PRESENTE! Contemporary Art from Cuba Exhibition: 6-29 October, GX Gallery, London
by Natasha Hickman
on: Monday, 5 September 2016
This October, the ¡PRESENTE! Contemporary Art from Cuba exhibition will bring a stunning showcase of contemporary Cuban art to London.
This will be the first major group show for Cuban artists in the UK for many years, offering a unique opportunity to view a cross-section of the island’s current lively visual arts scene.
The show is coordinated for the Music Fund for Cuba by a team of dedicated volunteers supported by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and working with the Cuban Ministry of Culture and the GX Gallery, and will raise funds for arts materials for Cuba from sales of the artwork.
¡PRESENTE! will exhibit more than 50 artworks from over 20 artists currently working in Cuba, from those already internationally renowned, including Luís Enrique Camejo, Kcho and Reynerio Tamayo, to emerging stars such as Adislén Adislen Reyes, Harold Lopez Muñoz and Lisandra Isabel Garcia.
The show will include paintings, prints, drawings and photography. They capture the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Cuban art at its best: the freshness of its aesthetic, its powerful breadth of vision – from the deeply personal to the global – and its multi-faceted relation to the distinctive history, culture and social evolution of Cuba itself.
Alongside the exhibition, there is a full programme of educational events for arts students, professionals and the general public in London and beyond.
Two of the artists, Adislén Adislen Reyes and Luís Camejo, along with curator Chrislie Pérez Pérez, will be coming direct from Cuba to participate in these events. A catalogue will be published and educational materials associated with the exhibition will also be available for teachers and students.
¡Presente! has received many messages of support from British artists, actors, writers and academics.
Artist PETER KENNARD: "Cuba’s historic contribution to arts and creativity is a constant inspiration. I’m pleased to stand with all practitioners, artists and creatives on the revolutionary island."
Artist JOHN KEANE: "Art is the expression of the individual creative human soul which combines with all other individual voices to make up the soul of a nation. I am pleased to lend my support to ¡PRESENTE! Contemporary Art from Cuba and look forward to seeing it."
This unique project has been made possible thanks to a number of sponsors, donors and grants, in particular the National Union of Teachers, the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust and the Lipman Miliband Trust and many generous individual donors.
¡PRESENTE! Contemporary Art from Cuba the exhibition will take place 6-29 October 2016 at GX Gallery, 43 Denmark Hill, London SE5 8RS gxgallery.com
Opening hours: Mon/Tue/Wed/Sat 9.30am-6.00pm Thu/Fri 9.30am-7.00pm Closed on Sundays
For more details see the exhibition website at www.presentecubanart.org
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 020 7490 5715
¡PRESENTE! Associated Events programme
Thu 6 October – Exhibition opening
Fri 7 October – Artists Talk in Norwich
Sat 8 October – Artists/Curator talks at GX Gallery
Mon 10 October – University of Northampton
Tue 11 October – Goldsmiths College, London – public talk
Thu 13 October – Hull School of Art and Design
Fri 14 October – Cuban Art and culture public seminar, London
Sat 15 October - Artists/Curator talks at GX Gallery
See www.presentecubanart.org for details or call the CSC office on 020 7490 5715
FUND LAUNCHED TO BEAT THE BLOCKADE ON ART SUPPLIES
Culture has always been at the heart of the Cuban revolution, following Cuban national hero José Martí’s maxim: "ser culto es el único modo para ser libre" – to be educated is the only way to be free.
With a commitment to free arts education at all levels, Cuba boasts world renowned arts schools which have produced many brilliant, rigorous and engaging visual artists, as well as musicians, actors and dancers.
However, anyone who teaches art in Cuba today will tell you that getting supplies for their students is an enormous challenge. The ongoing US blockade against Cuba impacts on every aspect of Cuban society. Art institutions can source some materials from China, for example, but transport costs are high.
For these reasons, the Music Fund charity has launched a special fund to beat the blockade and help fund supplies for art education institutions on the island. Any surplus from sales of the art in the exhibition will go to this but also individuals and organisations can donate. This fund will be a lasting legacy of the exhibition. It will help guarantee that young people have the opportunities to develop their skills and nurture their talent to play their full part in the island’s culture.
Here are just some examples of what your donation could be used for:
£5 – cartridge paper for 5 students
£10 – 10 erasers
£25 – paint brushes for 5 students
£50 – staple gun for a class of students
£100 – watercolour tins for 15 students
£250 – acrylic paints and pastels for a class of 20 students
Donate Online here or send cheques payable to ‘Music Fund for Cuba’ marked ‘art materials’ on the back to MFFC, c/o Unite, 33-37 Moreland Street, London EC1V 8BB