FirstBank wraps up anniversary celebration, unveils street art in Santurce
FirstBank Puerto Rico wrapped up 2023 with a pair of events, including the end of its 75th anniversary celebration by announcing the $75,000 winner of the “Celebra y Gana con FirstBank” sweepstakes, and the unveiling of its StreetArt initiative’s winning artist.
In late December, FirstBank announce that Robert Rivera won the 75,000 grand prize of the “Celebra y Gana con FirstBank” sweepstakes, which drew participants from across the island.
Meanwhile, the financial institution also announced that emerging artist Luis Aponte won the “StreetArt by FirstBank” competition, which serves as a platform to give visibility to new talent.
Aponte stood out among the 34 participating proposals on environmental issues. To add a creative element to the mural, the bank commissioned local designer Adriana García to integrate three-dimensional technology into the mural, bank officials said.
Aponte, who received a prize of $5,000, had the opportunity to capture his art in a mural at the FirstBank branch on Loíza Street, in which he demonstrated how an aluminum can is transformed into an artistic rose that is a coin bank at the same time — relaying the message of recycling and reuse.
The concept also includes a green hummingbird and a bee, both endemic species in Puerto Rico. In the background, references are made to structures that represent the Santurce community.
“At FirstBank, we’re one with the environment, and the StreetArt initiative reflects our commitment to raising awareness of this issue through street art. With innovative elements of augmented reality (3D), everyone who sees the mural will also be able to enjoy the work of artist Luis Aponte using their cell phones to appreciate certain images in 3D, which seem to come to life. We want to congratulate Luis Aponte for his excellent work, and thank him for his collaboration,” said Ginoris López-Lay, executive vice president of Strategic Planning at FirstBank.
The winner was selected by the following artists: Javier Cintrón, contemporary muralist and artist; Adriana García Soto, designer, and illustrator in charge of integrating the augmented reality into the mural; and José Luis Gutiérrez, scenographer, designer, and actor. The criteria for choosing the winner were based on creativity, unique design, quality, and experience demonstrated in the proposal, along with the integration of a message related to environment conservation and the community of Santurce.
With a background in painting and mural experience, Aponte is an independent visual artist who graduated in illustration in 2013. Working in various disciplines, and despite the challenges following Hurricane María and the pandemic, he has been able to create significant works of art such as this one.
When choosing him as the winner of the competition, the judges highlighted the originality of the artist, who took all the requirements seriously and had the necessary insight to visualize and complete the finished product.