Silvermine celebrates National Hispanic Month with an exhibit of Contemporary Cuban Art
By Silvermine Guild Arts Center
Sep 24, 2008 - 7:34 AM

Morning Glow in Early Winter by Keiko Ashido
Silvermine Guild Arts Center, located in New Canaan will have a special exhibit curated by Benjamin Ortiz on Contemporary Cuban Art in Reflections: Contemporary Cuban Art / Reflexiones: Arte cubano contemporáneo featuring artists living and working inside and outside of Cuba. Also opening is an exhibit featuring contemporary ceramics by Keiko Ashida “Stillness in Movement 2008” and a Juried Guild Group Show “Relevant Issues ‘08.” The public is welcomed to the opening reception from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, October 19th.

“Reflections: Contemporary Cuban Art / Reflexiones: Arte cubano contemporáneo,” an exhibition of 27-30 Cuban artists focuses and reflects on the contribution of Cubans to international contemporary art. These artists have been grouped together around the idea of self-reflection while creating a national identity through their visual aesthetics. They all share a personal and artistic dichotomy, which for those who live and work outside of Cuba encompasses the immigrant experience and their process of assimilation into the American culture while for those who reside and create in the homeland their aspects of self-identity is challenged by socioeconomic and political issues. Together these artists put forward a cohesive visual language, which results in an ever-growing perspective on this duality.

Cepp Selgas (b. Cienfuegos, 1951 – Resides in New York City. Emigrated to the USA in 1980) La Habana para una Infanta difunta V, 2002 Mixed fibers, leather, wood and metal sculptural installation 28 x 32 x 16 in. (sculpture) 27 x 36 x 20 in. (sewing table) Collection of the Gustavo Valdes
The viewer will encounter a wide range of styles and themes inspired by politics and social issues, historical events and personal narrative, religion and nature, framed around the perception of identity. How each artist addresses the concept of culture within their work varies greatly. It is a constant challenge for Cuban artists to confront the issues of negative stereotypes and prejudice, weighing their past and present reflections in order to shape a new future. Their imagery gives voice to their combined experiences both in Cuba and in the United States. Some of the artists to exhibit include José Bedia, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Ofill Echevarría, Roberto Estopiñán, Roberto Fabelo, Sita Gómez, Victor Gómez, Wifredo Lam, Manuel Mendive, Ibrahim Miranda, Elsa Mora, Clara Morera, René Peña, Sandra Ramos, Ruby Rubio, Cepero Selgas, Enrique Wong Díaz y “Zes” – Luis Olivera León.

According to Ridgefield resident, Benjamin Oritz, “An exhibition like this which is challenging from a curatorial perspective affords me the opportunity as a curator to bring together emerging, mid-career and established visual artists under one roof in the State of Connecticut. As a cultural worker, I feel it is my responsibility to act as a conduit for bringing these artists together. This exhibition not only has the potential to examine cultural barriers and especially those political, and aims at diminishing the isolation imposed by geographical barriers which are often felt by Cuban artists living in both Cuba and in the USA.”

Manuel Mendive (b. Havana, 1944 -Resides in Cuba) Untitled, 2006 Oil on canvas 33" x 39" Collection of Elena DeMurias
Art is not created in an isolated bubble, but quite often is impacted by and responds to the events taking place within contemporary society. “Relevant Issues 08” is a Guild group exhibition that pulls together a variety of work which explores topical issues impacting the world today. Juried by Jonathan Weinberg, Ph.D., painter and art historian, he is a 2002 Guggenheim Fellow in art history, and has had artist-in-residencies at the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles in 2002 and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover in 2006. Weinberg’s books include Ambition and Love in American Art and Male Desire: the Homoerotic in American Art. His paintings are in many important private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his exhibition of portraits, “People” was held at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale University in 2007.

Silvermine Guild Artist Keiko Ashido of City Island, NY, has a one person show of contemporary ceramics that combine various techniques to express what she feels through her main source of inspiration…nature. “Stillness in Movement” according to Keiko, “10 different people would have 10 different interpretations of this statement. When one visualizes one’s own concept as an artistic creation, this becomes his or her own identity. When I encounter something, I internalize what I felt from it and visualize it. This is my happiest moment.”

Ashida is currently a faculty member at the Silvermine School of Art and Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. Her most recent exhibitions worldwide include Gallery Colon, Tokyo, Japan; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Japanese Gallery Reading Room, NY; Hammond Museum Invitational, North Salem, NY; Japan USA Invitational in Santa Fe, New Mexico: Craft USA 2005 Triennial at Silvermine Guild Arts Center and exhibits at the Clay Art Center in NY. Keiko’s work has also been featured in magazines including the cover of Ceramics Technical and in Ceramic Monthly.

Exhibits will run through November 7th. For more information call 203-966-9700 ext.20 or visit Silvermine's website at

About Silvermine Guild Arts Center

Silvermine Guild Arts Center is located in New Canaan and is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Its nationally renowned artist guild, award winning gallery and school of art offer more than twenty contemporary and historic exhibitions annually and a wide range of art courses and workshops on its five-acre campus. The center provides innovative arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools and hosts a summer music series. Silvermine Guild Arts Center is a nonprofit organization

Silvermine Guild Arts Center Mission

Grounded in the belief that art is vital to the spirit, creativity and wholeness of human beings, the mission of Silvermine Guild Arts Center is to cultivate, promote and encourage growth through the arts; to showcase and serve artists; and to foster arts education and appreciation opportunities for the greater community.

Silvermine Galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1pm to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966-9700 or visit the website:

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