Last Friday, with dignitaries and civic hoopla, the new home of the ICA – the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami – was inaugurated in the Design District. It was an exuberant kick-off to Miami’s Art Week.
But even then, the air was much quieter behind the new museum building, in its patio sculpture garden. In that more contemplative space, one immense sculpture stood out – not only because it’s striking but because it’s achingly somber. And because it’s very timely.
Irma Rivera Aviles and Ivan Martínez finally got power back in their home in Cataño last Friday afternoon.
"Christmas has arrived!" Rivera Aviles said ecstatically on Monday.
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, causing Rivera Aviles and Martínez to evacuate to a shelter for more than a week. When they returned to their home in a section of Cataño called El Pueblito, they found it badly damaged, as the storm had blown off part of the roof.
It's been two months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. But more than half the U.S. island territory's residents still have no electricity. A fifth still don't have running water. And so far there's no reliable official death toll from the storm – even though it's becoming apparent that hundreds more died than first reported.