UA Little Rock Will Launch Cuban Art Exhibit on Jan. 18

Frank Martínez 1972 "La Habana"

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will open an exhibit of Cuban art on Jan. 18.

The exhibit, “Arte Cubano,” will run through March 8 and be on display in the Brad Cushman Gallery and the Manners/Pappas Gallery in the Windgate Center of Art and Design at UA Little Rock.

The traveling exhibition organized by Exhibits USA will be enhanced with artworks from the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, the UA Little Rock Permanent Collection, and a local private collection.

Building on changing relationships between the governments of the United States and Cuba, this timely exhibition reflects more than 25 Cuban artists’ ruminations on the quotidian, social, and political realities of the island and the contemporary world. The island geography and political intensity of Cuba inform the work in a way that is immediately identifiable, often concealing coded, even subversive, ideas while simultaneously celebrating the richness of Cuba’s cultural identity.

Peeling away the layers of Cuban art often reveals a story of struggle caused by economic and political consequences, and the social upheaval that a true revolution produces. The intensity and depth of meaning, with the specific physical and political context, make Cuban art immediately identifiable and powerful, and an important voice in the art world today.

Esterio Segura's 1970 "Santiago de Cuba"
Esterio Segura’s 1970 “Santiago de Cuba”

“Just like Cuba, the art in the exhibit has a unique mix of traditional and modern, ordinary and special, and simplicity and incredible complexity,” said Brad Cushman, UA Little Rock art gallery director. “The same can be said for the politics, the literature, the architecture, and the people of the island.”

Mid-America Arts Alliance and ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance that brings more than 25 exhibits to tour more than 100 small and mid-sized communities every year, co-organized “Arte Cubano” with the Center for Cuban Studies (NYC) to synthesize two extraordinary private collections generously made available for the project. This exhibition could not have been made possible without their collecting vision and loan generosity. The Center for Cuban Studies opened in 1972 and was organized by a group of scholars, writers, artists, and other professionals, in response to the effects of US policy toward Cuba.

The exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment. Contact Cushman at becushman@ualr.edu or 501-916-3182 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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