Cuba: Beyond Mambo and Rock n' Roll

Recently, we had three amazing artists share their work all the way from Cuba: Ernesto René Figueroa, Esterio Segura Mora, and Ernesto J. Garcia Nodarse. They displayed their artwork in a show called "Cuba: Beyond Mambo and Rock n' Roll" at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum. Their works were distinctly different, unavoidably political, and thought provoking without apology. I had the accidental good fortune to have lunch with them the day before the opening, where I showed off my very poor Spanish. They're hosted by Virginia Tech professor emeritus Dr. Joseph Scarpaci, who worked as translator during their visit... thank goodness!
     Opening night was a roaring success! Here are René and Esterio in front of René's drawings - blueprint like chalk drawings on oiled cement bags that I absolutely adored.
There were imaginary machines, photographs, paintings, ceramic plates, and collaged sculptures - they used whatever it took to express their feelings about living in such a rich but restrained country all their lives. It was quite the honor that they were able to get visas to leave the country and travel the US with this tour, and an equally big deal that our Wilson Museum was their first stop. Everyone had a wonderful time, including the artists! (Click the image to see a short video of them doing a celebratory Mambo!)

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