A peek into Samuel Lind's creative mind

How hard is it to convey the complexities of a culture with a few brushstrokes? Judging by the impressive work of Samuel Lind, it could take a lifetime. The renowned Loiza artist has dedicated years to finding the best creative approaches that help translate and bring to life the meaning, values, and feelings behind the Afro-Caribbean culture.

If you consider yourself a creative, getting a peek into Lind’s beautiful mind is truly a treat. His slightly hidden studio on Road 187 in Sector Medianía Alta is like finding the heart and soul of our island. It’s bright, warm and full of color — a wooden beach house neatly curated with his best pieces and many interesting artifacts of the island’s past.

While we haven’t been there in a couple of years, I still remember how humbled I felt by Lind’s work and the knowledge captured in every painting and sculpture. It’s easy to realize how little we really know about our island or even, how little we celebrate it. 

What really made this trip special, however, was having the opportunity to meet Lind himself. He was incredibly kind to take us on a cultural journey of beautiful warm colors and contagious rhythm. As we moved from one cozy room to another, one painting would highlight the story of the African Yoruba tribe and another showcased how our Taino ancestors found a home on the island. My favorite paintings were probably the ones where Lind celebrates the power of finding your muse in nature.

This is like no museum we’ve ever been to.

Along with his art, a variety of artifacts naturally complemented each of the stories. You’ll see old sculpture molds that are art pieces in itself, as well as saint figurines, a Taino-style stone chair, oil lamps and all kind of trinkets (colgalejos). All of it makes for an evolving and fascinating tribute to Loíza. 

When it comes to his creative medium, Lind enjoys playing with clay, paint, metal, wood and found artifacts —whatever he needs to tell the story right. More recently, he’s also been creating his own organic, non-toxic paint using natural ingredients like annatto. Developing new instruments to work with is also an important part of his process.

His talent was recognized at an early age by one of his school teachers. He decided to enroll at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan back in the ‘70s, alongside artists like Augusto Marín and José Alicea. He told us that he learned “from here and there,” but his goal was always to celebrate Loiza, its beauty and old wisdom.

Lind has been particularly recognized for his ability to capture moments and our collective thinking: the islander’s joie de vivre, our struggles, our dreams and everything that we value. His energy and desire to share our culture are also injected in his work. 

When we thought we had seen it all in his studio, Lind found another way to surprise us.

“Let me show you what I have in the back,” he said with his signature smile. Just like that, another dimension of his personal universe opened up. Lind shared with us his workspace with all his work in progress. We had a chance to see his mind at work and it was an incredible experience. For those who can appreciate the beauty of the creative process, there are no words to how special it was to see this.

Lind reminded us that each and every one of us plays a big role in supporting and preserving our culture. With the right education and access to our island’s creative minds, we can put an end to indifference and help others find meaning in art. By inspiring future generations to make it a part of their lives, we can also help preserve our collective stories and history.

Find Samuel Lind Facebook Page! Click here.

And more pictures!

More of his workshop. 

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