Puerto Rican Artisan Fair

-- By Litzy Acosta. The sound of Que Bonita Bandera echoed throughout the facility of Arts Westchester December 16. People spoke amongst themselves and the artists about their work. The White Plains Puerto Rican Cultural Committee, along with help from Comite Noviembre and PRIDA, hosted its second annual Puerto Rican Artisan Fair at Arts Westchester. Puerto Rican artists and authors showcased their work.

In this photo far left is Edgardo Mirand-Rodriuez, who is the creator of La Borinquena, who is the only Afro-Latina, Puerto Rican superhero to have her own solo series. Her powers include flight, powers of the earth and sea, control of storms and super strength. All powers were given to her by the Taino god Atabex (mother of Boriken).

In his work, U.S Army veteran Hector v. Cotza uses his journey of resilience, transformation and healing. His art reflects his culture. Like many of us during COVID, Cotza was also struggling. Now he also goes to schools and gives speeches about mental health. He says art is a way to heal ourselves.

Next to La Borinquena booth, Evelyn Santiago (left), who is the chairwomen for the White Plains Puerto Rican Cultural Committee, is playing along with Vilma Luz (right). Luz is also one of the artists at the fair. She was a teacher for 30 years and became an author of a book called The Heart of an Advocate.

This piece by Anina Major is called Ostracons of the Atlantic. This sculpture is made of real shells that represents the fragmentation inherited across the black diaspora. It also illustrates the tension between destruction and perseverance.

In attendance was the White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach and Congressman Bowman who came to support the artists.

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