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La Sagrada Familia at Home at Eastern

Published on March 17, 2015

La Sagrada Familia at Home at Eastern

he Author Series at J. Eugene Smith Library at Eastern Connecticut State University kicked off their new series of author lectures on the afternoon of March 12. Printmaking professor Imna Arroyo discussed her book, “La Sagrada Familia- The Sacred Family” to an audience of students, faculty, staff and community members. Arroyo, a practicing Catholic originally from Puerto Rico and of indigenous and African descent, borrowed the title from Christianity, but was inspired by trips to the west coast of Africa and to Cuba. The book, written in both Spanish and English, features prints, created by Arroyo, of 32 “Orisha”, or gods and deities, of the Yoruba Pantheon of West Africa.

“After the Atlantic slave trade, families and communities were broken. People re-established these necessary connections through a spiritual and religious family. The “Orisha” are all connected and related, and they also have a counterpoint Christian saint,” said Arroyo. Family was important to creating the book as well. Her daughter wrote the stories and praises that accompanies each of the images, in Spanish and English, and her son graphically designed each of the pages. The pages are not bound, Arroyo said, “Because the book is meant to be interactive.”

The pages were arranged around tables in the Current Periodicals lounge in the J. Eugene Smith Library, and the audience was encouraged to walk around, read and view all the pages. “Before this I was working on large installation projects, and so this book has been an exercise in condensing energy from large spaces to smaller works. It is still very complex.” Arroyo said, a copy of “La Sagrada Familia- The Sacred Family” will be kept in Special Collections section of the J. Eugene Smith Library.

Written by Kelsey Tuller

Categories: Library