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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Culture

Eastern Cuban Artists Documentary and Art Show - The Artists of Eastern Cuba

Posted February 23, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Culture.
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Press Release

Contact: Clyde Hensley 772-225-2520 or DeeVon Quirolo (Reef Relief) 305 294-3100

The world premiere of “Luminous Shadows: The Artists of Eastern Cuba” , a 45 minute documentary shot on location in Oriente, Cuba,  is opening March 2nd , from 6 pm–7 pm at the Tropic Cinema in Key West.  It was produced by Clyde Hensley, who has assembled one of the world’s largest collections of Eastern Cuban art and supported a cultural exchange program for contemporary Cuban artists.  This educational non-fiction film profiles the art and artists of Cuba’s eastern-most region, Oriente, in association with paintings that will be presented at a month-long art show to benefit Reef Relief.  “Luminous Shadows” seeks to foster an environment of good will through the sharing of cultural ideas by showcasing the studios, lives, and paintings of the talented artists of Eastern Cuba. Music in the film is from La Familia Varela Miranda de Santiago de Cuba, adding greatly to the visual journey.

Following the film, from 7–10 pm on March 2nd ,  is the opening show of the Cuban art featured in the documentary at Reef Relief headquarters on the boardwalk of the Historic Seaport in Key West.  The art display will feature Oil on canvas, Acrylic, and Woodblock Original, as well as limited edition Gliclees on canvas and paper.  Most are available framed. The works will be available for purchase throughout the month of March as a benefit for Reef Relief,  the nonprofit coral reef conservation organization, thanks to the generosity of Cuban.art.org owners Clyde & Brigid Hensley who are board members of Reef Relief.

A part of this Cuban art collection is on a National Museum Exhibition Tour that is currently underway through 2007 hosted by the Internationally renowned Meridian International Center of Washington, D.C. and can be accessed online at http://www.meridian.org.  The event is made possible through the support of Clyde & Brigid Hensley of Cubanart.org, Tropic Cinema, Blue Heaven, Blue Marlin Motel, Keynoter Publishing, and the Secretary General of the Conch Republic.

According to Monika Teal, an American artist who has benefited from the Artist to Artist program initiated by http://www.cubanart.org, and who has painted in some of the studios highlighted in the documentary,  “The Cuban artists I spoke with do not feel part of the mainstream of the post-modern art world.  Though highly trained and educated, as most Cubans are, they do feel isolated from what is happening in the art world.  They persist with their art, in spite of a lack of art materials and supplies.  They persist, in spite of not being fully informed of what the art trends are, or what the market demands.  They produce art in circumstances that would discourage most other artists.  They paint in bedrooms, they sculpt in houses that are collapsing.  They paint in a country where there are food shortages, where there is a government censorship of the arts.  Sometimes they even paint without paint.  Many masterfully painted works reflect the irony of daily life. Their distance from Havana and their proximity to other Caribbean countries makes their art less economic based and more about art for art’s sake.  There is the sense that the work is pure Cuban.”  This explanation of an outsider’s journey into Oriente region’s rich culture and art is exactly the experience the filmmakers seek to present in the film.  For further information, contact Reef Relief at http://www.reefrelief.org or call 305 294-3100 or Clyde Hensley at http://www.cubanart.org.   

DeeVon Quirolo, Executive Director, Reef Relief, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to Preserve and Protect Living Coral Reef Ecosystems through local, regional and international efforts. 
Do you want to make a difference for our coral reefs?  With the stroke of a keyboard, you can.  Join the Reef Relief mailing list and receive regular updates on coral reef issues, invitations to special events, and action alerts on issues of importance.  Go to http://www.reefrelief.org and look for “Join our mailing list.”

Reef Relief   P.O. Box 430, Key West, Fl. 33041.  (305) 294-3100, http://www.reefrelief.org
Reef Relief Environmental Center Gift Store, 201 William Street, Key West, Fl.
Captain Roland Roberts House Environmental Center, New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.  (242) 365-4014.

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