This year, the Cuban Association of Artisans and Artists (ACAA, in Spanish) organized the First Goldsmithing Salon at the Museum of Decorative Arts, located in El Vedado in Havana, Cuba. About sixty creators have displayed their work at this first gathering of members of the Precious Metal Section of the ACAA. The objective of the event is to show the work of the associates during the last two years. These efforts have been displayed before in different personal and collective exhibitions held at the Museum of Goldsmithing in Old Havana’s Historic Center. This museum is a promoter of the research, the preservation, and the exhibition of the goldsmithing patrimony from the diverse periods in Cuba.
Among the participants of this salon, there are artists that are widely recognized for the quality and the artistic diversity of their works. Among these, Luis Alberto Villaescusa, Inés M. Fuentes, Osvaldo Castillo, Raúl Valladares, Luciano Raffart, and Gumersindo Sosa were awarded the Manos [Hands] prize by the ACAA for their determination and creativity. Olimpia González, Yoel Ramón del Rio, Filiberto González and José C. Raffart, a late renowned exponent of this art, were acknowledged as commendable members for their outstanding history in the association. Many of these artists, who have a passion for extracting beautiful shapes out of metals, are autodidacts, such as Olga Arango and Rafael Queneditt.
Audiences have been impressed by the amount of high quality pieces— jewelry, excellently-made candelabras and lamps, furniture, sculptures of different formats, ornaments, and embossed plaques. The pieces, objects usually intended for decoration, have a high aesthetic value. The “link between tradition and eagerness to innovate is evident in the designs, which oscillate between the abstract and the figurative.” Lockets, pendants, and some other jewelry, furniture made with fine iron fittings, sculptures, cases, and lamps are decorated with other materials like bone, mother-of-pearl, coral, ebony, crystal, granite, marble, streamer, turquoise, and other semiprecious stones, to rise marvelously beside metals.
The pieces displayed in the First Goldsmithing Salon are “splendid and suggestive representatives of the contemporary decorative arts in Cuba.”
For full article, see http://www.cubanow.net/pages/articulo.php?item=8339
(Unrelated) photo of gold doubloon (found in a shipwreck off Cuba) from http://www.holabird.org/HKA-Spring2008-Cat1/Treasure.html