I have been busy these past weeks making a new space ready for a new project. I now have a studio-store at La Marqueta!
This project began with a group of "artisan squatters" at the site. In popular memory La Marqueta is the place where people used to go shopping for traditional Puerto Rican foods and other special items. In time, the market became smaller and smaller and almost disappeared. Politicians and concerned citizens have been trying to keep it alive all these years by reconstructing it, and bringing in new businesses. It now works as a sort of business incubator, but there are also long-time vendors selling the traditional foods of the Caribbean. My friend Mercedes, who knows the people in charge of making La Marqueta a lively place again, especially Melissa Mark-Viverito and the La Marqueta Retoña project, managed to "squat" on two spaces with other artisans. It became a more formal arrangement and now a corporation named Acacia pays for the 2 spaces and 4 artists are allowed to set up shop for free as a way of embellishing and improving the space.
When one of the artisans left and another was evicted, Mercedes invited me to join the space. I suggested we invite my friend and partner in many projects Yarisa Colón, and we got to work.
The space is now pretty and ready to open! I set up my tile painting studio there and spend most afternoons painting and meeting with people. Or decorating ;)
This Thursday, we are doing the "Grand Opening" together with Mercedes Molina, who is a doll maker, and Carmen Ayala, a painter, and you are invited if you are in NY! Come by and see the stores-studios!
115 Street and Park Avenue
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
Enjoy a wine and Cheese reception, Puerto Rican Appetizers by Maruka, and delicious cupcakes by Sprinkle Splash!
***Thanks to Melissa Mark-Viverito & La Marqueta Retoña for making this project possible.***