Arte Cubano at the Las Cruces Museum of Art

Arte Cubano highlights a universally agreed-upon characteristic of the island’s art: an incredible diversity. Cuban art is so rich in large part because of its diverse cultural blend of African, European, and Latin/Caribbean influences. Add to these traditional roots the revolution of 1959, and Cuban art occupies a unique aesthetic place in the contemporary art world. Arte Cubano opens October 13, 2020 at Las Cruces Museum of Art.

Building on changing relationships between the governments of the United States and Cuba, this timely exhibition reflects more than twenty-five 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 exhibition’s artists include Lidzie Alvisa, José Bedia, Los Carpinteros, Yoan Capote, Enrique Celaya, Roberto Fabelo, Diana Fonseca, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Kcho, Sandra Ramos, Esterio Segura, and more. Spanning several generations, these contemporary Cuban artists come from an unusual place: a country often isolated because of its socialist revolution. All of the artists in this collection grew up in socialist Cuba, and many graduated from the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte- built at the beginning of the revolution, Havana’s equally excellent San Alejandro Art Academy, or the Escuela Nacional de Arte. Others graduated from local arts schools. Despite their disparate backgrounds, aesthetic sensibilities, subject matter, materials, and style, there is something uniquely Cuban about the art in this collection.

Mid-America Arts Alliance/ExhibitsUSA 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.

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Las Cruces Museums have instituted new procedures to visit our facilities to ensure the health and safety of our staff and guests. Please call 575/522-3120 or 575/528-3330, email education@las-cruces.org, or visit museums.las-cruces.org to find out about current restrictions.

Guests with COVID-19 symptoms or who are sick will not be permitted to enter. Guests are required to follow health guidelines by wearing a mask over their nose and mouth, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others at all times, and refraining from touching museum objects.

The museum is located at 491 N. Main Street (RoadRUNNER Transit bus route 1, stop 36) and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4:30pm, and Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For additional information, visit the website at museums.las-cruces.org or call (575) 541-2137. The Las Cruces museums continue to offer exhibit information and virtual programming online through social media at Facebook.com/LCMuseums or Instagram.com/LCMuseums.

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