With the assistance of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the VCHT maintains a collection of artifacts from the Pre-Columbian era, and artifacts from the historic sugar cane economy in Puerto Rico.
When the Trust was first formed in 1985
there was considerable interest in the archeological work being carried out by archeologists Luis Chanlatte and Ivonne Narganes from the Archaeological Research Center of the Museum of the University of Puerto Rico as they had found artifacts that supported the theory that early inhabitants of Vieques came from South America.
The Trust supported the publication of the results of the investigation in 1989, which coincided with the opening of the museum in the Trust building in Esperanza.
The space has also been used as a gallery throughout the years, featuring shows from dozens of artists.
An important role for the Museum Gallery has been to generate changing exhibitions of art and visual material to complement the larger mission of the VCHT to “foster, protect and conserve the environmental, archaeological and cultural resources of Vieques”.
Two exhibitions from 2020 are examples
The VCHT Mangrove Project: The Art of Lulu Atkin, Xavier Cortada, Ernesto Peña to support the replanting of the mangroves to protect our famous Bioluminescent Bay Puerto Mosquito after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
Waves for Manta: The Art of Nancy Hogan Armour, also with work by Manta kids, supported the 2020 Manta Education Program, with 80% of the art sales going to our award-winning Manta Program.
After an extended closure because of COVID, the space has reopened under the direction of the newly formed Museum and Gallery Committee: Robert Marino, curator of the permanent museum collection; Myrna Pagan, first president of the VCHT; Ignacio Pla Lopez de Murillas, realtor and designer, Elizabeth L Langhorne, art historian and VCHT board member, and most recently Ibo, chef and student of art history and anthropology.
In addition to generating changing Museum Gallery exhibitions, an important charge of the new committee is to help manage the permanent collection of the VCHT
The committee recently organized an opening on February 11, 2023 of a new art exhibition celebrating the cultural resources of Vieques: Taino Traditions Old and New: The Art of Daniel Silva and Nitza Tufiño.
The Taino people lived in Puerto Rico at the time of Columbus' arrival
Silva who lives in Vieques is a master craftsman and artist of Taino ritual objects and tools. Tufiño is a master printmaker at the New York based Rafael Tufiño Taller Boricua Print Workshop whose linocut prints invoking Taino myths of creation won her the public art commission of embellishing the 103rd St subway stop on the Lexington Line in New York City.
Time remains to visit the exhibition to acquaint yourself with the Neo-Boriken prints of Nitza Tufino and the ferocity of the head of the dujo, the traditional seat of the Taino cacique or chieftain, carved by Daniel Silva.
To accommodate Manta students and summer visitors the exhibition has now been extended to the end of November.
100% of the sales of Nitza Tufino's work will go to the Trust!
Come visit us and see further transformations!