In December 2013, Lettie Ramirez and I took a trip to Cuba under Commonwealth Club of California sponsorship. They had written ahead to a remarkable artist, Mario Pelegrin who has created a community project dedicated to the artistic development of local children.
On his property, local children are provided the space and resources needed to allow their creative juices to flow, not only in fine art, but also in dance, theatre and music. When we visited Mario Pelegrin, it was after school hours and his place will filled with school children working on their art projects.
We had brought a suitcase full of art from the US. China and India to give to his young artists and they reciprocated with the pieces you’ll find here (catalog #s 44.2 to 44.6). They also gave us beautifully decorated seed pods, kites, a decorated plate, and a decorated basket made of banana leaves.
In Old Havana, we chanced upon the studio of another remarkable artist, Pilar Hornego Samoza, who also provides classes for the poorest children in Havana, and who is a noteworthy artist in her own right. We plan to sponsor her on a trip to the US where she will have an opportunity to communicate with children and their art-instructors in various US cities. Cuba is in rapid transition, and it is our hope that we can help her build a network of US artists and art customers.
You can view some of Pilar Hornego’s work in a small gallery on this web site.
The images in the gallery above are some of the photos we took on the trip.
~ Joan Sieber