Voices of the Island
The Llanes Art Collection
Opens: September 3rd • 6pm
Closes: September 24th • 10pm
General Admission: $1 entry donation
Call the box office for more info
Curated by Reynier Llanes
Pinar del Rio is an area steeped in a rich cultural and history that has been the birth and home place of many of Cuba’s most outstanding writers, poets, musicians and visual artists. While Havana may be the source where much of the visual artists’ works may be found in galleries and museums, it is Pinar del Rio that nurtured these great artists. This westernmost province of Cuba has a multicultural infrastructure that relates to the land, life and the essence of community. One can only visit the landscape to understand its geographic wonders and begin to comprehend that it is a special environment that has for centuries nurtured a creative harmony amongst all those that lived there.
This exhibition represents recent works by professional contemporary artists from Pinar del Rio not tied to the historical 1940’s early modern traditions of pre-revolution artistic expressions; or the 1960’s revolution presentations of ideological social realism; or the 1970’s and 80’s art created that was sanctioned politically through supervised expressions of art approved by the government.
The art in this exhibition is created by the 1990’s professional artists who were taught by graduates of the schools of the arts in Cuba about freedom of expression and experimentation using many mediums, materials, and styles of art. This was also stimulated out of necessity because of the limited availability of art supplies and materials. During this period the Soviet Union aid dried up due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and art materials were particularly scarce, and mixed-media artists constructed work from whatever they could scavenge.
The grouping of artists in this exhibition present works that include representational landscapes, figurative expressions, magic surrealism, and abstract expressionism styles of contemporary art in Cuba today that is a clear testament to their creativity and imagination, advanced education, rich cultural bonding, sense of humor, and vitality. These artists regularly communicate, cooperate, and share with one another opportunities to exhibit their art in a manner which educates collectors, educators, and cultural centers regarding their rich culture and heritage.
I had the privilege of growing up in a culturally rich environment on the island of Cuba, where words rhyme in verses and you toast with coffee and rum. Cuban culture has learned to be creative in the wake of economic hardships, innovating and re-inventing itself with tools, objects, and designs that influence life and all forms of artistic expression.
Art is exciting – full of passion and genuine ideas; every artist has strength in his voice as a creator. My classmates and I were encouraged to challenge each other in the most positive way, such that our individual artistic voices could flourish in our work. For these reasons and many more, I am committed to the discipline of collecting art that reflects my values and tastes, with a special interest in the contemporary art and artists of Pinar del Rio, my hometown.
I believe that all humans, at a given time in their lives, collect a particular object, instrument, or image because of its special meaning in their history. This is the essence of humanity’s oldest forms of preserving and building family legacies, and of reinforcing customs and mores to guide positive social and interpersonal behavior. Art for me mirrors these patterns and has reinforced the development of my own belief systems from a very young age. I admired the work of renowned artists and those who have not yet acquired the deserving recognition for their creations. Museums are among my favorite places to visit and study, as museums are privileged to show the history of our roots through art, which for me serves as a magnet that challenges my creative intelligence and inspires me. I am seduced by the magic of an artist’s range of expression and when I acquire an artist’s work, I consider myself to be a protector of their art as it enriches my life every moment that I observe it.
I have enhanced my sensitivity in acquiring works of art by observing senior colleagues and visionaries whom I have always admired. I am moved to stop in areas where their presence and creative expressions inspired my own creations. I have learned from their masterful use of materials and techniques by living with the creations of the works of other artists. These serve as a beneficial serum that rejuvenates my passion for creating my own art at every turn. Visitors to my home and studio give me the opportunity to show the works of these talented artists in an educational atmosphere and in an entertaining manner. Their styles are fascinating in how they manifested their impressions in canvas or paper, used their muses, and reaped the benefits of the fruits of their hard labor. At the end, their signatures show the different stages and paths in their lives that served as the foundation for their phenomenal creations.
My commitment to the artists in my collection is one of urgency, to persist with the idea of helping each and every one of them. Now that I am in the United States, I have the opportunity to promote their art, as I know they would have done the same for me. The Art of Pinar del Rio invites the viewers to immerse themselves in the enigmatic themes and masterful techniques of contemporary Cuban artists, including myself.
All sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets except for cancelled events that are not rescheduled. SBDAC does not offer refunds on purchased ticket. In rare circumstances when a performance may be cancelled (due to extreme weather, artist absence, or other unavoidable situations) we offer refunds or replacement tickets for another performance.