The Graffiti HeArt crew made its way to Cayey, Puerto Rico for 2 weeks in April, raising more than $8,000.00 in donations and bringing with them artist, Danielle Mastrion, from Brooklyn, NY, to help install two murals in the center of town!
When Stamy Paul, President of Graffiti HeArt planned her 2-week vacation to Puerto Rico back in January, the original plan was to visit the family of Board Secretary, Luz Pellot, post hurricane Maria. What started out as a family trip eventually turned into a humanitarian project, donating money to help those families in need while also gifting the mural, “Mujeres Fuertes” to the city of Cayey, Puerto Rico where Luz’s mother is from, and where most her family still resides.
“For months, I have anticipated seeing my family in Puerto Rico, never imagining how this project was to evolve”, Luz shared. “It’s been overwhelming for me to be able to bring this gift to the community of Cayey, knowing that my family will be able to appreciate and enjoy it. I’m so proud of how Graffiti HeArt was able to raise the monies not only to finance the project but also to give back to the community and those that really need the help post Maria.”
Graffiti HeArt first made its way to the Museum of the famous local artist, Ramon Frade, where they received a private tour by the Director, to learn about Frade’s life and influence, as a prelude to the mural design and installation. By Day 3 of the trip, there was paint on the wall and a daily production crew by the city employees. Nine full days and nights later, the masterpiece was complete!
Throughout the two weeks, Graffiti HeArt engaged with the student from Escuela de Bellas Artes Municipio de Cayey. The students worked on a mural concept for their own wall, which encompassed elements from their local Cayey culture including the golden coqui, a torito, and the trolley. Local Puerto Rico graffiti artist, Bad, joined Danielle with the student mural installation, helping the students learn proper aerosol application.
Making several new friends and taking with them many learnings from this project, Graffiti HeArt is looking for additional ways to bring large scale murals to Puerto Rico and enriching the communities and the artists with a life enriching experience. “We are currently working with an artist from England, who reached out to us earlier this year expressing interested in partnering with us to install a mural on the island with the influence of musicians from Puerto Rico”, Paul said. “Our discussions have resumed and we are in process of due diligence to identify a wall in the town of Ponce, where musician Hector Lavoe is from.”
The Graffiti HeArt Puerto Rico Revitalization project would not be possible without the support, generosity, and friendship of the following friends and Corporate Sponsors:
Make sure to watch The Anna Show on Channel 3, WKYC Cleveland, on June 15, at 11:30am for the full story!
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