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MECA International Art Fair Enlists 27 Galleries, Spotlighting Arts Community in Puerto Rico

The 2018 edition of MECA

The 2018 edition of MECA.

COURTESY MECA

The MECA International Art Fair has announced the exhibitors for its third edition in Puerto Rico, with 27 galleries set to sell work at the Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina Española in Old San Juan from November 21 to 24. First-time participants include Misako & Rosen (of Tokyo), Anonymous (Mexico City), and Larrie (New York). Among the returning galleries are Bridget Donahue (New York), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (New York and Rome), and 47 Canal (New York).

MECA (short for Mercado Caribeño) has grown in size since its inaugural presentation in 2017, which included 15 main exhibitors. Danny Báez, cofounder of the fair, told ARTnews that now, “We have more people that depend on our performance.”

The fair’s curated section and its Mecanismos platform for young galleries will be overseen by Lizania Cruz and Luis Graham Castillo. Carla Acevedo-Yates, who joined the MCA Chicago as a curator earlier this year, has previously served as a guest curator for MECA.

Last year’s exhibition was held just 14 months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Although “there’s no way that an art fair can do much for recovery,” Báez said of the scale of the effort required, the event has aimed to shine a spotlight on the island’s vibrant cultural sector. To that end, MECA has established a partnership with Puerto Rico’s board of tourism through which the fair will highlight historical sites and local businesses for its visitors.

We’ve just been pushing for the betterment of the arts in Puerto Rico,” Báez said. “Bringing an international community of curators, artists, and dealers [to the island] is a way for us to say that, in the eye of the crisis, these people keep working and making the best of everything.”

Báez hopes that, after five presentations in Puerto Rico, the fair will expand to other locations. “This is an endeavor that is planned, eventually, to move to the whole Caribbean and touch down on other islands, including mine, the Dominican Republic.” 

The exhibitor list for the fair in San Juan follows in full below.

ANONYMOUS, Mexico City
Arróniz, Mexico City
47 Canal, New York
Bridget Donahue, New York
Bodega, New York
Catinca Tabacaru, New York
False Flag, New York and Brussels
Chapter NY, New York
DELI, New York
Embajada, San Juan
El Lobi, San Juan
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York and Rome
Good Weather, Little Rock
LARRIE, New York
LatchKey (New York)
Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago
Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brussels, and New York
Misako & Rosen, Tokyo
National, San Juan
Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City
PETRUS, San Juan
HOUSING NY, San Juan
Reyes/Finn, Detroit
Revólver, Lima and Buenos Aires
Samsøn Projects, Boston
The Green Gallery, Milwaukee
Two Pines, New York

Update 9/24/19, 12:10 p.m.: The MECA exhibitor list was updated to include an additional gallery, LatchKey (New York).

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