Poems inspired by Michelle Angela Ortiz’s installation, Quizás Mañana, at Taller Puertorriqueño

People got connected with art at our recent Look/Draw/Write workshops. We are very happy to share their responses written about the art of Michelle Angela Ortiz.

Class photo of participants in Artblog workshop
Participants pose for “class picture” after Artblog Look/Draw/Write workshop at Taller Puertorriqueño. Middle, left, is artist Michelle Angela Ortiz, whose art we wrote poems about.

During the month of April, Artblog hosted two Look/Draw/Write Workshops at Taller Puertorriqueño that focused on Michelle Angela Ortiz’s show Quizás Mañana, on view in Taller’s gallery through June 3. Michelle’s show was very personal to her family’s story of love and loss but also related to issues of immigration and its affects on generations within a family who long for their homeland while seeking to make a place for themselves in the U.S. Ortiz stopped by to visit with us during our last workshop and was able to see the sketches made of her art by participants and hear them read the poems they wrote in response to her work. In this wonderful partnership with Taller, we found multiple generations coming together to look, draw and write, and we discovered Taller’s community of art and culture lovers, some of whom came more than once to immerse themselves in engagement with the art. We are proud to present these poems, written by our multi-generational participants in response to Ortiz’s art. Read about our previous workshops focused on Roxana Perez-Mendez’s art, featured in the Taller gallery during February and March.

Workshop participants talk about and write about art
Talking about art and writing about art at Taller Puertorriqueño. Michelle Angela Ortiz’s art was on tap

The chair is very old
I like that she tells me she loves her Grandmother.

Jiselle Aldrich

People live and die,
But your spirit will decay
Be sure it won’t die

Alanah Kaylie Cedeño

The placenta
Of mamá gave birth and death
A separate but
One, grasp – ”Yo se
Que tu estas aqui
Te veo mamá”
I whispered to her
Upon her faithful exit
From life to another

Ivanie Cedeño

El amor de la familia
Amor que permanece
Para siempre. Amor
De tantos recuerdos
De como eran en
Su vida. Se van a
La otra vida y
Permanecen en
Recuerdos, recuerdos
Apreciados hasta en
Ciertas pertenencias
Que nos traen bonitos

Maritza Cedeño

My family is my love
My close family is what I wanted
What’s shared, hope and despair
Pain is loss or more
Hope is chance, opportunity, birth, smile, home
Life is this and some

Rafael Damast

Father’s love
Difficult, demanding
Mother’s love
Soft, forgiving
Mother’s love
Difficult, demanding
Father’s love
Soft, forgiving
Love is not perfect,
But necessary

Roberta Fallon

Cedar chest, family traveler.
From Superior to Boston to
Philadelphia. Holder of
Things, repository of memory.

Roberta Fallon

Magical flowers
Straw hats atop manchil
Standing back to back

Ichionna Keveli (Arlene Edmonds)

Happy brocade chair
Wine velvet memories of
Grandmother rising

Ichionna Keveli (Arlene Edmonds)

Retratos Familiares ( FAMILY PORTRAITS )
Tsunami of light
presence of absence revealed in
family snapshots
altars grow like gardens when
generations intertwine

Rafi Lev

Each side has light
One that slowly increases
While the other dims

Ayiana Porter

Abuela enthroned
Colombia calling her home
Familia, loved

Ayiana Porter

Life cycles do not
Have an end
When you die, you rise
Then, spirits create a sense
Of light

Marilyn Rodriguez

What is gone, is still very
Presence, gone,
But not forgotten
Life is always giving

Marilyn Rodriguez

A lovely lilac past
A beautiful pistil present,
And a stem into the future

Keysha Marie Mendez Santana

As writing poems does not fit in my category, I would like to write about the pieces I have observed. Your painting piece is mostly a favorite of mine, the way you blend the pastel colors with the backgrounds compliment really nicely with the lighter colors among the characters, especially the child. The elderly man has a nice range of shading and detail on his skin that stands him out more, as well as the contrast between between young and old throughout the generations.

Stephanie Valentin

Mi Madre
I hope one day
My mother would stop
With all her stress
And all her thoughts
She wants to go back
To guatemala and rest
But before she does
I hope all her wishes come fast.
Maybe then she won’t stress as
Much or go back to Guatemala and rest

Graciela Vasquez

Flowers, like memories,
Grow, flourish, decay, and begin again
Some families have a green thumb
Others, not so much.

Flora Ward

Hard to forget
Even harder to remember
The past is all around us

Flora Ward

That big black chair,
It’s an icon, not a spare,
Worn through to the seat,
Cigar’s smoldering heat.
It will always remind me of you,
With it, I’m not sure what to do
It’s an icon – so are you

George Zolot

Workshop participants talk about art with artist Michelle Angela Ortiz
Michelle Angela Ortiz speaks with workshop participants and listens as they read their response to her art