Only two months after the United States and Cuba renewed diplomatic ties, an inspired U.S.-Cuban artist exhibition called “Buoyancy” is taking place at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport — the first-ever Cuban art exhibit at a U.S. airport.
‘Buoyancy’ opened October 5, 2015, on both Concourses E and F in MSP’s Terminal 1 – Lindbergh. Co-curated by ARTS @ MSP and the U.S. Cuba Artist Exchange (USCAE) in Minneapolis, ‘Buoyancy’ features works by renowned Cuban arts Omar Valenti (photography), Adrian Rumbaut (visual arts) and Camilo Villavilla (visual arts, sculpture). See brief bios and images below.
‘Buoyancy’ refers to the spirit of the Cuban people, who have continued to thrive despite more than a half century of trade embargoes and political conflict.
Sounds of Cuba Installation Also Part of Exhibit
The exhibition will also feature a visual and sound installation about Cuba by The Touch of Sound (www.thetouchofsound.com), an online library of authentic recordings collected from around the world by Minnesota brothers Jesse and Jonah Marks. In August of 2014, they partnered with the US Cuba Artist Exchange and participated in its tour of Cuba, making stops in multiple cities and encountering a vibrant and beautiful country full of history, culture, art, music – and especially sounds.
“In less than a year, we have witnessed the landmark cultural exchange made between The Minnesota Orchestra and Cuba. And now we are also proud to welcome the work of these outstanding Cuban artists to our airport arts programming,” notes Jana Webster, Executive Director of the Airport Foundation MSP. “We look forward to adding our friends from Cuba to the 35 million passengers passing through MSP International each year.”
Art to Inspire Travel To Cuba
“I am always amazed at the ability of Minnesotans to connect creatively with like-minded artists around world – – even in countries like Cuba that’s been a mystery to most Americans,” adds Robyne Robinson, Director of the Foundation’s program Arts @ MSP. “We’re pleased we’ve been able to collaborate with the US Cuban Artists Exchange to bring this unique cross-cultural exhibition to our traveling community.”
“Minnesota has a rich, thriving visual and performing arts community that provides a synergy for collaboration with Cubans on projects, workshops, events and performances,” explains USCAE Director and Co-Founder Mariesa Ryan. The non-profit organization enables genuine cultural exchange between Cubans and Americans through art, education and collaboration.
“Working with Arts @ MSP to exhibit the artwork of Cuban nationals and The Touch of Sound is important – not only because of the diplomatic changes between the U.S. and Cuba, but also the growing interest in travel to Cuba for cultural exchange and education,” Ryan says. “These installations merge the USCAE mission to educate, collaborate and encourage travel and cultural exchange between Americans and Cubans in both countries.”
Omar Valenti – Photographer and member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, the Cuban Fund for the Photographic Image and the Ibero-American Photography Fund. He has had over 20 personal expositions and participated in more than 60 national and international collective expositions and is well-known for the use of a technique called Silver Reverse. His work highlights the contemporary Cuban vision in the world around him, focusing on the daily experiences of the subjects of his photos as they navigate the streets of Cuba. Valenti also photographs the rich Cuban architecture and searches for beauty where it is not usually found or even looked for.
Adrian Rumbaut – Visual Artist whose work deals with the relationship between the image, its visual representation and objects that question through his painting that very relationship. Rumbaut often incorporates intimate or collective images of the human body, evoking the existing paradoxical sense of life and death, the real and the simulated, the superficial and deep. Many of his paintings have been torn, cut, woven, encased, perforated, disguised and inserted in precise spaces, and have made victims of specific art projects, attacked with the most unusual pigments.
Camilo Diaz de Villavilla – Visual Artist and Sculptor is also a member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). He has shown his art in different presentation showrooms of Visual Arts, both national and international most recurring topics in his art are social criticism, and the use of different images including personalities from world history as well as icons and slogans of the national and global market.
He has illustrated more than a dozen newspapers and magazines and several books, and has received several other provincial and national awards. His work can be seen in collections from different countries such as: the United States (collection: Jamy Rodman, Las Vegas; collection: Donald Rubin, New York), Germany, Portugal, Greece, Italy, France, Spain (collection: Lucila de la Cruz, Barcelona), Great Britain, Mexico, Canada, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Ireland, Sweden, New Zealand, Slovenia, Belgium, Chile and Cuba.