Gallery Showing: Art at the Service of the People: Posters and Books From Puerto Rico's Division of Community Education

Location: Snite Museum of Art, Milly and Fritz Kaeser Mestrovic Studio Gallery

The exhibit includes 28 posters and 10 books produced by Puerto Rican graphic artists who worked for the island’s Division of Community Education (DIVEDCO), a government agency formed in 1949 as one of the initial acts of the territory’s first-elected governor, Luis Muñoz Marín, a poet, journalist and politician. “A unique and powerful adaption of New Deal-era programs,” DIVEDCO placed didactic art at the center of a massive public education campaign that aimed—through the production of posters, books, and short films—to teach the island’s predominantly rural population about important issues such as community building, democracy, conflict resolution, and public health. Many of the works by the DIVEDCO artists also drew attention to Puerto Rico’s rural cultural traditions, many of which were disappearing due to industrialization and ever-increasing U.S. influence on the island.

Most of the posters and book covers produced for the DIVEDCO and included in this exhibition were designed by the island’s best-known and most accomplished graphic artists: Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, Antonio Maldonado, Carlos Raquel Rivera, Eduardo Vera Cortés, Rafael Delgado Castro, and José Meléndez Contreras. Their graphic works made silkscreen technique the most popular one in Puerto Rico.

The exhibition is comprised of a selection of works from the private collection of professors Assistant Professor Marisel Moreno (Romance Languages and Literatures) and Associate Professor Thomas Anderson (Romance Languages and Literatures), and will be used during the semester as an instructional tool by them and other ND faculty for classes in Spanish language and literature.

The exhibit will run until March 11, 2012.