Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PhotoCuba! 2008 Was Sooo Good!

We had a really fun time with the Photo Cuba workshop again this year. 16 participants joined us for the photo workshop plus a few other spouses and friends came as travel companions. Once again the cultural exchange has been rich and exciting. (I'm working on getting images together from the students to share with you soon.) Everyone had a great time and made some fantastic photos, on May 9th we will be slide show of the student's work at the Photo Cuba '08 group exhibit.

Our fearless leaders! This is our team of teachers. From left to right: Laura Taylor has been involved with our studio here in Guelph for about a decade. She's been a student, a teacher, and one of our team of wedding photographers. German (second from left) is a surrealist painter and the director of the local art gallery. He's also a professor of fine art. He did several talks about Cuban art, principals of art in general, as well as sharing his unique perspective on composition and concept during student critiques. The next guy there is Arisdan, our technical assistant. And then there's Trina, head teacher, organizer, visionary and CEO of the Photo Cuba! workshop.

As a part of the workshop experience we take the participants into Santiago de Cuba for a photo excursion. This year, we visited Centro Provincal de las Artes Plasticas, a public art gallery, where the work from our PhotoCuba! workshops from 2006 and 2007 was hanging! What an honour! German (pronounced “Her-man” with a rolled ‘r’), our Cuban art teacher arranged it. We had no idea just how much the local art community valued the project.

The following week, Trina, German, Arisdan and myself returned back to this gallery for Trina to give an artist's talk about her own personal work. She showed a slideshow of her “Searching for Sensuality” photo project, which includes her “Special Waters” images. During the Q&A one of the Cuban artist asked Trina if she would teach a workshop for Cubans.
The Gallery; Centro Provincal de las Artes Plasticas

Trina's Talk

German, two artists involved in curating the gallery show, Trina and Arisdan.

In the interest of keeping this workshop a true exchange the students bring donations of clothing and art supplies for the community. This year there was a large duffel bag full of art supplies for the grade schools in and around Chivirico.

Some of the Donated Art Supplies

Trina and Arisdan did a class talk for a grade two class at a local school to explain how photography is an art form and why it's so wonderful to photograph in their community.

This guy is the School Principal...

... And this, of course, is the class.
We received some beautiful drawings from the kids at the school expressing their gratitude for the art supplies that was brought to their school. So, thanks again to all of you who generously packed their bags with donations.

All in all this has been another very positive cultural experience for us and we're really looking forward to returning back next year.