La Perla Street Art

La Perla is a community right by the historic structures of Viejo San Juan. The houses sit in a slope sandwiched between the raging Atlantic Ocean and the centuries-old cobblestone road leading to El Morro, a Spanish-era fortress. Together with a friend, we coursed through the narrow streets and took pictures of the graffiti and mural painted on the walls. I took the liberty to take pictures for posterity’s sake, before these street scenes get painted over.

La Perla

What remains of Casa de los Peluches, a building across La Perla

Surfboards Somewhere in Old San Juan

Siempre Maria Bike in Old San Juan

Street artists painted murals and graffiti on the walls and houses. Here below are some of their obras:












At the end of the road is the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery. In this cemetery, Reba Stewart’s tomb has become a pilgrimage site of sorts for tourists, artists, and pagans because of its unusual design. Some Puerto Ricans call her tomb, La Tumba de la Bruja or the Tomb of the Witch. Reba Stewart was an American-born artist who had spent time studying Taino art and symbols. The fortress at the back is El Morro, one of the oldest Spanish fortresses in the world. For  more info about Reba Stewart and the popular belief surrounding her, please click here and here.

Reba Stewart’s Tomb

Local kids posing with the tomb


3 thoughts on “La Perla Street Art

  1. I knew Reba Stewart from Yale and then when she moved to Cambridge. She certainly was no witch but she probably would have enjoyed having this reputation.

    e was an unusually talented artist whose works are in museums and collections around the world. While on a traveling fellowship that took her to West Africa, she came down with malaria and that is how her life ended – far too early, and she s still missed by her many friends. There are scholarships in her name at several US universities for other talented young artists. She would have loved that.

    Steve Gilford
    Petaluma, CA

  2. The stone was carved by Wayne A. Keller of Baltimore. He was her student at the Maryland Institute. After her death he took a job at Loudon Park Cemetery to learn stone carving. On the day he finished this work, he shot himself at home with his father’s gun. He was twenty-five and is buried at Loudon Park.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s