Art: “A social aid”

By: Eduardo Sinigaglia Sierra

nov 11, 2011.

In the town of Mayaguez a group of young artist have organized a group where they have a chance to expose their art in a manner of critic towards the social crisis that the island is going through. The group has a critique circle once a month for visual and literary arts. This is meant to provide artist and poets with constructive criticism of their work. They called it “La Galería Artesanal del Oeste”.

The GADO celebrated 2 expositions in a establishment in St. Méndez Vigo on October,6 and 7,2011. Marvin Rodriguez Vélez, a former art student of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez and active member of GADO expressed his thoughts about the goal and purposes that art has in today’s society. The motivation that made him join this interesting group of artists was that he as a independent artist, it behooved him to find an outlet for his artwork, which consists of both abstract and surrealist paintings dealing with a range of topics of a social nature. “La Galeria Artesanal de Oeste, GADO by its acronym in Spanish, is an artist run and operated space that puts creative freedom over profits”. The members of the group see the gallery as a perfect fit for them and their artistic work.

When asked about the role of urban art in the cultural process, he said: “I feel urban art is a valid form of expression that gives a voice to the disenfranchised sectors of society; however I do not limit the field to graffiti as it can include other types of expression, such as performance art and sculpture. Young people are vital towards the proliferation of culture; they are in the vanguard of cultural movements innovating often with extreme forms of expression”. This represents a mayor opportunity for all types of artist and even musicians to get their art recognized and mostly, appreciated.

GADO, as a whole, consider that classical art has an important in terms of artistic influence in the youth, including college students. Classical art is important as a point of departure, it is by knowing what has come before that we can innovate new ways to express the many dimensions of the human condition. Classical art is the forerunner of modern art, it holds a treasure trove of lessons for the contemporary artist; however, it is not to be emulated, rather it must be a source of inspiration to everyone. The gallery also provides workshops and seminars on different art techniques. GADO demands that member artists help maintain and operate the space.

Art itself is an important and essential factor in terms of having a “cultural revolution” in the hard times we are living. Art has always been associated with the spread of ideas and the creation of national identity, today more than ever this association is evident. “The current global situation of economic dominance by a select few is at a crossroads; those who in one way or another posses control on artistic productions through their patronage now have the only option that is to deal with urban artists who are products of the savage inequalities that are the backbone of a capitalist society. We are heading towards an artistic emancipation comparable to the Renaissance, but instead of a rejection of the church, today’s artist is compelled to oppose free market capitalism”, said Rodriguez.

We all have to recognize that the problem is not only here in the island, there is a wakening on a global scale and it’s been evident for at least the last 10 years. It does not matter what ideology a person has, the social crisis cannot be ignored and everyone has to take part in solving the problem. A lot of people are not well educated and this is a very crucial and delicate issue. It push us away from the process of growing as human beings and from the capacity of promote justice. This group of persons found a way of demonstrating their growth in their art expressions and are now part of the solution that direct us to the social revolution that the world needs.

Marvin Rodriguez Velez during one of the GADO expositions. It can be appreciated by their art the grade of dedication that this artists have on the cause.


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