viernes, 13 de abril de 2007

A Painter’s Imprint in Holguin, Cuba

“The findings of a Watchman” is the name of a personal show exhibited by young painter Julio Cesar Rodriguez in the La Periquera Provincial Museum at Holguin city.

The collection was previously exhibited in January at the Colonial Art Museum in Havana City. This is not the first time that his work is seen in the capital. The Convent of Saint Francis of Asisis, the Grand Theater of Havana, and other sites have held his paintings there.

The Shared Root, The Flight of the Sprouted Palm Trees, The Virgin of the Stone and The Hidden Nutshell are evidence of the artist's doings so far in the beginnings of this 2007. “The findings of a Watchman” comprises mostly canvas, although there is mixed technique in some pieces.

Wooden bodies, Cuban palm trees, birds, eyes, and hands; make a symbolic speech of his art, where he is repeatedly portrayed in various contexts.

The 16 arts pieces conforming this exhibition “are not only touching due to the technique of the convincing drawing”, but also due to “the poetic, gullible language, also accompanied by new longings or blue dreams”, as stated by poet Jose Luis Moreno in the show catalogue.

This year Rodriguez has been awarded the City Prize for “The blue lady”, also part of the exposition. He was also granted the “Venga la Esperanza” (May Hope Come to us) Prize, by the Hermanos Saiz Young Artists´ Association in Holguin, in 2003; and the second Prize in the 460th Anniversary Hall, in 2005, among other awards.

Paintbrushes, Nature and Poetry: Nelida Lopez in Holguin

With the Where I was born exposition, by plastic artist Nelida Lopez, we attend these days at Holguin Art Centre to “the meeting point where nature and poetry make us live what doesn't exist yet” as poet Gilberto Gonzalez Seik described it in his opening words.

Nelida graduated from the Juan J. Fornet Pina Plastic Arts School in Holguin in 1966 and from the Havana National Art School in 1968. She returns to Holguín with this collection that includes pieces of her “From Madrid” and “Seasons” series, where the artist evokes nature from her ever-present own approach.

Regarding this, she said: “I was born in the countryside; I come from a very humble family. Living in the city has made the topic of nature spring in my work. This is about the having been uprooted from my natural environment, the nostalgia for the place of where I come from. It is a way to regret living on the pavement, with washing lines and TV antennas, instead of trees”.

Lopez has held shows in the Acacia Art Gallery, the Wilfredo Lam Centre, the Cuban Photographic Library, and the Havana Belle Arts Museum. Among her best known international exhibitions we can find A Cuban drawing, in Estocolmo, Sweden; A Cuban painting, in Seville, Spain; and Hidden Art of the Revolution, in Toronto, Canada.

Also a member of the Cuban Society of Artists and Writers (UNEAC, in Spanish); the painter remembers that painting has always accompanied her. There was not a moment of hesitation about that in her life. Works like Water in the Stream, I am Bound to the Floor, and To survive Winter explain that other “sight” the poet speaks of.

In her current personal exposition she continues to go for canvas to support her emotions. "In my work, amidst the topic of nature you can see plunder, devastation. It is very symbolic, I use a lot of stumps, but I also use cut branches getting together again, because there is indeed a message of hope"

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lunes, 19 de marzo de 2007

Radio Holguin’s ‘Dial ISA’: A Different Approach to Broadcasting

Aracelys Avilés Suárez

Beyond the conventional, the corny or empty phrases, there is still a radio sound that deals with cutting edge art. Where? When? Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at 96.1 MHz on your dial.

This dream has come true thanks to a new broadcasting station: Radio Holguin. Its "Dial ISA" is a program produced by students in this city’s Higher Arts Institute (ISA in Spanish). Aimed at promoting their works, the directors use and present a novel way of broadcasting, said Humberto Gonzalez Carro, the director of ISA, who added that this effort is unique in Cuba.

Another of the programs, "Through the Eye of the Needle," is the critics´ opportunity for debate - mostly by experts who discuss controversial issues such as the concept of culture and radio programming in Holguin. Likewise, "Close-up" offers the opportunity to meet ISA graduates and members of its teaching staff to learn who they are and what they do.

In terms of music, "Dial ISA" offers a privileged position to Cuban music. Holguin musical production is also promoted, mainly lyrical music. Another strong point is the announcers’ style, with no pompous or phony voices and no clichés.

The idea is to have all students to participate. There is no fixed production team; each broadcast has its own director, announcer, producer and editor.

One thing for sure is that "Dial ISA" is entertaining, without succumbing to banality. With a sense of humor and a concept of what good art is, its creators are a mirror of themselves and their city.

To decipher the route of a leader

Aracelys Avilés Suárez

The elevations of the Hill La Mensura, in Pinegroves of Mayarí keep a history. Perhaps without being aware of it the young Fidel Castro formed there his guerrilla spirit, the same spirit that years later defined a direction in the life of his country. Investigators of the Sciences Academy of this town, work in the recognition of the itineraries that made the maximum leader of the Cuban Revolution from its house in Birán until the Sierra of Nipe in his childhood and adolescence years.

Félix A. Sabina, social investigator and Academy worker, direct the project whose objectives embrace, also, the description of the vegetation, the making of a route map and the edition of a notebook where the most important results are picked up.

"As we know, Fidel ascended in several occasions to La Mensura, however we can not say with accuracy how many times he made these trips, neither with what frequency he made it. It is possible that neither he knows it with security. That’s why we can not define exact dates or a chronological order", Félix argues.

Without any doubts the study will make contributions to the history, but it is profiled in more degree by the anthropological cut, because it picks up the experiences of a man, its way of acting and its interpersonal relationships in that life period. For these purposes the investigation will have like base the testimonies offered by people that knew of its trips for the Sierra of Nipe in some moment. Félix affirms that some informants have already been located in Birán.

In these moments the project is in the bibliographical revision stage. Also it considers the organization of the methodology and the work lines to continue. According to the consulted texts the route is not completely unknown; the book Antes del Moncada makes references to the Cuban president's trips by the area of Nipe.

The National Environment Fund finances the project that should be carried out in around two years. Although the project gives its first steps, very good results are expected. To follow the route of a great man and to reconstruct a part of his personal history is not an easy task; however it is appreciated to who undertakes it.

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viernes, 16 de marzo de 2007

In Holguín: Cuban film in edition

For these days, in Holguín a group of students of the ISA (Superior Institute of Art) works in the film Theatrical Death.

The cinema critic Humberto González Carro, who is also ISA’s director, has said: “It has a very interesting concept of a show from the dramatic point of view; it is, also, a very professional work, with novel proposals in the photographic technique”.

The life of a ruin theater guard, their ghosts and conflicts serve as pretext to count a stage of the history of the Theater Eddy Suñol. This center was inaugurated in 1939, and it was closed in the 2001 by the damage state of their facilities.

Alejandro Palomo makes the direction, the lineal edition and a part of the script. Although this is his first experience like director of fiction, he has directed Rastafari, an honoured documental in national festivals. Nowadays also works in the program When it assaults the memory", of Telecristal.

About Theatrical Death affirms: "what I look for is to stand out the whole work that has happened in that place, the history of this theatre, I want to remember the personalities that have been there since the theatre was opened until it was closed. At the same time I want to represent what that has meant for Holguin’s people."

Palomo writes the script next to Frank M. Batista, who is also the Photography director. Juan Roche makes the Sound, Grecia Feria and Yadira Araújo, the production. According to González Carro, the project has also been a great school, because of the quantity of students that have taken part. Víctor Leyva works in the digital edition and José Alfredo Fernández in the sound track; they are graduated of this institute.

In Theatrical Death great artists of the Dramatic Theater and the Lírico Rodrigo Prats of Holguín also participate, such as Sergio Ochoa and María Eugenia Candaosa (Meña) as main characters, Gonzalo Anta, Fernando Gil and Lourdes Reyes.

The idea was born around one year ago. Although the first steps for their repair already began, the film doesn't lose validity, because it speaks about an important part of the Holguín's life. The dramatic solutions that looks for, the symbols that uses and its interesting postulates is a sample of what can be made with few resources and a good imagination.

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