Provocative, politically charged exhibit to feature artists who fled Castro


Fairfield University's Walsh Art Gallery will celebrate the spirit of multiculturalism with "Past Cuba: Identity and Identification in Cuban-American Art," an intense multimedia exploration into the turbulent, creative worlds of emigre Latino artists, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 15.

The exhibit features the searing, emotionally provocative, spiritual and politically charged paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture and collages of the "Generation of 59" - artists who emigrated to Cuba as children to avoid suffering under the new military regime of Fidel Castro. Viewing hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., until Feb. 28.

Dr. Lynette Bosch, a fine arts professor at Brandeis University, guest curates this ground-breaking, contemporary review. She will present a slide lecture on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m., in the Wien Experimental Theatre on "Developments in Cuban Art." The lecture will be followed by a reception in the Walsh Art Gallery from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and guests will have the opportunity to examine the diverse palettes of 11 leading Cuban-American artists, among them: Arturo Rodriguez, Maria Martines-Canas, Juan Carlos Llera, Maria Lino, Ramon Guerrero, Demi, Maria Brito and Mario Bencoma, Pablo Yglesias, Alberto Rey, and Abelardo Morell.

"The significance of this group should not be underestimated, because their work addresses a range of issues, both personal and political as well as artistic that are of global importance," said Dr. Philip Eliasoph, director of the Gallery. "Issues of identity and identification emerge in the work of these artists. They are a visual conduit through which we learn what it feels like to be exiled, to be different. We come to understand the challenges and opportunities present in merging two cultures, and experience the emotional and intellectual issues raised by the reality of an existence that is suspended, yet immersed within two worlds."

Among the startling paintings is the political art of Demi. A political artist, she paints children traumatized by events that have destroyed the safety and security of their lives. Demi was six when her father was executed in Cuba. She was forced into hiding and then exile with her mother and her two sisters. In works such as "Black Angel" and "Birthday Girl," Demi seeks to give form to the emotions of children who are traumatized so they may have a voice.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 15, 1997