Winners of the First Woodcarving Competition Blessed John Paull II are Awarded
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Plaza Las Américas-“PLAZA de Santos” initiated today with the exhibition of the first pieces of the “Woodcarving Competition Blessed John Paul II” and the “Saints Dress Exhibition” of the Women's Woodcarving Collective Group. The fair will be held in the corridors of the mall during this Holy Week, until April 7.
Plaza Las Américas convened local artisans to participate in this first class event in honor of John Paul II, who in his only visit to Puerto Rico in 1984 celebrated a Mass on the grounds of Plaza Las Américas. A jury composed of Dr. José Antonio Pérez Ruiz, P. Luis Guillermo Rivera and Pavlova Mezquida Greber, analyzed in detail each of the pieces submitted and chose winners in first, second, third and fourth place and five honorable mentions were recognized during the opening of Plaza de Santos in the Grand Court.
The first prize went to the artisan Evelyn Vázquez for her piece "A step towards peace." The second prize went to the artisan José René Rivera, the third to Ibsen Peralta, and the fourth to Isaac Laboy for his piece titled "Spiritual Gathering." The five honorable mentions went to: Isabel Quiñones, Augustine Carrero, Leonel González González and Julian Emanuel Nieves.
"The process to choose the winners was arduous due to the elements that had to be taken in to consideration, which go beyond formal aesthetics. Considerations such as projection of spirituality, meditation, or even mystical qualities were important elements. After examining all the pieces, we selected a number that, in addition to their aesthetic and emotional value, have intrinsic attributes of character to be honored," reads the jury's award dated March 28.
All participating pieces on this exhibition will be on display during the week in PLAZA, as well as the exposure of Saints Apparel from the Women's Woodcarving Collective Group. “Saints to Dress” are images that represent various Christian liturgical invocations of saints, which played an important religious function, mostly domestic cult and churches during the past centuries. Unlike traditional carving of Santos, where the body is completely carved, in “Saints to Dress” only the face and hands are carved and the body is covered by clothing.
During the opening ceremony, Jaime Fonalledas, President of Plaza Las Américas said, "We hope that this new competition helps with the promotion of a new tradition of carving inspired by a Friend of the Earth since May 2011, Blessed, John Paul II who has been recognized as Blessed of the Catholic Church. So we can ask for his intercession to our Lord to fill with blessings our beloved Puerto Rico."
In addition to these exhibits, visitors can see “Plaza de Santos” and acquire other creations like Bible covers, outfits baptism, rosaries, altar cloths, paintings and other craft demonstrations related to the topic.
For more information on “Plaza de Santos” and calendar of activities, call 787-767-5202.