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Puerto Rico Gets Its Due
By Michael Kilian
February 3, 2002
The lively art of Puerto Rico, especially the contemporary work, has not always enjoyed the public exposure it deserves. The University of Houston's Blaffer Gallery art museum is handsomely attending to that neglect with a just-opened exhibition called "Here & There/Aqui y Alla: Six Artists From San Juan."
On view through March 17, it's a show full of surprises and a departure from the traditional Spanish and island themes commonly associated with much of the Caribbean. Each of the artists--Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Charles Juhasz-Alvarado, Ana Rosa Rivera Mattero, Freddie Mercado, Carlos Rivera Villafane and Aaron Salabarrias Valle- -has been given a room in the museum to do with as he or she will. Their media include video projection, sculpture, found objects, color photography, drawings and plastic manufactured goods. Valle, who uses inflatable beach toys, attempts to evoke the happy memories of childhood, while Villafane is into destructive force.
The museum is located at the University's Fine Arts Building, off Cullen Boulevard at Entrance 16. Telephone is 713-743-9530. Web site is www.blaffergallery.org.