Havana, Cuba comes to Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News/Vermont

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NEWPORT — Newport Natural Cafe and Arts Amica of Boston are presenting “Havana Comes to Newport II,” for the month of July. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, July 5 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Holliey White of Arts Amica will introduce the exhibit, with a special guest appearance by international jazz singer Eileen Kennedy.

For those Americans fortunate enough to have traveled to Cuba or to have seen an exhibit presented in the U.S. by various galleries and institutions, the quality of fine art from the Republic of Cuba comes as no surprise.

For most Americans, however, little is known about the diversity of style and media, technique. and subject matter Cuban artists are creating. And there is good reason for that. Although there are some limited travel exemptions in the embargo, and it is permitted to import and exhibit Cuban art here, the task of bringing the art here is tedious indeed.

Each piece needs to be registered with the Registry of Fine Arts before leaving Cuba, unpacked at Jose Marti Airport in Havana for inspection and to validate that the appropriate registration fee was paid for each piece, and that no national treasures are leaving the country, then re-packed and hand carried into the United States.

Few galleries are willing to engage in such labor intensive activity.

Art is often the first voice of change in a society, and Cuba is no exception. Much of Cuban art reflects the attitude and spirit of the people, the struggle, and their hopeful resolve. The number of exhibits devoted entirely to Cuban art presented in the U.S. in recent years by the art schools, universities, museums, and other institutions and galleries attest that the art world acknowledges the talent of Cuba’s contemporary artists.

This exhibit of original works and photographs of present day Havana promises to provide a tantalizing peek at some of the talent from this island nation whose rich cultural history extends back through the centuries, including being home to the second oldest art school in the New World.

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