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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cuba’s Art Scene Is Flourishing

An artist shows his finished work at the Experimental Graphic Arts Studio in Old Havana. Poet Pablo Neruda convinced Che Guevara to open this workshop in the 60s to save the dying art form. Today it’s home to Cuba’s top print makers. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

An artist shows his finished work at the Experimental Graphic Arts Studio in Old Havana. Poet Pablo Neruda convinced Che Guevara to open this workshop in the 60s to save the dying art form. Today it’s home to Cuba’s top print makers. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Cuba has fascinated Americans for decades, but the socialist island has been off limits for 50 years because of a U.S. trade embargo.

Things are changing, though. On Monday, the Cuban government last week ended a pair of long-reviled travel restrictions, making it easier for Cubans to leave their country. And in 2011, President Obama authorized tightly regulated people-to-people cultural tours, allowing more Americans to travel to Cuba.

WBUR’s Andrea Shea recently went on one of these trips, with a Boston gallery owner’s “trade mission” to open U.S.-Cuba relations through art.


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  • Brian O’Neill

    In the spring of 2012 I had the pleasure and frustration of working for 6 weeks at the Taller Expermental de Gráfica in Old Havana. I made five lithographs  on the very press in the background of the top photo.

    I knew the guy in the photo a little but not well. However, to Guillermo, the artist in the video I gave the Communist newspaper Granma almost every day after I’d read it. On my last day there he invited me to go through his prints and select one.

    Because I was not sanctioned, I was there illegally in the eyes of the US gov’t. But I had a great time for total of 7 weeks in La Habana.

    Thanks for the report. Let’s end ‘el bloqueo’.
    Brian O’Neill

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