No matter whether your preference is for masks or music, painting or page-turners, a cultural emphasis on artistic expression saturates the island of Puerto Rico. If you are planning to visit – or simply admiring from a distance – you will no doubt find that a little bit of knowledge can greatly enhance your appreciation for all of the wonderful types of art that inhabit this island.
For many people, the term 'art' immediately conjures up images of traditional visual arts such as painting and sculpture. These forms are popular on Puerto Rico, certainly, but to ignore the other amazing offerings from local artists would be a huge mistake.
A number of native writers have left an impact on the literary world, most notably through the creation of poetry that focuses on the island's history, culture, and people. In addition, Puerto Rico has served as the backdrop for several major Hollywood productions, as well as being the home of a thriving film-making industry all its own. Distinctive musical styles have also emerged from the island, blending the influences of both the Spanish colonists and the slave population and resulting in an irresistible medium perfect for dancing and enjoying the long, warm days.
But the thing that makes Puerto Rico truly unique is the way that art permeates every aspect of society. Nontraditional forms of art such as handicrafts and dance can be found effortlessly incorporated into daily life. Every craftsman brings to the making of the santos his own personal style, a new twist on the old techniques. And despite their increasingly modern ways, younger generations still enjoy dancing the night away, filling the urban clubs and dancehalls with steps that bring to mind a bygone era.
The evolution of arts and entertainment that took place on the island of Puerto Rico may not be terribly different from many other countries, but vacationers will quickly find that the comfortable relationship that the island shares with its artistic community is truly one-of-a-kind.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.