Monday, May 21, 2012

Art in Puerto Rico - Roving OAR

Roving Review of Art in Puerto Rico

You, Loiza, though poor and small, are not the least of the towns of Puerto Rico, for out of you shall come artists who enrich the lives and preserve the culture of Puerto Ricans.
So it was as I found both Samuel Lind's studio and Raul Ayala's Workshop, within 100 feet of each other, in Loiza, located about a 45 minute drive east of San Juan.
Samuel Lind has a 3-story colorful house and studio on a side street off PR 187: 
He seeks to maintain the Bomba culture of the area, one that emphasizes a drum and dance music originally from Africa, the home country of the Loiza settlers. This is evident in the next photo below of a current commission work that he is doing in oils, showing the drummer and dancer in bright colors, and the audience in not so bright. 

The drumming is also used in Bombaerobics, either standing or sitting. We were privileged to see an actual dance as well, put on by citizens of Loiza:

 Samuel also does sculptures – these are complicated castings of metal that start with a clay model. The woman shown here thrusts her conch shell outwardly to call to others:

He also does silk screen prints, especially of the Bomba culture and dances. See for example this poster for a Coamo festival of the Bomba:

Samuel Lind can be reached at, and one of his web sites is
Leaving Sam's studio, we went over to Raul Ayala's workshop located at 6.6 km marker on PR 187 (they use kilometers for road distances, even though they measure car speed in miles per hour!) Raul specializes in the Vejigantes masks worn by mischief makers in various festivals:
His fanciful masks are made entirely of coconut, usually half a coconut, although those from the southern town of Ponce are made from paper mache.
Raul can be reached at

by Dana M Schmidt
Dana Schmidt is a retired attorney who has been painting with pastels since 1999. He specializes in birds and water scenes, hence a lot of water birds. See his website at

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