Gallery hosts exhibit by local, Puerto Rican-born artists

The Augusta Savage Gallery will host an art exhibition by Carlos Santiago Arroyo and Angel Sanchez Ortiz from Monday, March 28 through Friday, April 22. The exhibition will feature carvings of saints and masks by the two local, Puerto Rican-born artists.

The opening reception for the exhibition, titled “Masks and Santos: The Earthly and the Holy in Puerto Rican Popular Culture,” will be on Monday, March 28 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

Sanchez Ortiz creates colorful masks in the style of traditional carnival festivities in Ponce, where he was born. He started making masks at the age of seven, and since then has always displayed his work in the Ponce Carnival. After immigrating to the Pioneer Valley in 1989, Sanchez Ortiz continued his craft, teaching workshops and exhibiting his work at various galleries, including the university’s Wheeler Gallery.

Santiago Arroyo is a santos carver, also born in Ponce. After studying the carving of religious saints for over 40 years, he began carving in 1998. Since immigrating to the U.S., Santiago Arroyo travels to Puerto Rico annually to work with artisans. He has presented his work at, among other places, Holyoke Community College. Santiago Arroyo also visits schools in the Pioneer Valley where Latino students work, offering demonstrations on santos carving and integrating the history of Puerto Rico into his presentations.

The Augusta Savage Gallery is located in New Africa House. For more information, call 545-5177.