

Curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, CAM Curator at Large, and Noel Smith, Deputy Director and Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Art: organized by USF Contemporary Art Museum

Migual Luciano’s Pimp My Piragua (2009) riding with the Classic Riders in the Bushwick Puerto Rican Day Parade, 2019. photo: Argenis Apolinario

Migual Luciano’s Pimp My Piragua (2009) riding with the Classic Riders in the Bushwick Puerto Rican Day Parade, 2019. photo: Argenis Apolinario

It has been four years since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico and the archipelago has still not fully recovered. In the storm’s wake, Puerto Rican artists on the island and on the mainland have wrested creativity from chaos. Some have organized ongoing relief efforts, others have banded together to pool scarce resources; still others have committed themselves to critical reflection on Puerto Rico’s post-Maria reality, including the island’s political and economic relationship to the U.S. Constant Storm: Art From Puerto Rico and the Diaspora brings together artists from diverse generations to cull the insights and experience of Puerto Rican artists after the disaster. 

Drawing from art made on the islands as well as from the established and newer Puerto Rican diasporas in New York, California and Florida, Constant Storm includes recent artworks in a variety of media to create an exhibition with a textured “biennial” feel that also serves as an historic opportunity for artists to jointly assay their evolving response. 

Artists included are Jorge González, Angel Otero, Miguel Luciano, Ivelisse Jiménez, Rogelio Báez-Vega, Yiyo Tirado, Gabriel Ramos, Gamaliel Rodríguez, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Jezabeth Roca González, Sofia Gallisá, and Natalia Lasalle-Morillo. 

The exhibition will feature explorations of Taino culture by Jorge González, large-scale collage paintings by Angel Otero, an installation-cum-meditation on Puerto Rico’s ongoing crisis by Miguel Luciano, lyrical abstractions that touch on transience and emergency by Ivelisse Jiménez, post-Maria landscapes by Rogelio Báez-Vega, sand sculptures by Yiyo Tirado, sculptural reflections on memory and displacement by Gabriel Ramos, dystopic drawings by Gamaliel Rodríguez, and a sculpture by Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz addressing the trauma of forced migration. New works created by several invited artists include Andrei Ibarra, whose highly conceptual sculptures, videos and performances address the colonial condition of Puerto Rico in its relationship to the U.S.; Jezabeth Roca González, speaking of island rural culture; and Sofia Gallisá and Natalia Lasalle-Morillo, whose video and installation work will explore the experiences of Puerto Ricans newly displaced in Florida. 

Educational and outreach events include an artist talk and performance, a virtual scholarly symposium, a curator-led gallery tour, and on line study resources.