Foundation of Cubarte and Canadian Cuban Green Bridge

Susan Franklin is pleased to present her personal art collection from artists of the Sierra Maestra in Cuba.

Susan first discovered Cuba 14 years ago, when she visited Cuba and fell in love with the people and historic town of Santiago de Cuba. Since then, the spirit of Cuba has enriched her life and inspired her interest in the art and culture of the Cuban people. Since then she has embarked on a spiritual and cultural journey, one upon which she hopes you will join her. Through her Cuban friends Susan has met and befriended many in the local art community. It is their work that she wishes to share with you.

The collection features over 100 rich and vibrant works from the eastern region of the country, frequently described as the heartland of Cuban culture. Geographically isolated from Havana, this area is often described as “campesino”, or country-like; the traditions of Afro-Cuban spiritualism inform and color their works.

The  artists represented in the collection range from self-taught ‘primitives’ to professionals in the field, including art professors and directors of institutes.

During the past 3 years Susan has organized exhibits for these artists, introducing the Niagara community to Orestes Larios Zaak and Jose Armando Medina at the Niagara Artists Centre.

To further develop this cultural exchange between these respective communities, the Niagara Artists Centre, CRAM, and Taller Cultural "Luis Diaz Odurardo" entered into an exchange to establish a cultural bridge between our respective communities whose purpose is to show and exchange through the visual arts, ideas and perceptions from two apparently different sociocultural contexts, on a theme of global concern, the environment. 

The following Manifesto, Cuban Canadian Green Bridge (CCGB), created, Feburary, 2008 outlines the foundation of this exchange. 
Click on Manifesto to enlarge the image

Manifesto Foundation Team: Jose Armando, Lorenzo Jardines, Isreal Tamayo, Susan Franklin, Iliana Ponce

Susan Franklins formation of the Cuban Canadian Green Bridge Project, was inspired by the teachings of Jose Marti.  Marti represents a spiritual tradition whose commitment to Utopian aspirations continues to flow mercurially through the veins of the Cuban people . Sharing our cultures at a community based level sets the stage for letting go of egos and corporate and institutional self-interest while uniting communities, leading us to the possibility of discovering the  intrinsic values of our respective societies.

 CCGB is currently fundraising in order to facilitate this exchange.  Proceeds from the sale of the origional works donated by these artists will enable them to travel to Niagara in October, 2009.
Spomsorships are available. 

CCGB Creating a Cultural Exchange
Click on these links to view MEDIA coverage
Click on the link below regarding Cuban Canadian Adult Art Exchange
Contact Information:
Susan Franklin 
905 984 8672




Cuban Canadian Green Bridge - Pequeno Planeta Exhibition

Pequeno Planeta : Sharing  Environmental Perspectives of Children from Niagara, Canada, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Camaquey, Cuba and Brooklyn, United States

To view Childrens works please  click on this link

November, 2008 District School Board of Niagara
January, 2009, Taller Cultural, Santiago de Cuba
February, 2009, Galeria Larios, Camaquey, Cuba
May 20, 2009 BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, United States

Uploading soon, video documetation  and images from the exhibition!

CCGB would like to Thank District School Board of Niagara, Taller Cultural, Diaz Edwardo, Gallery Larios, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, the numerous volunteers in Niagara and Cuba who supported this project,  participating schools, teachers and Students!
A special thanks to Doug and Joyce Franklin who sponsored the video and material costs of this project .

Media Links for Childrens Exchange:

Jorge Luis Chavez Gamez

Orestes Larios Zaak

Larios was born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1953.  He studied art at the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba, specializing in drawing and painting.  He graduated with a Masters of Art degree from Instituo Superior Pedagogico, Jose Marti.

He has had single and collective exhibitions around Cuba, Europe and the United States and has been awarded numerous awards and honors from recognized National shows. 

The community of Niagara enjoyed meeting Orestes and viewing his artwork at the Niagara Artists Centre, November, 2007. 

 When the term "ecology" was not so popular as it is today in the field of politics, sciences, and arts Orestes Larios Zaak lived with the obsession for the relation of man-fauna, man-flora. First he discovered human attitudes in animals' then, interpolated animal life with that of human beings. 
Beginning with a supra-realistic intention, later employing a style reminiscent of post-impressionist and post-fauvist, he arrived at his current quasi abstract landscape.  The works that he currently presents attract attention (to those who know his work since the 70's) because man is now absent in these polisemantic landscapes that demonstrate to us the objective nature of his vision of the exterior world.
The right to interprete what has been seen according to the state of mind of each individual?  The necessity of solicitude in this period of mass society?  The virtuoso juggling of a person who knows very well and explores green up to unexpected tonalities?  All of these can be found in the recent paintings of Larios.  We don't feel surprised if, after observing them, we rearrange the view, trying to feel the smell of grass in a train or, simply, getting far away from the city without appart reasons to find ourselves once more in the green and peaceful lonlieness of the field.
Dr. Pedro Martinez Acosta

  Cuba Media Link    

Wall Street Jouranl Media Link (view interactive map for Camaquey)

Miguel Angel Lobaina Borges

Lobaina is one of Santiago's most esteemed artists.  He was born in Guantanamo in 1953 and graduated in 1972 from the Jose Joaquin Tejada in Satiago de Cuba.  He has been 'Profesor Adjunto' at the Universidad de Oriente since 2004 and his art has been exhibited internationally since 1977. 

Jorge Knight Vera

Santiago de Cuba, 1959 

Jorge Knight is a graduate of the Jose Joaquin Tejada Art Academy in Santiago de cuba, and obtained a degree in Art History from the University of Oriente, also in Santiago. Since the 1980's he has been associated with the Cultural workshop there, and has exhibited at more than 50 Cuban sponsored international art exhibitions. 

His works pay homage to the beauty of the Cuban woman. The sculptural silhouettes recall the modernism of Picasso while their abstract yet sensual forms are accentuated by the use of an invigorating relief technique which, together with the richness of the ink, emphasized the visual planes of his work