manopla caracol - Sofia Bastidas


San Juan, PR

MAOF has been in operation since mid-2014, housing a collection center for timber logs, sawmill, wood workshop, hen-composter, nursery garden, artists’ workshop, exhibition space, and living space for resident artists. Currently, MAOF is salvaging timber from trees felled during hurricanes Irma and Maria for its use in re-construction projects. Some of their projects have included helping build a geodesic dome in Camp Tabonuco, an organization focused on ecological education,designing and building a prototype for a timber frame house from salvaged Caribbean pine and the construction of artist Ramón Miranda Beltrán’s workshop. Artist Ramiro Chaves (Argentina-Mexico) published a book about MAOF.

MAOF was founded by Diego de la Cruz Gaitán, who co-directs it along with Gabriel Maldonado Andreu and Mario Gracia Otero, and they work with a wide range of collaborators.


Photo credit: Sofia Bastidas

Canoas, cayucos y balsas

MAOF is a collective project that examines contemporary “material culture” in Puerto Rico characterized by the abundance of waste. MAOF treats organic materials and industrial waste as cultural goods, and seeks to be a key component in its distribution within cultural and agroecological communities.

Artist Bio

Canoas, cayucos y balsas proposes the construction of a fleet of Caribbean vessels, utilizing materials from native trees constructed with techniques from pre-Columbian times to the present. MAOF with Dominican artist Engel Leonardo and other collaborators from the Caribbean Archipelago will investigate the aesthetic and symbolic qualities of the object-vessel, the act of navigation, and the ocean as binding body between islands. The group seeks to experience the correlation between horizontal movement (physical) and vertical ascendance (spiritual) common in many navigation cultures.

Craft, Sculpture
Award Year

In Progress