The plan to bring an exhibit by Cuban artists to the Newcomb Art Gallery expanded dramatically as a campus committee tackled the project starting last September. Now the exhibit, opening on Saturday (Jan. 16), is the centerpiece of ¡SÃ Cuba!, a major presentation of Cuban art, film and culture.
Plans that began with three community partners participating now have blossomed to 23 events at 17 venues in a collaborative venture between museums, universities, galleries and other arts organizations.
Nothing, it seems, could derail the momentum for ¡SÃ Cuba!, even last-minute shipping problems for the exhibit materials.
"It was a bit of a cliffhanger," says Charles Lovell, gallery director, who breathed a sigh of relief when the remaining crates of art from Cuba arrived last Thursday (Jan. 7).
The much-delayed shipment ended up being flown to Toronto, Canada, and driven by truck to New Orleans. Logistical problems related to the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba caused difficulties, Lovell says, and as a result, the gallery is abuzz as workers toil long hours to install the exhibit before the opening.
The project is anchored by "Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works From Cuba," a joint exhibition presented by the Newcomb Art Gallery and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Opening with receptions at both venues on Saturday (Newcomb, 6â“9 p.m. and NOMA, 5:30â“8:30 p.m.), the show features more than 50 works by 27 contemporary Cuban artists.
Also opening on Saturday (reception, 5â“6 p.m.) is an exhibit at the Latin American Library in Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane. A Tulane symposium on "Collecting Cuban Art" is on Jan. 28â“29.
Project funding comes from the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust, Robert C. Cudd III and Carol Downes Cudd, the Newcomb Institute, Julie McCollam, and Dorian Bennett, with other support from CubaNOLA Arts Collective and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute.