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Art Showing and Vejigante Mask Workshop

On Saturday, Jan. 31, 2004, the Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance & Cultural Center held an Art Showing and Vejigante Mask Workshop as part of our "Workshops on Puerto Rican Studies" program. Featured was Artist Lucy Llera. Over 50 adults and children attended this fun event. Thanks to our massive mailing list, promotions by the Austin Chronicle, and radio stations around town, over half the attendants were new faces to our cultural center and to our culture! Some drove in as far away as San Antonio to attend this event!

Adults enjoyed Lucy's van-load of paintings rich in Puerto Rican cultural themes and beautiful carnival masks from Puerto Rico. The children colored pictures of dancing vejigantes, learned the signifcance of mask wearing, and the history behind the vejigante masks of Puerto Rico. The children also enjoyed making vejigante masks of their very own, and danced with a "real" vejigante who made a surprise visit!

The Art Showing and Workshop event culminated in a celebration of the PRFDance Cultural Center's first birthday. While our organization has been ongoing in 1997, our physical location opened its doors on Februrary 1st of last year (2003). The children gathered around a big birthday cake and sang happy birthday to the Escuelita in spanish and english. Their favorite part was when they ALL got to blow out the candle!

We are so proud that the Art and Vejigante Mask Workshop was so well received by our community. We plan on having Lucy back to do a more complex workshop on mask making in the future!

Artist Biography:
Lucy Llera was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico. She received her bachelors degree in art and education from the University of Puerto Rico, and was an art teacher for over 13 years in Cidra. In 1982 she moved to Texas where she studied art at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Afterwards she continued her teaching career in bilingual education, for which she has received awards. From 1984-93, Lucy studied painting with Warren Hunter, a respected artist in San Antonio, and later with Daniel Green and Dalhart Wingberg. She is a member of the Water Color Society, the Calligraphy Guild, and the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts. In Coppini, she received awards such as Artist of the Month and 2nd prize in oil painting. Since 1986 she has been a member of Sociedad Herencia Puertorriquena, a San-Antonio based Puerto Rican cultural organization, for whom she has created cultural-themed posters for their annual festivals.

Photo Credits:
We would like to thank Sasha Haagensen, photographer from UT Austin's Daily Texan for photographing our event. She is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Journalism with a concentration in photography. Her plans post graduation (May 2004) are to work for a major publication as a photographer. Sasha can be reached at aeh1125@hotmail.com.

See Photo Album for other past events!

For more information:
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Cultural Center Address: 701 Tillery Street #13, Austin TX 78702-3738 (Map & Directions)
Mailing Address: 15228 Quiet Pond Court, Austin TX 78728-4555
Phone: +1.512.251.8122      Email: dance@prfdance.org          Web: www.prfdance.org     
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