It’s been seven years since Puerto Rico’s seen an international arts fair, but that’s no indication of its art offerings. The island’s buoyant scene is mainly kept afloat by DIY and grassroots work, not outside investors or collectors. In contemporary art, the Caribbean in general is often left out of the conversation—but that dialogue is about to hear a loud interjection from new art fair MECA, (short for Mercado Caribeño).



En unas semanas, del 1 al 4 de junio, comienza la primera edición de MECA (Mercado Caribeño) una feria de arte que agrupa artistas locales e internacionales, veteranos y emergentes, como muestra del quehacer cultural que sucede en la Isla y en el Caribe.

El evento, que convertirá al Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico en una gran galería comercial en pleno Santurce, exhibirá piezas de diferentes medios artísticos dando espacio a piezas plásticas y performáticas.



“MECA viene siendo esa esperanza de crear un mercado que no existe en Puerto Rico. Queremos unificarnos y, aunque sea por una semana, ser un foro de exposición para el ‘scouting’ de artistas locales. De ahí pueden firmarlos, pueden terminar en alguna bienal o creando nuevas exhibiciones”, resaltó [Tony Rodríguez, director y co-fundador].



MECA—shorthand for Mercado Caribeño (Caribbean Market)—comes at a time when art fairs are a staple of any big city. In 2014, Baez and Rodriguez met through mutual friends and discovered a year later, during arteBA in Buenos Aires, that they had a common dream: creating a contemporary art fair that would round up the top players in the Caribbean art scene.



Puerto Rico has fallen on hard times. The island’s debt crisis has peaked and it bears a striking resemblance to the financial collapses of Greece and Detroit. Last May saw a $422 million default become the biggest municipal default of bond payments in United States history, and with another $72 billion in unpayable debt looming on the horizon as well. Congress imposed a federal fiscal board, which has taken control of Puerto Rico's government. Things don’t look promising for anyone.


Armario Local

MECA will be the encounter by excellence for the Caribbean art market, made up of a great variety of young artists and galleries; consequently, making local art to be more accessible. The main objective is to create new collectors and educate in favor of the investment in art, a growing market with great beneficially strategic profitable opportunities that are worth investing in, more than ever.



Back in the capital, art collectors will gather in June for the inaugural editions of MECA (Mercado Caribeño), which will bring together 40 local [and International] galleries for this new, smaller-scale international art fair.



Now there’s another compelling excuse to head down to this beautiful island—the launch of MECA (which stands for MErcado CAribeño, that’s Spanish for “Caribbean Market”), a buzzy art show whose goal is to focus on the broad range of artistic talent in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.