House of Puerto Rico San Diego  
line decor
line decor

PR Culture Art Classes:
by Emily Velez-Confer

Puerto Rican FlagJoin us again in 2009 as Emily Velez-Confer resumes her classes in Puerto Rican-inspired Art. Here the young and young-in-heart can come together and explore cherished Puerto Rican traditions through art. To reserve a spot, send your RSVP to Emily. Five dollar ($5) donation for materials are greatly appreciated.

Art Classes 2009

February 21, 2009
Puerto Rican Flag
1:00 - 3:00pm
March 28, 2009
El Coqui (read article)
1:00 - 3:00pm

Art Class in March 2009

Special Classes:
A special class has been added to facilitate fathers & sons (or mothers with sons) to make vejigante masks to participate in the Vejigantes dance troop. This dance troop (a precursor to the new Jovenes Boricuas) will accompany the Reinitas Borincanas in folk dance performances throughout the year. If your son is interested in joining, please contact Emily Velez-Confer for details.

Art Classes 2008

Art ClassesLate in 2008 art classes were offered to the Members of the House of Puerto Rico. These art classes were offered the second Saturday of August, September and October which were well received and attended.

August’s class focused on
– Puerto Rican Snow Cones

Almost every child has special memories of having piragua so I thought this would be a wonderful what to start the art class series.

I wrote a short story which I read to the children and parents in attendance, coloring pages with visuals of the piragua man and his cart were colored by all in attendance.  Each child was able to create a piragua made out of an actual pointed cup and paper for the syrupy ice.

As a special surprise, each child got a real piragua to enjoy. They selected from two favored syrups and away they went.

Making a piragua ..........Enjoying a refreshing piragua

September Art Class 2008September’s class focused on
Masks – Puerto Rican Carnival Masks

Many of us have heard of and learned about the Vejigantes – Puerto Rican Carnival Characters, but so many of us have never see an actual mask.

During September’s art class each child and parent had the opportunity to have a photo taken with a real Loiza mask, see the mask in use with the full costume as represented in a poster by Samuel Linz.

Kids with Vejigante masksFrom there they received coloring sheets with different types of costumes and masks, made a mask out of construction paper and painted miniature masks out of walnuts (donated by Ralph Costas).

October’s class focused on
Los Tres Reyes -  the Three Kings tradition

Thankfully our Dia de Reyes tradition is alive and well in Puerto Rico.  The House of Puerto Rico celebrates each January during our first meeting of the year a culture corner and activity for the children to experience this tradition.

Best Three Kings art workSo earlier than usual a Three King art class was offered which allowed children to make Three King figures from Nestle Chocolate Milk Bottles by wrapping them with tissue paper. Their crowns came from the bottle lid, and each one had a face made of a wooden ball.

Each child decorated a crown and also was able to make a box with straw and decorate it to place under their bed on Jan 5 to feed the “horses” – in Puerto Rico we do not have camels. In turn a gift from a King would be left under their bed.

A special thank you to two friends of the House of Puerto Rico, Diane Martin and Kathy Gurling for their help and support during October’s class.

It was and is a privilege for me to offer these classes to our members, we have such a great time. I look forward to the art classes being offered in 2009.

Emily Velez-Confer, ArtistAbout Emily Velez-Confer, Artist

Born in San Antonio, Texas of Puerto Rican parents, Emily moved to the island with her family when she was one year old, and lived in San Juan for 19 years.  While growing up in Puerto Rico she traveled extensively around the island accompanying her father on many of his business and family trips and experienced the sights, sounds and cultural of the island.

Though Emily has since moved to California, and now resides in San Diego, she continues to explore the island with her father on visits that she makes regularly—always ready for a new experience or ready to reacquaint herself with something from her childhood.

From these special memories of her travels throughout Puerto Rico, the United States and Europe she has developed various creative approaches to record her memories.  One of her techniques is creating colored pencil illustrations in various sizes and creating miniature clay figurines.  She also has produced acrylic and watercolor paintings. 

AnnouncementShe completed one year at the University of Puerto Rico and then upon moving to California, received an AA degree from Long Beach Community College and a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from CalPoly, Pomona, California.

Emily currently works for Father Joe’s Villages® / St. Vincent de Paul Village as a traffic /production coordinator in the organization’s Communications Department. And though it has been many years since completing her studies in Fine Art, she is now refocusing her energy with a new found passion in her art during her free time.

Emily is a Life Time Member of the House of Puerto Rico as of June, 2002.  Her first fine art showings were for the House of Puerto Rico where she donated and continues to donate her art work to raise funds for La Casita. She works in colored pencil and does photography. All proceeds from the silent auction sales or any sales of her work goes directly to the House of Puerto Rico.

For the past three years she has been the coordinator of the Silent Auction for the Fiesta de Navidad/Christmas Gala for the HPRSD, as well. It is her desire to help promote and support Puerto Rican artists who live on the island or stateside.

As of August 2008, Emily has offered Cultural Art Classes at the House of Puerto Rico at the Casita Museum which is open to members and the general public.  These classes touch on learning about Puerto Rican culture and traditions in a fun way.

As of January 2009, Emily is the President of the House of Puerto Rico San Diego.


Copyright © 2017 House of Puerto Rico San Diego.