HOLYOKE, Mass (WWLP) – The city of Holyoke held a variety of festivities including an art tour for La Noche de San Juan.
Puerto Ricans all over the world celebrated La Noche de San Juan, an eve for the feast of Saint John the Baptist’s birth. Nueva Esperanza kicked off the year’s festivities with the Beyond Walls Tour of Holyoke.
“The whole intention here is to really put the newly designated Puerto Rican district on the map in a bit and colorful way with really the rock stars of Puerto Rico,” said Al Wilson Founder & CEO of Beyond Walls.
Beyond Walls brings large art into communities around the world and this week they made their way to Holyoke. Seven artists from Puerto Rico and Portugal are creating a curated experience through various artworks throughout the city.
“We brought in artists that reflect that cultural identity of the community,” Wilson explained. “They put up pieces that reflect that culture, so really the community here can see themselves in the art.”
The art series is particularly special because Holyoke is the second in the country to be designated as a Puerto Rican Cultural District. And in honor of La Noche de San Juan artists from Puerto Rico and Portugal have been adding color and life throughout the city showing images of Puerto Rican and Afro-Caribbean Culture.
“It’s called Iguana Bona. It’s a reinterpretation of a Taino myth,” David Zayas Ponce told 22News.
Many artists like Rafique hope that these images resonate and show the community in Holyoke a piece of home as well as represent a beacon of hope and resilience.