As students kick off a new semester with high energy and hopes for new adventures to explore, MuSA did as well, by kicking off the semester with the debut of Mundo Espíritu: Taller Ennegro, Palma Soriano, Cuba, a photography and audiovisual exhibition from our very own Humanities professor, Rosa Plá Cortés.
Some context for newcomer students, prepas, or Colegiales who have been living under a rock: MuSA is the Museum of Art of the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez. Founded on February 2016, MuSA is known as the first museum of art on the west side of Puerto Rico. With a mission to preserve and showcase Puerto Rican artists, MuSA has had an immense impact on the Mayagüez art scene and on the Colegial spirit. As part of its social responsibility, MuSA works to preserve, document, expose, interpret, and strengthen art collections so they can be appreciated by present and future generations.
August 24, 2017 marks the beginning of Mundo Espíritu, a photography project which illustrates the quotidianity, spirituality, and artistic aspects of the picturesque city of Palma Soriano in Santiago de Cuba province. The afrocentric culture of Palma Soriano is present in all aspects of life, most notably, in their spirituality. The city’s African roots are preserved through the Vodú religion, which means spirit.
Picture of Dr. Plá: http://www.uprm.edu/p/humanidades/facultad
Dr. Plá began working on this project in the summer of 2010, after visiting Santiago de Cuba and attending Festival del Fuego, a week-long international artistic and academic 34-year-old festival that welcomes well over a thousand visitors from across the Caribbean and other parts of the world.
While she was there, Dr. Plá met artists from Taller Experimental Ennegro and became heavily involved in the cultural and ecologic study of the city and its communities. She managed to integrate herself in the center of many families and live among them in an effort to better understand their spiritual experiences and way of life.
The event began with a dance presentation by Mayawest Dance Project called “E-XU-BE-RAN-CIA,” inspired by Taller Ennegro and dedicated to La Caridad del Cobre, patron of all Cubans.
Pictures of Mayawest Dance Project: https://www.facebook.com/MWDanceProject/?ref=br_rs
Multitudes of people began pouring in from a variety of places, all with the same destination: MuSA. The museum’s doors began to fill up at around 7:15 p.m. Forty-five minutes later, Dr. Zorali De Feria, MuSA’s director, and Dr. Rosa Plá, took to the podium to welcome the audience to the opening of the exhibition. Dr. De Feria expressed great amounts of gratitude towards all attendees and to Dr. Plá for choosing MuSA as the house for Mundo Espíritu. Dr. Plá, on her part, expressed her feelings of gratitude and and felt humbled for the support she has received over the years from many faculty members and administrative personnel from UPRM. When describing Mundo Espíritu, she said she fell in love with her work in Cuba, with the city, and the whole process of putting together this collection of pictures.
Mundo Espíritu is not going anywhere yet, so if you’re someone who enjoys learning about Afro-Caribbean culture and the intersectionalities of our Caribbean ancestors, go visit MuSA to experience this beautiful recollection of history.
Zorali De Feria – Director ([email protected])
Pedro Fortunato-Velázquez – Collections Registrar ([email protected])
Nilda Y. Soto – Administrative Assistant ([email protected])