Ida y Vuelta: Experiencias de la migración en el arte puertorriqueño contemporáneo

Starting Date:

End Date:

Ida y Vuelta: Experiencias de la migración en el arte puertorriqueño contemporáneo is an expansive exhibition of 19 Puerto Rican artists whose works express their varied interpretations of the experience of migration—often formulated from direct experience—whether they refer to their own emigration or to the process of adapting to a new environment.

Featuring artists Abdiel Segarra Ríos, Adál Maldonado, Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez, Anaida Hernández, Antonio Martorell, Brenda Cruz, Carlos Ruiz Valarino, Edra Soto, John Betancourt, José Ortiz Pagán, Máximo Colón, Marta Mabel Pérez, Mónica Félix, Nayda Collazo Llorens, Norma Vila Rivero, Osvaldo Budet Meléndez, Pedro Vélez, Quintín Rivera Toro, Víctor Vázquez

Curated by Laura Bravo, PhD., with Assistant Curator Donald Escudero.

Organized by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies and Hunter East Harlem Gallery

On view through September 30, 2023

Summer Hours
Thursday, July 6 – Friday, July 7, 12-5pm
Wednesday, August 2, 12-5p
Wednesday, August 9, 12-5pm
Wednesday, August 16-Friday, August 18, 12-5pm
Wednesday, August 23-Friday, August 25, 12-5pm
Wednesday, August 30-Friday, September 1, 12-5pm

Hunter East Harlem Gallery | FREE Entry

The history of Puerto Rico has been marked by recurrent migrations, but none compare to the dramatic and unprecedented volume of people that have fled the archipelago in recent years. As a reflection of their own experiences or as a chronicle of a reality they have witnessed, eighteen artists present here their views of the phenomenon of migration, posing various, mostly autobiographical, concerns and perspectives. The risks of embarking on a complex adventure, the sensation of having bifocal lives—split between their place of residence and the memories that return to their minds—the feelings of estrangement, and the identity conflicts that result from life in a foreign society are a few of their focal points. Protracted economic and political crises are the targets of sharp criticism, as they are considered responsible for the alarming figures of the current migration. Recurrent travel and circular migration—represented by iconographic elements such as suitcases, airplanes, or maps—appear here as common practice for thousands of people of Puerto Rican origin.

Ida y Vuelta, the product of an extensive research project, was exhibited at the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus between 2017 and 2018. Hurricane Maria tragically upended the lives and disrupted the well-being of the millions of people living in Puerto Rico, causing an unanticipated interruption in the development of the exhibition. Their suffering and despair were felt by their families and friends throughout the diaspora. This event revealed and exacerbated insidious problems within the Puerto Rican government and catalyzed a multisectorial disaster and traumatic exodus. The exhibition’s evolving cultural context allows us to revisit these works of art anew—outside the geographical borders of Puerto Rico, and with a fresh perspective framed by recent history.

— Laura Bravo, Ph.D, Curator


Support for Hunter East Harlem Gallery has been provided by the Office of Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab and the Hunter College Foundation.

This exhibit has been made possible in part by the support of the U.S. Congress. We thank Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representative Adriano Espaillat.

Click the play button above to watch interviews from each of the artists featured in this exhibit.