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Friday, February 19, 2016

The Mural

A week before, to control the fear of "big things," I told myself: "Next week it will all be done."

I was not sure how it would work, or who would help, or if I had prepared well or even enough. I only knew that I had less than 8 days to paint this big image full of words on a big wall.

I had always wanted to do a mural in my hometown, and I even published a design a few years ago. That's the way to tell the Universe "I want this." But my wishes often take a while to manifest, so almost 10 years later, I had the opportunity to realize the project.

This was not a commission, just a labor of love with a group of people who have committed themselves to preserving and enhancing the culture of this old tiny city in the southwest of Puerto Rico. I grew up there until I was 15, surrounded by it's beautiful architecture and the peacefulness of small town living. I tell my husband that if my mother didn't have to move to New York to work, I would probably never had left. I was happy there and life was good, predictable and comfortable.

The truth is I tried to go back twice, but I had already changed so much that I could not adapt. The truth is also that I am always scheming to go back, buy an old house and set up my studio there and forget New York. Dreams. Who knows, may be in 10 years?

And now there is even more waiting for me there. During this trip I met the Amigos de San Germán, Inc. group, who helped me paint and supported every step of the project. They made it fun and a true joy for the soul. Meeting them and the young artists who came to help, was one of the two big hilights of this trip. The other was visiting my elementary school and talking to the kids there.

Here are the photos, lots of them, to share the process of painting the mural. Lots of work, but also lots of help. Special thanks to my wonderful husband Juan, who sacrificed all his wishes to see friends and places in order to help make this mural; Flor, who committed to the project with the soul of a true artist; her brother Reino, who is the master of the roller and the small brush and came everyday to help; Mirelsa, who painted, cut and listened to our outrageous ramblings; to my lifetime friend Waldemar who painted, cooked, drank and pulled the musician to us one evening and who always supports me in life and art; my mom, who sheltered and drove us everywhere; Junior, who moved all his resources to make this project happen; Guido Barletta, the director of the Porta Coeli Museum, who first invited me and sent our way the wonderful college students who helped paint the Porta Coeli; to Pescao and his granddaughter, Eunice, Yolanda, and all the people who passed by to cheer us on!

Here are the photos: