Summary of fulfilled and finished projects in 2005


The Park project:

This public art project located at the very heart of Perquin, “el parque”/ the park conveyed the re-building/ re-covering of the the main plaza, located directly in the heart of Perquin facing the Major’s office and the Church. The recuperation of the two existing murals of the park was followed by the ambitious project of urban planning.

The floor plan of the plaza is designed in quarter circles. In each quarter circle there is a garden with seating areas. These spaces are separated one from the other through low walls. It is on those low walls that we created the decorative patterns that changed the face of the park.

The project was carried on in collaboration and partnership with the community. The decorative patterns selected upon the walls defined triangular surfaces. Each person who painted one of those areas as a field with saturated color mixed with white.In this way, the triangular shapes travel, elegantly, around and across the park as a chain of changing colors.

In addition to that we added a new component: “mosaics” located on the steps of the circulation area and around the “kiosko. CCA students, artist friend Lynn Mauser Bain together with Valeria Galliso and Claudia Bernardi and the community of Perquin, designed, applied and created a mosaic decoration with discarded ceramic tails collected in Perquin and in near by locations.

Mural del Medioambiente/ Mural about the Environment

This project recovered and preserved a mural painted in 2001 by Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso in partnership with children and youth of Perquin. This year, many of the original artists assisted by many more, secured the images of this mural depicting the destruction of the environment as well as the powerful effect of communal work to preserve and recover the health of the environment.

Mural of the Central Park of Perquin:

Perquin Plaza ProjectIn 2001, Claudia Bernardi painted a mural in a central wall of the municipal park of Perquin. In this year of 2005, Claudia Bernardi recovered and painted the mural depicting vernacular life of Morazán, folklore traditions as the Dancers of Cacaopera, agriculture and hopes of the communities, including young men and women studying and getting university degrees.

Sculptural Garbage Containers

Environment ProjectSculptural Garbage Containers were created with recycled materials ( bamboo, etc). Initially, two finished prototypes were placed in two locations in Perquin to establish if they actually worked. Upon observation we realized that they did work! The prototypes were repeated and several sets of “Organic and Inorganic” garbage cans were placed at selected locations in Perquin.

The garbage containers were designed by CCA students Gardner Goetze and Christina Samuelson who visited Perquin in June/ July in partnership with Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso. The garbage containers were painted and created in partnership with children and youth of Perquin.

Medioambiente v Separacion de Desechos Sólidos

Environment and Garbage Awareness

Garbage in Perquin is a HUGE problem. There is garbage everywhere and there is also an apparent apathy, impunity, ignorance or bad habits related to the way people throw garbage everywhere.

This project was an effort in which the School of Art and Open Studio partook responsibility with a group of 24 students (ages 9 to 15) from the Middle School, Escuela Panamericana, the Health Unit and the Major’s Office.

The projects was divided in 4 steps:

1) Students carried on interviews amongst friends, families and the

community at large, trying to identify if the interviewees thought that Perquin had a “garbage problem”. If so, the students would ask to come up with a possible solution. Or, to provide a suggestion to resolve the garbage problem. They would interest the interviewed parties to come up with a phrase, slogan that would identify the sentiment, wish/ desire of the community in regards of this major health problem.

2) Students created an image and selected a slogan and, or phrase, to be used in a stencil project to be disseminated all over Perquin and near by communities.

3) Students created the stencils

4) On July 31, students, in partnership with the community, disseminated the created stencils all over Perquin, Casa Blanca, El Achiote, Comunidad 10 de Enero, Pueblo Viejo, Colonia Los Pinos and Arenales.

Mural at the Public Library: “Biblioteca Popular Camino de Brasas”

The final project was wonderful, inspiring and welcome by everyone!

In 2001, Valeria and I, in collaboration with children ages 3 to 7, painted a mural at the Centro Infantil Rogelio Ponceele. This year we were asked to paint a similar mural facing the existing one.

A beautiful mural was painted in June by the children of the Centro Infantil in partnership with CCA students Juliette Oken, Amelia Bureman, Janice Gramby and Samantha Sage together with Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso.

The final mural is a joy of color and the gift of the children’s paintings depicting the aspects of Perquin they love the most, including trees and butterflies, birthday parties and beloved people and animals.

On the walls of the Public Library of Centro Infantil, Valeria Galliso and Claudia Bernardi in partnership with CCA student Daniel Panko painted a mural with the image of Monseñor Romero and Rogelio Ponceele. The best part of that mural is to see the children finding their own resemblance and celebrating that they are with Monseñor Romero and Rogelio!

Mural at CEBES

One of the most successful projects completed until now is the mural painted at the house of CEBES. The subject matter of this 8×12 feet mural depicts a “Last Supper” scene. “La Ultima Cena de Morazán” . The guests to this last supper are:

Monseñor Romero, Monseñor Gerardi, Martin Luther King Jr., Hermana Silvia, Anastasio Aquino, Octavio Ortiz, and selected beloved people from Morazán who have lived and died for their ideals.

In this mural, collaboratively conceived and executed, many people took place in an active role as artists: CCA students: Daniel Panko, Christina Samuelson, Thia Jennings, Barbara Denier, Samantha Sage, Amelia Bureman, Benedict Flanigan, and Juliette Oken.

Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso in collaboration with participants of the School of Art have taken a strong role in the painting of the mural: Rigo Rodriguez, Rosa del Carmen Argueta, David Claros, Felix Gonzalez, Nora Claros and Aristides Argueta.

Mural del Deporte/ Sports Mural

Children and youth in Perquin are very fond and even passionate about football (soccer). They requested a mural about sports, mostly soccer and basketball, to be created and located at the soccer field of downtown Perquin.

This mural was designed, created and executed by Valeria Galliso in collaboration with the local children and youth, sport enthusiasts.

Mural at the Cultural Center and Music School Paco Cutumay, Community of Segundo Montes

Mia Vercruysse, Director of Grupo Morazán, and a dear friend, suggested that we would paint a mural in the building of the Cultural and Art Center and Music School Paco Cutumay in San Luis, community of Segundo Montes.

This enormous undertaking included a mural that surrounded the whole building. In the front of the building, the musicians had requested the presence of Ali Primera (Venezuela) and Victor Jara, (Chile).

Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso, in partnership with Claudia Verenice Flores Escolero and Rosa del Carmen Argueta together with the musicians of Grupo Morazán concluded the mural in early November, 2005.

The result is marvelous! An opening reception and inauguration took place on November 14, at 4 PM. It was a beautiful day of celebration in which the entire community of Segundo Montes came to make of the mural their personal patrimony.

Mural at the Youth Center of FECANM in Torola:

Ruth and Noé Martinez, Directors of Grupo de Danza and Música Andina de Perquin, suggested that a mural would be painted in a house that was going to be recovered by FECANM ( Agricultural Federation of the North of Morazán) in Torola.

The house had been a bakery for several years but it had been totally abandoned for the last five years. When we arrived to the building we recognized that the whole project would be a lot more demanding than expected.

Claudia Bernardi, Valeria Galliso, Claudia Verenice Flores Escolero, Rosa del Carmen Argueta, Noé and Ruth Martinez, in partnership with more than 25 youth from Torola embarked on a huge project of recovery of the building, painting and the creation of a new mural façade and an interior mural painted collaboratively by the young men and women of the Youth group.

It is almost impossible to parallel the photographs of the building when we first arrived and the documentation of the final and accomplished project! In this simple “before and after” verification we are reaffirmed of the power of art and its transforming quality.

An opening and celebration was held on November 4. Music, dance, art and friendship gathered to welcome the new Youth building in Torola.

Mural in the Institute of San Julián, Sonsonate:

In October of 2004, Claudia Bernardi was invited to attend and be a presenter at an international conference that took place at NYU where the topic of investigation and open forum was the Massacre of 1932 in Izalco, El Salvador, known as “La Matanza/ The Killing”.

It was in that conference that Claudia Bernardi met Doña Julia Ama, direct descendant of José Feliciano Ama, the indigenous leader that commanded the uprising of 1932. Doña Julia Ama, currently is the director of a school in Izalco, the very location where the massacre once took place. Ms. Ama is an activist and committed leader of her community and among the money aspects that she has recovered as educational strategies in her school is the teaching of Nahualtl the indigenous language spoken by the elders and totally lost after the massacre. Today, in this small school of Izalco , all children are bilingual, Spanish- Nahuatl.

It was in this school that Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso met Professor Alejandro from San Julian, Sonsonate. Professor Alejandro invited Claudia and Valeria to paint a mural with a group of young men and women at the regional school of San Julian.

The experience and the result of the mural are not only beautiful, but a success at many levels! The final piece is wonderful! a mural painted collaboratively by 17 young men and women, ages 15 to 21, who had never painted before but who were able to create together, paint together and come across a new world of inspiration through this process.

But, perhaps, even more important, it is the fact that they were able to recognize their own creative process. It is astonishing to see, even after so many decades and generations, the effect of the massacre of 1932 in the young people of today. They explained to us at the beginning of the process, that they were “unable” to be creative, that they were not accustomed to expect something different that what they had always known.

In this experience of collaborative mural painting, it seems as if a new seed was planted: The seed of hope towards seeing different options, beautiful possibilities of collaboration and art.

It was a hugely successful project because the participants loved it, because they were committed to carry on the painting of new murals and because they stated that they were proud of what they had done.


Colectivo de Mujeres/ Women’s Collective

Since 1985 a group of women, leaders of their communities, have created this Colectivo de Mujeres, where the women design and carry on a variety of projects. After Argentine artist Inés Talon came in May to conduct a series of workshops on textiles and weavings, the women have added textile art to their many activities.

They have created beautiful textiles and weavings created and sold at the Festival de Invierno during the first week of August.

CCA student, Thia Jennings, created a booklet in collaboration with the women of the collective that depicts the history, the vision and the intent of this group of women. The booklets contain linocut images created by the women themselves. The booklets were sold accompanying the textile pieces. In this way, whoever bought the textile or weaving piece had the chance to learn about the collective of women.

Printmaking projects created by the Women’s Collective:

With the concept and the experience of the textiles and weavings created in the textile workshop conducted by Argentine artists Inés Talón, five women of the Women’s Collective, Emérita, Vilma, Lola, Eufemia and Angelita, created a series of linoleum prints that were exhibited and , eventually, sold , in the context of the Festival de Invierno, Winter’s Festival.

Printed on BFK paper, the linoleum cuts are representative of the textiles created in May. Edition of five prints in each portfolio and two “Artist’s Proof”


“Asi Vemos Perquin”/ The Children of Perquin See Perquin in This Way

CCA student, Barbara Denier, created a wonderful project in which digital cameras were lent to children and youth of Perquin. They went around town, exploring the beauty of the landscape and capturing everything they saw in images. The result is a fabulous photography book that tells us how the children and youth of Perquin see our community.

The created book was donated to the Library of the Centro Infantil.

The project was so successful that 9 images were selected to be reproduced in the format of sets of postcards.

Festival de Invierno/ Winter Festival

From August 1 to August 6, Perquin held the Winter Festival which attracts national and international public. Within this context, the School of Art and Open Studio created an Art Exhibition featuring the art created in the our classes and workshops.

The following areas were represented: Textile art, Paintings of Self Portraits, drawings of self-portraits, Still Life, Children Art, Photography and Printmaking.

It is important to remember that all the art works exhibited were created between April and July 2005 and one could easily say, none of the participants had done any art, previous to this year.

Their works are astonishing!!!! It is inspiring to work with so many talented people!!!!

Fiesta Patronal/ Patron of Our Community Celebration

The Patron of Perquin is the Virgin of Transit and her celebration takes place on August 15.

For this occasion we created a piece of ephemeral art: a chalk mural on the main street of Perquin where over 25 children participated. It was very beautiful and very well received. Unfortunately, the August rains washed away the images. We have to start thinking of another mural!!!

Memoria Historica/ Historic Memory

Since last year a group of 40 young men and women, ages 11 to 22, has been working under the sponsorship of CEBES to interview, collect and transmit the testimony and memories of the elderly of their communities such as Perquin, Jocoaitique, Villa El Rosario, San Fernando, Torola, La Seiba, Monseñor Romero, El Progreso and El Mozote.( after being rebuilt and re populated after the massacre of 1981)

These young men and women have been collecting moving and unique information about the history of their communities before, during and after the armed conflict.

The School of Art and Open Studio proposed that this written collection would be accompanied by images in the form of woodcuts as to create a print / suit portfolio of prints and text.

There was a first meeting held on July 2 in a beautiful setting: “El Bailadero del Diablo” / “The Devil’s Dance Floor”, where the participants were introduced to the technique of woodcuts and first sketches were created. A second meeting took place on August 13. The proofing of the woodcut plates was conducted. The results were astonishing! The prints needed very few changes. We started printing the final pieces on September 10 and the production of the suit of woodcuts was accomplished in October.

Being in the North of Morazán, where so many people have died during the war, where so many other have exiled themselves, there is a palpable need to locate, register and make sure that the treasures of memory are preserved in order to endure the linage of the people of these communities.

The participants of Memoria Histórica/ Historic Memory have been borrowing the testimonies of the elders to turn them into beautiful images created from woodblocks.

The results are dearly moving, astonishingly powerful and extremely beautiful. Printed on BFK Rives paper, the portfolios are in editions of 5 with two “Artist’s Proof” portfolios. The final accomplishment of this project is the creation and publication of a book containing the recovered testimonies and the woodcuts. The publisher of this short edition will be the University of Central America (UCA) . The woodcuts will be exhibited in the last exhibition of the School of Art and Open Studio of Perquin on November 17, 2005.

Holy Week Carpet, March 27-29

Claudia Bernardi in partnership with a group of young men and women designed and created a commemorative carpet using exclusively natural and indigenous materials such as seeds, sand, corn, flour, grass, Izote flowers, etc. This piece of ephemeral art was located on a central street of Perquin and it won the First Prize of this year’s Carpet Competition.


*International Women’s Day Banner, March 8

In collaboration and in partnership with a group of young men and women, Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso designed and created a banner in commemoration of International Women’s Day, The text of the banner read: “Women have the rights to: Think, Feel, Do, Walk About, Give”

*Banner for the Community of “Las Raíces”, July 2005

Valeria Galliso in partnership with Thia Jennings designed and created a banner in commemoration of 162 people who died in the community of Las Raíces during the armed conflict in El Salvador, 1980-1992.

*Winter Festival Banners, August 1-6

Claudia Bernardi designed and created five banners that were used to identify areas for merchants and tourists during the Winter Festival, August 1 –6.

*Independence Day Banner, September 2005

Claudia Bernardi and Valeria Galliso designed and created two banners in commemoration of two women who were pivotal characters in the independence wars of El Salvador during the XIX century.


TALLERES de ARTE: Capacitaciones de Arte/ Art workshops

Workshops for Adults: On Tuesday and Thursday nights we have between 35 to 45 people in the art workshops held at the Casa de la Cultura. We have been having these weekly art workshops since late March and they have been very well attended and a great success in terms of the art works created.

We have been transiting, color, theory of color and composition, Still Life and, most recently, we have been focusing on portraits. CCA student Christina Samuelson taught the participants how to prepare their own canvases! This has been a very successful and most cherished project because the participants are seeing their own artwork becoming ever more professional.

Children’s Workshops: On Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings we have been offering art workshops to children, ages 6 to 14. There are two different groups divided according to age, 6 to 10 and 11 to 14. We have an open agenda to teach painting, drawing, mask making, puppets, wood sculpture sketching for murals, etc.

We had up to 72 children in a single workshop!!!!!!! They even come in the middle of the heavy rains, walking from near by villages and always smiling.

In early August when the Festival de Invierno was over and we started a new “capacitación” we introduced printmaking. The participants have been creating monotypes and learning the basic steps of printing.

Textile and Weaving Workshop:

Argentine textile artist, Inés Talón came in May to designe and teach a class on textiles and weavings.

Twenty-five women of the North of Morazán, came to take this workshop creating in three weeks pieces of extreme maturity, beauty and complexity. The twenty-five women who took this workshop, did so, with the commitment of learning in order to teach the new techniques in their communities. Since June until now (and it will continue in the future) classes on weaving and textiles have been created in the communities of: San Fernando, Villa del Rosario, Agua Sarca, Torola, Monseñor Romero, Joateca, Jocoaitique, Arambala, Arenales, Los Pinos, Casa Blanca, Chauitón and Perquin.

Video Workshop

Video artist and filmmaker Penelope Price came in July to create and direct a video workshop with eight local women of Perquin. The workshop introduced the participants to the techniques of creating a film, producing a script, directing the production and ultimately editing the piece.

The result is a selection of “one minute” films called “Poemas de Morazán. Morazán Poems”. The beautiful and accomplished pieces were shown in a public screening on July 30.

Caricature Workshop

In August Salvadoran artist living in the US, Josué Rojas, came to Perquin to create and direct workshops with children and adults introducing them to the skills and fun of caricature portrait.

The participants of the workshops still talk about how much they laughed!

Printmaking Workshop

In August, Salvadoran artist living in the US, Carlos Cartagena, came to visit us in Perquin and he created and conducted a printmaking workshop introducing the participants to the technique of monotype.

Art History Workshop

In September, Salvadoran Art Historian Tatiana Reinoza, who currently resides in Austin Texas, came to create and develop a series of Art History workshops focusing on Salvadoran and Latin American art.

Video and Photo Documentation

Photo documentarist and video artist Jeff Fohl, visited us in September. During his week long visit Jeff was able to capture a large series of beautiful photographs of Perquin, of the art workshops and art activities. Jeff departed with the project of writing an article that will describe the mandate and activities of the School of Art and Open Studio of Perquin.


To all the participants of our art workshops, to all our guest artists, to the local institutions and, above all, to the community of Perquin who welcomed us open heartedly in this year of 2005, we want to express our gratitude, our appreciation and love and our commitment to return next year to continue the building of the Art School and Open Studio of Perquin.

We want to thank the Potrero Nuevo Fund and the San Carlos Foundation for their support in making this vision of art in Morazán possible.

We want to acknowledge and thank dear friends and independent donors who contributed in many ways to the creation of this project. Many of them donated funds, art materials, equipment, books, and , most importantly, ideas! That have given Valeria and I the strength and inspiration to make this Art School and Open Studio of Perquin a reality of art in the community.

To every one! Thank You Very Much!!! MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!!!!

Claudia Bernardi

Perquin , November 12, 2005.

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