Mulvane Art Museum to Host Art from Eastern Cuba
In partnership with the Meridian International Center and Eastern Cuba Cultural Exchange, Mulvane Art Museum in Topeka Kansas will present an exhibition of work by artists from the Oriente (eastern) region of Cuba beginning on March 26 through June 8 2007. Entitled Cuba Oriente: Contemporary Painting from Eastern Cuba, the exhibition includes 60 exceptionally rich and vibrant works from what is often described as the heartland of Cuban culture. At a distance of over 650 miles from Havana, the area is not well known by Americans in general, due to the complex relationship between Cuba and the United States. Cuba Oriente brings to light the stunning art of a colorful region.
The Eastern Cuba Cultural Exchange http://www.cubanart.org was founded by Clyde Hensley, whose travels and experiences in many countries and lifelong interest in art brought him to Eastern Cuba in 1995. Here he met many artists, working under difficult conditions with few materials, and became passionate about helping them to come out of their regional isolation. He has since made numerous trips to the area, working with artists, cultural centers, museums and art schools in Santiago de Cuba and the surrounding provinces. He has helped to acquire and bring supplies to them through the Global Tapestry Foundation and amassed a large and unique collection of art from the region. Artist exchanges have developed and are supported by the Eastern Cuba Cultural Exchange. Mr. Hensley has brought exhibitions to the United States, with the first opening, in 2002, at the Oakland Museum of California, and the Craft and Cultural Gallery of Oakland. He is presently involved in the final editing of a documentary on the artists “Luminous Shadows, The Artist of Eastern Cuba”. This exhibition of paintings has toured the US with Meridian http://www.meridian.org coast to coast and is now the longest toured collection of Eastern Cuban paintings ever in the U.S.. The artists themselves span generations and include a former museum director, professors and graduates of the regions’ art academies, as well as a few artists who are self taught. Paintings in the exhibition vary in subject and style. Classical and modern styles intertwine and rich hues abound. Included are breathtaking landscapes, genre scenes, abstract works, surrealistic themes and richly imagined comments on life in Cuba. Oil, acrylic and woodcut are the primary mediums.
Aligning with Meridian’s dedication to promoting international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas and the arts, the objective of the Eastern Cuba Cultural Exchange is to foster an environment of good will through the sharing of art and culture. In describing the motive for his continued passion for his Cuban project, Mr. Hensley says “working through the arts and cultural exchange offers us a unique opportunity to establish non-judgmental communication between the citizens of our long-divided societies…and helps to bring about an atmosphere of mutual respect which can only help to pave the road to understanding and reconciliation.”
Cuba Oriente: Contemporary Painting from Eastern Cuba
ON VIEW: at Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. March 26, 2007 – June 8, 2007
For more information on Art from Oriente ,Cuba go to http://www.cubanart.org
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