Experiences in Cuba

Not Just Painting Pretty Pictures!

To many art is just about pretty pictures, but if you ask the artist it is about far more. For many of us it is what sustains us, energizes us, and feeds us emotionally (& to a lucky few, financially). It has been used for maintaining or improving mental and physical health. It encourages and builds self-confidence, problem solving, experimentation and exploration. It takes us to places known & unknown, challenges us to expand our horizons and grow. For some it is a place to escape to. It is a record of our time. Whatever the reason we paint, look at or buy art, it is more than JUST A PRETTY PICTURE.
In 2005 NSCUBA members, Ruth & Laird Wilton formed an alliance with Heriberto Acanda Ramos and the Galeria Arturo Regueiro. Since then NSCUBA  Artist Collective has been working in solidarity with artists from Pinar del Rio, Cuba. We have conducted workshops, demonstrations & presentations in Nova Scotia, Cuba and Florida. We have built a small centre for artists in Pinar del Rio to have a place to go, exhibit and learn.
Convergence of Two Cultures- the Similarities and Differences Between Nova Scotia and Pinar del Rio is an educational piece that has changed minds and influenced people to take a second look. To see where their information is coming from. It has made them aware that we may have some differences but we also have a lot in common.
Due to reasons beyond their control CU artists do not have access to materials to create/record/learn. What we try to do is bring quality materials, run workshops and provide opportunities for them to explore. This year we hope to set up a lending library filled with information and videos for them to borrow. We are working with UNEAC- (union of artists & writers) to train their members to teach young and emerging artists… to make Pinar del Rio the Watercolor Capitol of Cuba.
To this end we are asking for memory sticks, lap top and external hard drive. We are not asking you to go buy them but to give us the ones that have been sitting in your desk drawer… ones you no longer have a use for. We have someone that will remove all information and do minor repairs/updates. This is an artist funded project. We appreciate all you can do for us.

Contact Jude Caborn at jcaborn50@hotmail.com 
or Facebook –Jude Caborn or by calling 902-829-2540

Jan. 2018- article written by Heriberto Acanda Ramos (MSc), Galeria Arturo Regueiro 

Similarities, common preferences and respect for difference, motivates us to experiment through art, as the lights, shadows and the elegance of color make light sprout like a spirit that emerges from the same sun. Without the intention to refound, redirect history or speculate about the evolutionary foundations of art, the collective exhibition "Similar but different" is presented, which reveals a deep flow of parallel and contradictory narrations, based on plastic creations inspired by motivations or common problems. We are all equal because we are different, in the face of such an enunciation it may seem that time hastens us to erase national borders and explore the original cultures of every corner of the planet. Our two cultures have points of contact, similarities and divergences The active and dynamic participation of contemporary artists in the search for possible alternatives for peace and rapprochement between peoples, proposes artistic actions that create families for common meditation around the social problems that the "postmodern" world faces today. As a proposal of unity and respect for art, human relationships and natural cultures, this time and for the second time in a second round, Canadian and Pinar del Río artists are grouped with the aim of consolidating art and friendship. The Cuban cultural identity is formed and consolidated through respect for differences in behavior, ideologies and equalities. The artistic vanguard feeds on its historical roots, the viewer is instructed from cultural institutions, strategic scenarios for the promotion of culture and critical thinking. As a graphic testimony of the dialectic of transformation, "Similar but different" is presented, in coordination with the collective of artists of the plastic arts of the Nova Scotia-Cuba Association and the Arturo Regueiro Gallery. From the respect demanded by cultural differences and dissimilar techniques of painting, outstanding artists from both countries have worked for this exhibition, the presentation of this exhibition is the continuity of a broad cultural exchange project initiated in 2005 and that has marked sensibly many creators through the exchange, collective creation and various artistic actions. The works presented in cardboard as support and the different techniques used, propose to the public to exchange ideas, change the scenario and dialogue with each expression, skill or traditions lived by each creator in their relationships and social experiences. This new meeting is a silent way to break with the supposed impartiality of academic discourse, an essential option for an approach to popular culture, and the inexhaustible inspiration that fosters dialogue with the constructive presuppositions of the international language of art. In ten years of intense work, hundreds of artists, Cubans and Canadians have united from the art, its promoter Jude Caborn in each action reminds us that the similarity is apparent, that the difference between the palms and the maples can also be apparent . 

Cuban newspaper article (in Spanish) discussing the 10 year celebration of 
 Cultural Exchange Nova Scotia-Cuba 


Cuba beyond the beaches - a suggested outing from Varadero.

Many tourists go to Varadero and never get a glimpse of Cuba beyond the beaches.

Near Varadero, however, there is a town called Cardenas. Cardenas, which was founded in 1828, has historical significance for Cubans because it was at the heart of Cuban richest sugar growing area and because in 1850 General Narciso Lopez raised in Cardenas the first Cuban flag. 

Recently, Ruth  & Nelson Larson and Beatrice Douglas-Simmons went to Cardenas while holidaying in Varadero.

This is what Ruth has to say about her experience in Cardenas:

"We took a taxi to Cardenas, for $50.00 -total cost of going to Cardenas and returning to Varadero. You may even find a cheaper option if you look around and negotiate. In Cardenas we visited the city museum - Museo Oscar Maria de Rojas - and then rented a horse and cart for $5.00 for a local city tour.  It was an interesting diversion from the beaches" 

Ruth recommends her experience to people visiting Varadero as a break from the routine of resort life, a day away from the beaches to see and experience the "'real' Cuba while meeting the local people.

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