RAY|RAYO|RAYON is an interdisciplinary and experimental art education program under development in the insular and continental Caribbean, with the relationship between art and emancipation as its main axis. It is promoted by the curator Yina Jiménez Suriel, the artist Beatriz Santiago Muñóz and the artist and researcher Víctor Torres Rodríguez, and produced by the Free Time Society, an artists’ cooperative based in Puerto Rico.
RAY|RAYO|RAYON aims to generate, by 2024, an educational program that fosters the support structures necessary for the flourishing of artists and artistic practices/processes in the region, offering other options beyond the institutional academic and museum spaces that individualize professionalization and ignore the collective and communal potential for emancipation that is part of the region’s history.
To this end, RAY|RAYO|RAYON will host a series of 5 meetings throughout 2023, with the aim of conceptualizing the shape of such a program, as well as gathering information on what is working in the field of pedagogy and the arts in the Caribbean. To date, there has been one face-to-face meeting in the Dominican Republic and one virtual meeting, which will be complemented by a second face-to-face meeting from May 3-7 at Alice Yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad, as well as two virtual meetings in April and July, in which colleagues and friends with experience in the arts and culture of the Caribbean and its diaspora will participate and have participated. Interested members of the public are encouraged to contact the organizers if they are interested in participating in any of these meetings.
In this first phase, RAY|RAYO|RAYON is supported by the Caribbean Cultural Initiative of the Pérez Art Museum of Miami, the Mellon Foundation, the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico, Beta-Local, Alice Yard, and the National Botanical Garden of the Dominican Republic, as well as the collaboration of regional arts organizations, individual artists, curators, and other local and international cultural workers. Likewise, this year RAY|RAYO|RAYON seeks to expand its institutional alliances to manage resources that will allow the program to continue in 2024.
In order to draw a different path from the university discourse of the master’s degree and the museum discourse of artistic genius and aesthetic autonomy, RAY|RAYO|RAYON seeks to propose an open curriculum, a trajectory that adapts and emerges from each place, its people and material conditions; therefore, it is interested in collaborating with formal academic programs to complement its objective, as well as taking advantage of all the training modalities that exist in the region, both academic and self-directed.
RAY|RAYO|RAYON takes as its starting point the popular and anti-colonial Caribbean genealogy, in order to propose escape routes that are attentive to people, in order to inaugurate open, porous, impure, and flexible spaces of co-thinking that do not exclude —literally, that do not exclude people for lack of previous degrees or qualifications—to allow for the transmission, construction and circulation of knowledge derived from artistic, poetic and aesthetic practices, as well as popular expressions from throughout the Caribbean and its diaspora, related to emancipatory practices, wherever they take place.
A face-to-face meeting to be held May 3-7, 2023 at Alice Yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Virtual meetings to be held on April 11, 2023 and July (date to be confirmed).