The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A.P.E. Gallery presents: La casa de abuela Created by award winning storyteller Michelle Falcón Fontánez

WHAT: A.P.E. Gallery presents: La casa de abuela
             Created by award winning storyteller, Michelle Falcón Fontánez
WHEN: July 12-18. Gallery open Monday - Saturday, 2-5 pm, & Friday, 2-8pm or by appointment
WHERE: 126 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060 

La casa de abuela is a multimedia series that recreates fragments of an abandoned Puerto Rican grandmother’s home in the countryside, displaying the belongings that the family had to leave behind. The videos and audio playing, depict sounds of the island as well as anecdotes and conversations from the people who lived there. The interactive installation allows visitors to walk through the home, transporting them to a piece of the island.

The house in this form symbolizes the thousands of Puerto Rican families that have been displaced because of colonialism, economic recessions, natural disasters, and overall lack of opportunities for a sustainable life. The interactive installation transports visitors to a fragmented moment in the past, allowing them to come to terms with the loss of home.

For this iteration, the home’s kitchen table will be the sole section featured given that it is the centerpiece in many households across cultures.

About the Artist: 

Michelle Falcón Fontánez is an award winning storyteller working in photography, film, theater and installation art. Michelle has witnessed and personally experienced injustices that have shaped her views of the world, motivating her pursuit of making change through art. Her artistry has primarily focused on social issues, where she has created work to illuminate voices that have not been heard.

Project: "A Call to our Ancestors"

Michelle's early work consists of solo producing a women-focused documentary on the impacts of the economic crisis of Puerto Rico before Hurricane María. Since then, Michelle has expanded her work on Puerto Rico, establishing a grassroots group, Reclaim Puerto Rico (RPR), whose mission is to support entrepreneurship efforts on the island through yearly art fundraisers.

This project will also include paintings for sale by Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegria, a Puerto Rican historian with a Master's in Economics from SNHU, New Hampshire, whose work embodies her experience under Juracán María in the city of Guayama, Puerto Rico, her birth place.

Anaya-Alegria is a feminist painter in line with the figurative, abstract, poetry, and assemblage art movements. She began painting in 1995 in the city of Northampton, Massachusetts with famed African American watercolorist Richard Yarde who taught her how to paint Black people with their golden hues.

Additionally, the residency will include a fundraising event for Reclaim Puerto Rico, co-founded by the artist and whose mission is to support entrepreneurship on the island through yearly art fundraisers.

This project is made possible by support from:
Northampton Arts Council, Emerson Enhancement Fund and Boston Building Resources

La casa de abuela July 11-18

The gallery will be open Monday - Saturday, 2-5 pm, & Friday, 2-8pm (or by appointment) A.P.E. requires mask-wearing for unvaccinated visitors and may limit the gallery capacity.

For more information please visit A.P.E.’s website, here:

Lisa Thompson,
Meredith Bove,
126 Main Street ~ Northampton, MA 01060
Tel. 413.586-5553 ~

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