Artist Antonio Martorell will be spending this Sunday, May 13, in the “31 Days for 31 Years” makeshift cell and exhibition. The interactive exhibit, which began on April 28 and will end on May 29 (the 31st anniversary of Oscar’s arrest) is being organized by the National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN), Batey Urbano and its Latin@ Coalition. Also featured is an exhibition of Oscar’s artwork, literature and posters from the campaign to free Puerto Rican political prisoners for the past 30 years, and a wall of his letters to his supporters.
Antonio Martorell has been artist-in-residence for more than 27 years at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey. He has workshops in Hato Rey and El Barrio in New York, where he keeps busy at painting, drawing, installation and performance art, graphics, set and costume design, theatre, films, TV, radio and writing for the press. He has published three books and exhibited widely in Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, Canada and Europe. Martorell has participated in collective shows in Europe, Africa and Asia and awarded prizes in biennials in Italy, Germany, United States, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. His work was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
The 6 ft by 6 ft cell, where 31 activists and community residents will spend 24 hours each with a guard, for a total of 31 days, is being populated by university and high school students, teachers, community residents and high-profile individuals such as Minister Abel Muhammed from the Nation of Islam and artist Antonio Martorell. Martorell, visiting Chicago as part of a residency at Northwestern University and preparing for the closing of his “Gestuario /Gestures” exhibit at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC) will draw and sketch for the 10 hours he will spend in the cell. There will also be a station where people may write to Oscar.
The purpose of this exhibit is to call attention to the continued unjust incarceration of political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. The ambitious joint effort of the Latin@ Coalition, Batey Urbano, and NBHRN will culminate in a major event commemorating his arrest and 31 years of imprisonment on Tuesday, May 29, 6pm at the Batey Urbano, preceded by a press conference at 5:30 pm. Save the date!
For more information or to schedule an interview with artist Antonio Martorell or a representative from one of the sponsoring organizations, please contact Laura Ruth Johnson at (773) 505-2490 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch the video of Martorell