June 29 – September 22, 2024

In Yoruba mythology, the deity Eleggua, also referred to as Esu or Elegba, is said to provide access to the path to one’s destiny. 

Puerto Rican artist Imna Arroyo’s art explores connections between the African continent and its diaspora in an on-going endeavor to reclaim a lost and scattered heritage. Opening Paths explores the artist’s emergence and path forward by showcasing works in various disciplines and mediums from her early years (1968-1980’s) when she began to assert her uniquely expressive Afro-Caribbean agency, through her 2022 mixed-media installation, Eleggua, dedicated to Yoruba Orisha Eshu/Elegguá, representing the crossroads of the world and the opening of the paths.

Opening Paths reflects the artist’s connectedness to her Afro-Caribbean heritage, giving voice to the stories and rich traditions of her ancestors as she “…finds solace in the belief that artmaking can be a form of healing.”

Image: Imna Arroyo, Eleggua – Balance of the World, metal scale ready-made balance, wood, paper and board, 2022. Image courtesy of Celeste Acevedo Fuster.

It is my intent to create Art that heals the deep-seated collective wounds of history, as well as to celebrate the vibrancy and relevance of a long denied ancestral legacy of self-expression.
Imna Arroyo

About the Artist

Imna Arroyo is a Puerto Rican artist living and working in eastern Connecticut whose work weaves the threads of heritage and ecological veneration into a contemporary artistic dialogue. In her multidisciplinary practice, she finds inspiration in the concept that art-making can be a ritualized form of healing. 

Born in Guayama, Puerto Rico, Imna Arroyo studied at La Escuela de Artes Plasticas del Instituto de Cultura in San Juan, Puerto Rico and obtained her BFA from Pratt Institute and her MFA from Yale University. 

She is currently a Professor of Art at Eastern Connecticut State University where she chaired the Visual Arts Department. Imna Arroyo has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, among them the title of Connecticut State University (CSU) Professor in 2010 in recognition of her teaching, mentorship and nationally and internationally acclaimed artistic achievements and, in 2007, the honorary title of Chief Yeye Agboola of Ido Osun (Chief Mother of the Garden of Honor) in recognition of selfless service to enrich the Ido-Osun Kingdom. This honor was conferred by his Royal Majesty Aderemi Adeen Adeniyi-Adedapo, Ido-Osun, Nigeria. She was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Latino Cultural Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education for artistic achievements that have contributed significantly to the understanding of Latino culture.

Arroyo has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico and the Czech Republic. Her work can be found in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art Library/Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection, Yale Art Gallery and Schomberg Center for Research and Black Culture. 

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