HISTORY of Taller de Arte
Portobelo Painting Workshop The photographer recalls what came about in a year that was hard on all Panamanians: “After the US invasion of Panama, a contention dam that the military managed broke down. I was very restless about the proliferation of drugs. Around then, and under a Lila Wallace scholarship, Arturo Lindsay, an art professor and artist from Spelman College, arrived in Portobelo; maybe he also came here looking for his roots, because he had left Colón for the United States with his family when he was very young. We became good friends, sharing our daily living and the same uneasiness about the uncertain future that loomed over the community’s youth.
"Creativity had always been an antidote for hard times for the both of us, and one day, during a conversation, Arturo asked me, ‘who paints those drawings that fly all over the walls of your house?’ ‘Yaneka –I answered him- it’s his Congo canes, he makes them by carving the wood that he finds in the bush, as they say here, and one day he painted them on my walls for my birthday." "Arturo immediately went looking for Yaneka and asked him if he would like to paint those canes over fabric, and he said: ‘I am the Congo Aviadó. I can fly over the skies’. And so, armed with his brushes and colors, Yaneka began painting. He was followed by his sons, Tito (who won Panama’s second painting biennial), Gustavo, Besu and later his friends Pajarito and Tatú. And so, before our dazzled eyes, the Painting Workshop grew, having had exhibits in Panama, in The United States and Europe, and creating a constant parade of images that speak, maybe unknowingly, of the historic memory of their ancestors."Mujer Tigre