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"Semillas" Opens January 6, 2023 at National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture

Sixteen Works Take Viewers On Surreal Journey Through Puerto Rico’s History


CHICAGO, Ill. (December 19, 2022) ­ The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture today announced Semillas (Seeds), the first museum solo show of Puerto Rican-born Chicago artist Raul Ortiz Bonilla. Featuring sixteen pieces in Ortiz Bonilla’s signature style of pointillism, the exhibit takes viewers on a journey through three stages of Puerto Rico’s history – pre-colonization, mass migration during colonial periods, and the present day. Semillas opens January 6, 2023 at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (3015 W. Division St.), and each featured piece is also available for purchase.

La Llegada (The Arrival)

“My work deals with the movement and flow of immigrants, and I hope Semillas encourages a dialogue about immigration to help others better understand the fears and aspirations of people who undertake the journey to live in a new land,” said artist Raul Ortiz Bonilla. “Semillas deals with my two worlds – my memories of Puerto Rico, and my current landscape of the Midwest. It also deals with what it feels like to be an immigrant in one’s own country, and Puerto Rico’s struggle to maintain control over its own culture, values, and land.”


Through his signature dots, or seeds, Ortiz Bonilla breaks down the island’s appearance and offers a new perspective of hope. Semillas presents a story of migration, planting roots in distant places, and romantic imaginations of what lies ahead and what Ortiz Bonilla – like all Puerto Ricans throughout the diaspora – left behind.

“As the only museum in the nation dedicated to showcasing Puerto Rican arts and culture year-round, we take particular pride in giving a platform to newly emerging artists,” said National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture CEO Billy Ocasio. “Raul Ortiz Bonilla is a unique talent, and Semillas demonstrates his vision and artistry perfectly. We are excited to lift up the talents of a Puerto Rican and a Chicagoan at the museum, because the lens through which Ortiz Bonilla sees Puerto Rico is familiar to so many of us.”


Semillas (Seeds) opens Friday, January 6, 2023 at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (3015 W. Division St., Chicago Illinois). The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets are free to the public, and paintings are available for purchase. For more information about this exhibition, visit www.nmprac.org or Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the handle @national_museum_of_pr.


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