New York, USA, 1962
New York, USA, 1962
Sculptor, ceramicist, and printmaker. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, Castañeda went to study in Florence at the Studio Art Center International. She then returned to Puerto Rico, where she had lived since 1970 after her family left Cuba. From 1985 to 1987 she took courses at Casa Candina. In 1990, she received honorable mention in the second Biennial of Contemporary Puerto Rican Ceramics, organized by Casa Candina. She has taught ceramics at several institutions during the past several years, including the Puerto Rico School of Plastic Arts, and has been an influential force in organizing art events, such as the Casa Candina Award: Biennial of Contemporary Puerto Rican Ceramics, since 1992. She has designed several publications. Her recent ceramics work employs rounded and hollow shapes that are projected from the walls as though hanging from fishing poles, or totemic shapes on the floor.
“Fragile, resistant; durable, fleeting; predictable, surprising;
free, limiting; hard… malleable,
opposite words that describe the vast ceramic medium.
Clay plays with the eyes and the hands of its handler,
with the water that wets it,
with the fire that dries it
and with the world that surrounds it,
to give form to that image sculpted in a thought.
Lookouts, lookouts and more lookouts…
Product of my inner game, of joys, sorrows and passions,
Game without rules, nor limitations,
Game of the imagination
that travels through my hands, without duty, nor obligation,
to tell stories of diverse inspiration.
Can we look from their interior? or can we only look them from the outside?
Can we inhabit them or is it that someone inhabits them?
And their stairs, to go up, to go down, to exit or to enter?
Are these lookuts for those who fly or for those who want to fly?
For the moment they invite us to look to the ongoing debate between
the freedom of flight and the stability of the ground,
the malleability of the dream and the rigidity of the reason,
the fragility of life
and the eternity of memory.”
“Aileen Castañeda, Cerámica para ver y no tocar”. El Nuevo Día, Revista Domingo (San Juan, PR), 31 de marzo de 1991, pp. 12-15.
Pérez Rivera, Tatiana. “Conversaciones con el barro”. El Nuevo Día, Arte y Cultura (San Juan, PR), 21 de agosto de 2002, pp.78.