Martín Peña Channel youth express themselves through art

Written by  //  August 29, 2012  //  In-Brief  //  No comments

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Puerto Rican artist Melquiades Rosario-Sastre (white cap) teaches students how to mix media to create the colorful mural.

Because “idle hands are the devil’s playthings,” FirstBank and the Puerto Rico Museum of Art took it upon themselves to keep 20 students residing Martin Peña Channel neighborhood in Santurce quite busy for the better part of the summer embellishing one of the community’s main entrances.

The result of the “Colectiva Verde” joint venture: a brightly colored, 100-foot abstract mural on the north side wall of the Martín Peña Channel’s Proyecto Enlace’s headquarters that was unveiled this week by the group of 10-to-20 year-olds.

The piece represents the students’ work under the direction of renowned contemporary artists Carmelo Sobrino and Melquiades Rosario-Sastre.

“Through individual line drawings, students conceptualized the work that took shape with the colors they collectively put on it,” Sobrino said. “The goal was to create an atmosphere of introspection that allowed them to depict original expressions through line and color, in a 100-foot frame.”

An innovative element of the work is that it combined painting with sculpture, said Rosario-Sastre.

“The arts are an essential part of the making of human beings and society. It is for this reason that FirstBank us proud that we can contribute to the development of the talents of our children and youth. In this way, we promote cultural development and healthy lifestyles,” said Carmen Pagán, senior vice president of compliance for FirstBank.

As part of the “Colectiva Verde” program — which seeks to promote the development of self-esteem, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for children at risk and positively impact their family and community — students participated in lectures and workshops on artistic media drawing, painting, digital photography and sculpture.

Last year, a total of 30 students participated in the first edition of the “Colectiva Verde” program, designing sculptures, mosaics and a mural, which were installed in their communities.

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