THE HEART OF A CULTURE The Santos of Xavier Colón Marrero Celebrates the Work of Brilliant, Young Puerto Rican Carver


The Thomas Center Galleries announce a new exhibition, THE HEART OF A CULTURE The Santos of Xavier Colón Marrero, which premiers Saturday, Sept. 27 and runs through Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.

Curated by Héctor Puig, this exhibition will feature more than 25 carved “Santos” representing the Virgin Mary in various manifestations. Though the period from the latter half of the 18th century through the beginning of the 1960s has been called the “golden age” of Santos carving, the tradition remains strong today with carvers (santeros) like the 23 year-old Xavier Colón, who was just honored with the prestigious title of Puerto Rico’s Young Artisan of the Year.

The exhibition’s opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 27 from 6-9 p.m., with a number of Puerto Rico’s most renowned santeros in attendance. Music will be provided by Gilberto de Paz.

Images from the exhibition can be found here

THE HEART OF A CULTURE The Santos of Xavier Colón Marrero exhibition is a part of Por Amor al Arte, a community collaboration celebrating Latino culture which includes exhibitions in the University Gallery, Grinter Gallery, 4Most Gallery and Oak Hall’s Cofrin Gallery, as well as the Gainesville Latino Film Festival and the Free Friday’s Concert Series Sept. 26 performance the Latin fusion music of Tropix at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza.

The Thomas Center Galleries are located at 302 NE Sixth Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The galleries are closed for observed holidays. For additional gallery information, please contact Russell Etling, interim cultural affairs manager, at 352-393-8532 or visit