Gift from Martin Rubio, featured in museums worldwide, honors commitment to Hispanic and first-generation students. The sculpture dedication was part of President Susan L. Parish’s Inauguration Week Events.
Today, Mercy University announced that its Westchester Campus is now the permanent home of a sculpture created by internationally known Puerto Rican artist Martin Rubio. Rubio donated the piece, sculpted from laminated wood and meant to be both seen and touched, in recognition of Mercy’s dedication to advancing Hispanic and first-generation postsecondary student success. It also honors contributions to student success achieved at the former College of New Rochelle (CNR), whose alumnae became part of the University community when CNR closed in 2019. CNR alumna Laudelina Martinez CNR SAS ’63 facilitated the donation.
“This sculpture enriches our entire Mercy University community and stands as a symbol to our increasing Hispanic student population which looks to us for inspiration and guidance,” said Susan L. Parish, Ph.D., M.S.W., president of Mercy University. “Martin Rubio’s work will grace our campus and inspire all who see and touch it to think about its meaning and beauty.”
“As someone who was an art major at the College of New Rochelle, I am touched by this generous donation,” said Mercy University Board Trustee Marlene Tutera CNR SAS ’71. “The College of New Rochelle’s connection with Mercy continues to deepen and this is yet another demonstration of how the two institutions’ common goals align, this time in the celebration of art.”
“This sculpture is about traveling between the past, present and future. What’s important is that everybody may see it differently. Somewhere in the middle is where we are all at,” said artist Martín Rubio. “It is important for all of us to have art in our life, not just museums. It is an honor to share with Mercy University this work.”
Rubio is an internationally recognized artist whose works are exhibited in museums, galleries and private collections in Japan, France, Venezuela and the United States. He was one of the founders of El Taller Boricua in Spanish Harlem, which spurred the establishment of El Museo del Barrio in New York City. His works of art tend to be sensory as he is legally blind and had to adapt himself as an artist to the loss of his sight. Martinez, founder and owner of the Martinez Gallery in Troy, NY, has also featured Rubio’s creations in her gallery.
“We are very happy that Mercy extended its hand to the College of New Rochelle, and I thought that it would be a nice gesture to extend my hand, as a CNR alumna, back to Mercy by gifting Martin Rubio’s sculpture to the University,” said Laudelina Martinez CNR SAS ’63 founder and owner of the Martinez Gallery in Troy, NY. “Martin shows the type of resilience that New Yorkers have. Martin is legally blind, but there is something that always happens out of difficulty. His work is striking, simple and connects you to organic forms.”
Rubio’s sculpture, which will be on display at the Main Hall Library in Mercy’s Westchester Campus, is titled G3A and part of the "A Series" in which the artist used symbolic forms to obtain emotional reactions from the viewer. The piece is made in laminated plywood furniture grade wood, with rich variations in wood tones, and is mounted on a wooden rotating pin and invites touching.