Sara Goodman | 08.02.2023
If I had to describe my experience of Samuel Lind and his love for his home, Loiza, in one word I would have to call it inspired. Lind’s artistic fertility imbued his home and our hearts with a calming sense of resolve and awe. As I walked through his living room, then garage, then upstairs, everywhere was creative space. It was like standing in his mind, or rather soul, and exploring its past and future.
His main media is paint and silk screens which create and print his artwork for others to see. The theme of his art expresses Loiza culture and we got a backstage pass to understanding it. Legend has it that Yuiza, or Loiza, was one of the few female chiefs of the Taino people. When Spanish Conquistadores invaded Puerto Rico, she became the wife of one to save her people. While her name is now loved and became the name of the town, her sacrifice was for naught as most of the Taino people resisted the Spanish and were wiped out. Hundreds of years of African slavery followed and grew the cultural roots of the Loiza today. Samuel Lind’s work demonstrates the beauty of his people past and present.
I could sense the pride Lind had in his work. He hastily showed all of us every room and almost every piece in his home, telling us stories of their details and his thoughts behind making them. He inspired me with his resolve especially when he told us, “In your own language, in your own way, express. Find your voice”. Lind was told he would never make it as an artist, but look at him now. He doesn’t do it for the money or fame, but because he has a clear idea of what he needs to do. He has a feeling, emotion, or inspiration from nature, people, or history, and he has to see it made. With this pride, Samuel Lind told us Loiza has her own rhythm, and while he referred to Bomba, I could sense it extended to all life in Loiza.
Later that day, I had a chance to experience this rhythm for myself at a bomba class not too far from his house. How beautiful are the ways those people found to express themselves? I’ve never been so inspired by art or people as I had been that day. I learned an important lesson which is that you can really do anything you set your mind to. If it’s what you desire, pursue it with all your heart and soul.