When Tales of the Cocktail commissioned artist Elizabeth Barreto for our Day of Service artwork, the artist drew from a deep well of influences and a love of her native Puerto Rico.
“The challenge was to translate the many concept ideas I have when I think about the Island’s most iconic landscapes, our pop culture, the growing cocktail culture and the Caribbean experience overall.”
The resulting work — which will adorn shirts worn by volunteers during Day of Service events during this year’s Tales on Tour — blends a swirl of influences into a single layered design: the essence of hospitality, cooperation, natural beauty and of course, a celebratory drink after the day’s labor is done.
“I think I would title this design ‘Work hard and enjoy the piña coladas.’ I was really happy to learn that the Tales on Tour team would be hosting a Day of Service in the Island as part of their events schedule.”
“To engage socially in a creative way is an action we should always encourage to do to learn teach other and grow. When we find a way to do this through work, there’s no better satisfaction than to know we’re helping each other to reach a better quality of life while doing what we love and know how to do the most.”
Barreto is a prolific artist and illustrator whose work spans an impressive range of styles and techniques — from towering murals to delicate pencil portraits to the color works inspired by the nautical tattoo revival. Her works reflect a strong Puerto Rican identity and matching feminist themes of identity and acceptance. She was formerly an art instructorat the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Puerto Rico and is currently studying digital arts in Mexico City. Elizabeth is an active member of Taller Malaquita (the Malachite Workshop), an all-woman artistic working space in San Juan.
The artist’s challenge resulted in a complex image anchored by a strong handshake —symbolizing friendship and cooperation— topped with a multi-layered tulip glass with tropical plant life (coconut palm, flower petals) and a silhouetted seascape of Old San Juan’s Castillo de San Fillipe del Morro. The graphic is topped by a paper cocktail umbrella, juicy pineapple wedge, and an eye-patched parrot for good measure.
The image reflects Baretto’s deep dedication to to her home island and its progress.
“Puerto Rico needs this kind of initiative. The drawing represents a handshake as a sign of solidarity with Puerto Ricans and our struggles to secure peace and find ecological and economically responsible ways to learn sustainability for our communities, our natural resources and culture.”