"Cuban Connections": A Celebration of Cuban Culture and Art in Two Parts Print

Halifax, October 6-November 14
Ralph and Rose Chiodo Harbourside Gallery, Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Rd.
Details on the Nova Scotia-Cuba Artists' Collective website

A continuing art and cultural exchange between Pinar del Río, Cuba, and the artists of the Nova Scotia Cuba Artists Collective.

"Cuban Connections" demonstrates the connection between Cuban Canadians and their Cuban roots, showing  how elements of culture travel with people and are sustained and adapted to the new home and environment, in turn adding to the cultural richness of their new country.


Complementing the core exhibition, from October 6 to 28 will be artwork by Cuban artists as part of the ongoing Pinar del Río/Nova Scotia Culture Exchange, sponsored by the NSCUBA Artists Collective. 

From October 30 to November 14, the exhibition will then feature Similar Yet Different, a comparison through art of life in the provinces of Pinar del Río and Nova Scotia, and a display of children's art from both provinces.



Part One: October 6-28

Cuban Connections demonstrates the connection between Cubans living in Canada and their roots in Cuba. It shows how elements of culture travel with people who come here to live, and are sustained and adapted to the new home and new environment. Cuban music, dance, visual arts, food, clothing and celebrations are present in various ways in the new surroundings and add to the cultural richness of their new country. It also contrasts and compares the daily experience of shopping, preparation of food, transportation and pastimes in the two countries.

On loan from Her Honour, The Honourable Mayann Francis, ONS DHUML, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, are four heritage pieces of handmade work created by relatives in times past, in Santiago de Cuba. We greatly appreciate Her Honour's trust in allowing us to exhibit these precious items.

Through artwork, photographs, cultural objects and artifacts, the exhibition compares several aspects of life in Nova Scotia with those of Cuba.  Cuban Connections also introduce you to several Cubans who now reside in Nova Scotia and are still involved with Cuban culture through dance, music, and photography, although they are integrated into the local society. Cuban music and dance is becoming more and more a part of Canadian culture; it is performed by local bands and dance groups, and has inspired cultural exchanges such as the Los Primos Project, an exchange between young musicians from Halifax and Cuba.

The home video "Flooding from Hurricane Ivan" was created by Andres Dauyon Borges after the storm had passed by Havana in 2007. You might compare the coping skills of the Habañeros, for whom hurricanes are a fact of life, with those of Haligonians who have experienced Hurricane Juan, and most recently, Earl!

The paintings from Cuba describe the landscape and the people, and comment on some of the social challenges of the average citizen. They are a sampling of the imagination and creativity that is typical of Cuban art. These images will create an element of nostalgia for some. The paintings come to us as part of the Pinar del Río / Nova Scotia Cultural Exchange, established in 2007 between the artists of the NSCUBA Artists Collective and the Galería Arturo Regueiro in Pinar del Río, Cuba. The exhibition of art is accompanied from Cuba by an artist/art teacher, the director of the gallery and a community cultural specialist who will act as translator. The exhibition will be reconfigured on October 29 and reopen on October 30 to allow the art to return to Cuba.

Part 2: October 30-November 14

Similar Yet Different, a comparison through art of life in the provinces of Pinar del Río and Nova Scotia, and a display of children's art from both provinces was lead by artist Jude Caborn with contributions from Canadian and Cuban artists.

"Similar Yet Different" is a comparison of the province Pinar del Río province of Cuba with Nova Scotia in the form of suspended squares of artwork which show an aspect of life from each province on either side. As one walks among them they rotate to reveal their images. It is intended to be interactive and guests are invited to pass through the exhibit and touch the pieces of art and contemplate the similarities and differences

There will also be a stronger focus on children and family celebrations, including a video and/or photos of a "Cumpleaños Quince", the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday, and an exhibition of art by children in Nova Scotia and Pinar del Río who were asked to create something about their home provinces to show children in the other country.

The exhibit will also tell the story of a Cuban schoolgirl who, before coming to Canada, had absorbed much of our school culture from Canadian TV programs shown in Cuba, and has adapted quickly to her new surroundings. However, her favorite food is still rice and beans.

The artists of the NSCUBA Artists Collective wish to acknowledge and thank the Cuban Canadians and guests from Cuba for trusting us to present this representation of their culture and art as part of the Pier Community Presents Program.