Puerto Rico in Its Labyrinth, Chronicles of a Country and a World in Crisis

Hostos Highlights Art During Hispanic Heritage Month


Puerto Rico in Its Labyrinth, Chronicles of a Country and a World in Crisis

A solo exhibit by Puerto Rican artist José Buscaglia


smArtAction: ¡A Estudiar y a luchar!

September 27, 2012 (Bronx, NY) The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture and the Longwood Arts Project, a program of The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA), will unveil two multicultural art exhibits in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and its 45th Anniversary.

The first exhibit is Puerto Rico in Its Labyrinth, Chronicles of a Country and a World in Crisis, by Puerto Rican artist, educator and social scientist José Buscaglia. Hostos will also host smArtAction: ¡A Estudiar y a luchar! an art exhibit created by community leaders, activists, and artists with work by Pablo Marcano García.

Puerto Rico in Its Labyrinth, Chronicles of a Country and a World in Crisis will open to the public on September 24, 2012 and will remain on view at BCA’s Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos through December 8, 2012. An opening reception with the artist, in conjunction with that evening’s Bronx Culture Trolley, will take place on Wednesday, October 3, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. In addition, José Buscaglia will participate in an open conversation at Hostos about his life and work with the renowned scholar Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones on November 14.

The exhibit consists of 30 new paintings and four sculptures that comment on the legacy of colonialism and the history of oppression in the Caribbean, the Americas and Africa. Buscaglia has produced over 40 monuments in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States. Also, at the Gallery’s project room will be Buscaglia’s 2003 public work installation Plaza de la Identidad: Public Art Under House Arrest. The piece was commissioned by the Puerto Rican legislature and until recently kept in storage because it was deemed too nationalistic for public display.

Jose Buscaglia is the recipient of numerous awards including the Eugenio María de Hostos Citizen of America Medal from the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, a National Sculpture Society Fellowship; The John Holowchuck Award in Sculpture from the Copley Society; and a Gold Medal from the Accademia Italia delle Arte e del Lavoro Accademico. His works appear in numerous public and private collections, including a bronze portrait of Robert Frost in the collection of The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Buscaglia received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1960 and a M.A. from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras in 1977. One of his mentors is Ben Shahn, whose major murals are on permanent view at the Bronx General Post Office at 149th Street and Grand Concourse. Created in the late 1930s and collectively entitled Resources of America, they illustrate the nobility of the American worker, depict men and women throughout the country engaged in labor, from rural cotton and wheat fields to urban textile factories and steel mills. Buscaglia currently lives and works in Rhode Island.

Puerto Rico in Its Labyrinth, Chronicles of a Country and a World in Crisis was curated by Wallace Edgecombe. Edgecombe has been the director of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture since its establishment in 1982. Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Wallace Edgecombe holds a B.A. in History and M.A. in Journalism from Columbia University. He is the recipient of a special recognition award from the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. In addition, he has been named a Maestro by Los Pleneros de la 21, an honor reserved for artists and arts advocates who have made significant life-long contributions to Puerto Rican culture. In 2006, Edgecombe received the Bobby Capó Lifetime Achievement Award from Governor George E. Pataki for achievements, leadership and service to the arts. In 2007 he received El Diario/La Prensa’s annual “EL” award, reserved for New York City’s top Latino leaders in business, education and the arts.

Puerto Rico in Its Labyrinth, Chronicles of a Country and a World in Crisis is made possible with funding from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYS Council on the Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Scherman Foundation, The Bronx Empowerment Zone, Council Members Maria del Carmen Arroyo and James Vacca.

smArtAction ¡A Estudiar y a luchar!

Also on October 3 at the College’s A-Atrium Hostos will host the exhibit opening of smArtAction. Organized by a group from the University of Puerto Rico and New York based student-activists, smArtAction’s mission is to provide a platform for artistic expression and continuous dialogue; engage students, organizers, and artists in current issues of higher education, while building a network of socially engaged students. Through the interaction with art, smArtAction hopes to challenge ways of thinking about educational rights and stimulate long lasting discussions about the future of education. The exhibition will serve as a space to engage in conversations regarding Puerto Rico’s social and political status as it relates to the rest of the United States and beyond.

The collaborators have worked closely with student leaders and artists from UPR and New York including organizers Frances Lucerna and Luis Garden-Acosta of El Puente community arts organization. smArtAction will also be displayed at El Puente as part of the Green Light District Summit. The smArtAction exhibition at El Puente will be displayed from October 9 to 13 at 211 South 4th Street, Brooklyn. The smArtAction team will hold planning community meetings in “Los Sures” (the Southside), of Williamsburg prior to the exhibition opening in October to discuss issues of education that affect students and communities in Puerto Rico and throughout New York City. For more information please visit: smartactionexhibition.com

Hostos Community College

Longwood Art Gallery

718-518-6728 /  www.bronxarts.org /Longwood@bronxarts.org
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am to 6pm and closed on Sundays and major holidays.
Admission is Free. Wheelchair accessible.

Hostos Memorial Plaza is next to the Gallery

A-Atrium is located on the 3rd floor of 475 Grand Concourse

How to get there:

Public Transportation: Subway: 2,4,5 trains; Buses: Bx1, Bx2, Bx19 to
149th St/Grand Concourse

About Bronx Council on the Arts
The Bronx Council on the Arts was established in 1962 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012. BCA is a private, non-profit membership organization and the official cultural agency of the Bronx. We are recognized nationally as a leading arts service organization that provides grants, cultural services and programming. We serve the entire county of the Bronx (over 1.3 million residents), and connect with Upper Manhattan, Westchester and regional resources. Longwood Arts Project is BCA’s contemporary art center supporting artists and exhibiting their work since 1981. Programs include the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, Digital Matrix Commissions, and public programs that provide opportunities for free and open dialogue.

About the Hostos Center for Arts & Culture

In 1982 The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (The Center) opened its doors with a clear vision of serving the cultural needs of residents of the South Bronx and similar inner-city communities; and has successfully created forums in which the cultural heritages of its audiences – especially Latinos and African-Americans – have been affirmed and nurtured.  The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture consists of a museum-grade art gallery [Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos], a 367-seat theater, and a 907-seat concert hall. The Hostos Center for Arts & Culture has distinguished itself for showcasing the cultural traditions of the communities that the Center serves, by presenting premiere festivals and concert series. The 900 seat state-of-the-art concert hall has presented internationally renown Grammy winners and iconic musicians like, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Dizzy Gillespie, Ruben Blades, Orquesta Aragón, Marc Anthony, Danny Rivera, Lucecita Benítez, Michel Camilo, Susana Baca, Los Van Van, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Spanish Harlem Orquestra, Larry Harlow, Bobby Sanabria, Papo Vázquez, Nelson González, Los Pleneros de la 21, Henry Coles and many more.

Hostos Center for Arts & Culture also produces and presents dance, painting, sculpture, drama and literary arts, from folk traditions to the avant-garde. A typical season consists of, a performing arts presenting series; a visual arts exhibiting series; periodic festivals featuring different cultural traditions; the Hostos Repertory Company; a children’s performing arts series; and an individual artists’ program consisting of commissions and residencies. Many outstanding visual artists have exhibited at the Center including Myrna Báez, Antonio Martorell, Pepón Osorio and Faith Ringgold. Legendary Nuyorican Poets and dramaturgues like Clemente Soto Vélez, Gracianny Miranda Archilla and Dolores Prida have held residencies. A continues effort to support, nurture and present emerging artists of all kinds have cultivated audiences for New York based notable groups such as: Yerbabuena, Pepatián, Teatro Pregones, Merian Soto, Noemí Segarra and many more.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2012 enrollment of over 7,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

Press contacts:
For Hostos: Soldanela Rivera / 718.518.6872/srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu / www.hosot.cuny.edu
For BCA: Phil Cardone/  718-931-9500 x33 / phil@bronxarts.org / www.bronxarts.org