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La Tierra Prometida (The Promised Land)
Installation by Brian Buckley, on view in the vestibule of 107 Suffolk St. (the front entrance to the Clemente) comprised of gold leaf, LED lights, and recorded voices. The installation acts as a beacon of light and sound in honor of Public-School number 160, built on this site in 1893, and the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Education Center who occupies and manages the building today. Taking the challenge to honor both the school and the center’s namesake poet, the artist chose to engage the visitors and residents as they enter and leave the building. The experience of light reflecting from composite gold throughout the entrance highlights the building’s history, meanwhile Clemente Soto Velez’s poem La Tierra Prometida # 18 is heard overhead on a loop (recited by Nancy Mercado and Urayoán Noel). The words themselves echo throughout the building to symbolize unity among all who enter and leave The Clemente, in the past, the present and the future.