SORTA-RICAN: Daniel Bejar, Charles Beronio, Leenda Bonilla & Melissa A. Calderon
Exhibition Dates: April 8 – May 21, 2011 Opening: Friday, April 8, 2011, 6-9pm Opening night performance by Melissa A. Calderon: 8pm Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 12-6pm, Thursday 1-7pm Monday and Sunday Closed
Curated by Marcos Dimas and Christine Licata
Taller Boricua is proud to present “Sorta-Rican” a group exhibition featuring artists Daniel Bejar, Charles Beronio, Leenda Bonilla and Melissa A. Calderon. The work in this exhibition examines these New York City artists’ experiences in the wake of 20th Century Puerto Rican migration. Influenced by colonial trajectories that began over five centuries ago, issues of language, economics, social structures and identity reverberate through “Sorta-Rican.”
The term Sorta-Rican, a hyphenated mix of the slang term “sorta” and Puerto Rican, describes the experience of a person of Puerto Rican descent usually born and raised in the United States with Nuyorican and/or Boricua parents. As second (or first, depending on one’s interpretation) and third generation members of the Puerto Rican diaspora, they commonly reside somewhere between at least two cultures, absorbing each one though not fully assimilating either. Occupying this obscure acculturated space, Sorta-Ricans exist as both members and outsiders, included and excluded—all the while reinterpreting and redefining the culture.
Employing mixed media and site-specific interventions, Daniel Bejar’s practice connects the past to the present, reexamining historical and geo-political narratives. Charles Beronio’s allegorical drawings critique the relationship between ideology and socio-political realities through conceptual examinations of language and visual culture. Incorporating multimedia and site-specific installation, Leenda Bonilla explores the concepts of cultural memory and the dualities inherent in transculturation. Melissa A. Calderon explores the gaps of disconnection within gender and culturally based traditional roles through mixed media, video and performance.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS Daniel Bejar is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received an MFA in sculpture from the State University of New York (New Paltz), and a BFA from the Ringling College of Art & Design (Sarasota). Bejar was selected to Smack Mellon’s 2011 Hot Picks program (New York) and his residencies include LMCC’s Swing Space program (New York), the Vermont Studio Center as well as participation in the AIM program at the Bronx Museum of Art. Bejar has exhibited at the University of New Haven, Abrons Art Center (New York), Artnews Projects (Berlin) and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. www.danielbejar.com
Charles Beronio is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He studied sculpture and visual criticism at the California College of the Arts graduate program. Beronio has exhibited at Mass MOCA (Boston), Gridspace (New York), Bronx Art Space, MOMA PS1 (New York), the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Nails Annex (San Francisco) and Arthouse (Austin) among others. He was selected for AIM 28 (Artists in the Marketplace) at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and was an artist resident at Gallery Lui Velazquez (Tijuana). His work has been published by “Printed Matter Inc.” http://charlesberonio.blogspot.com
Leenda Bonilla is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in the Bronx, New York. She received her BA from Manhattan College in International Studies / Political Science and a Masters in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute. Bonilla has exhibited at El Museo del Barrio (New York), Clocktower Salon (Bronx), XL Studio (Bronx) and Longwood Art Gallery (Bronx) among others. An art activist, educator and writer, Bonilla has worked with the Bronx Council on the Arts for the past four years, creating specialized programming engagement events that unites Bronx artists and the local community together. www.leendabonilla.com
Melissa A. Calderon is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in the Bronx, New York. She received her BA in Art History from CUNY Lehman College. Calderon has exhibited at El Museo del Barrio (New York), The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Queens Museum, The Portland Museum of Art, Longwood Art Project (Bronx) and Bronx Art Space among others. In the Fall 2011, Calderon will be in a group exhibition at El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (New York City). She is a PEPATIAN artist: a South Bronx-based organization dedicated to creating, producing and supporting contemporary multi-disciplinary art by Latino and Bronx-based artists. Recently, her work was featured in “Frescos,” a publication on the work of 50 young contemporary artists from Puerto Rico. www.melissacalderon.com
For additional information about any of the artists, please contact Taller Boricua: [email protected]