In June 2007, Galería Cemí launched Cemí Underground, a Puerto Rican/Latino cultural outlet that sells books, t-shirts, art, music, and produces cultural events including a constantly changing art exhibition. Cemí Underground was founded by graphic artist Luís Cordero and Séry Colón, an actor who once owned Agüeybaná Bookstore on the
What is a “Cemí?” Luís Cordero, describes a cemí is as “a sacred object which is the artistic representation of a guardian spirit or deity that was skillfully carved in stone, bone, cotton, wood and rock by the Taíno indigenous people of the Caribbean.”
Luís Cordero says he and Sery Colón launched Cemí Underground “with the goal of establishing an entity that would add another voice to the desperately few voices promoting and proclaiming our art and artists to the world.”
At Cemí Underground you will find published works about Julia de Burgos, Puerto Rican nationalist leader, Don Pedro Albizú Campos, salsero Héctor Lavoe, and writings describing the Taíno and African heritage of
A modest art gallery space has exhibited up-and-coming artists like painter, Yasmín Hernández, photographer, Elena “Mamarazzi”
Cemí Underground also has a growing music section that features CDs by
However, Cemí Underground is the only store where you will find graphic t-shirts with indigenous Taíno symbols and silk-screened designs featuring Don Pedro Albizú Campos and Ché Guevara. Some of these designs, by store owner and graphic artist, Luís Cordero, are featured here in this editorial, “Orgullo Latino,” shot by Puerto Rican social worker, teacher, community activist, puppeteer and established photographer, Ricardo Muñiz (www.myspace.com/coquichuloimages).
To purchase any of the t-shirts featured here for only $12 and up or any of their other products, go to www.galeriacemi.com.