November exhibitions bring up-and-coming Cuban art and artists to The Studios of Key West


A piece from the“Just Give Thanks” exhibition by Silvia Rodriguez Rivero. COURTESY IMAGES

A piece from the“Just Give Thanks” exhibition by Silvia Rodriguez Rivero. COURTESY IMAGES

On Thursday, Nov. 7, from 6-8 p.m., The Studios of Key West, located at 533 Eaton St. in Key West, invites the public to a “First Thursday” exhibition opening and meet and greet with three of Cuba’s rising artists. Osmeivy Ortega and Lisandra Ramirez, both graduates of the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Cuba, will share the Sanger Gallery, and Silvia Rodriguez Rivero’s “Sol Dar Gracias” (Just Give Thanks) will be on view in the Zabar Project Gallery.

Osmeivy Ortega and Lisandra Ramirez came of age in the 2000s, when artists in Cuba were leading a resurgence of entrepreneurial activity and engagement with the outside world. Ortega’s imagery is dominated by his connection to animals and the natural world, and his prints have been exhibited in the U.S., Mexico and Spain. Ramirez is a sculptor and mixed media artist whose sly social commentary draws on design from Japanese anime to Spanish baroque.

Silvia Rodriguez Rivero’s artistic trajectory has been unique. Nominated in 2003 for the Latin Grammy Award, and the Cubadisco Best Record Producer Award in 2003 and 2013, Rivero’s career began with music. Seven years ago, motivated by her son’s interest in the visual arts, she picked up a paintbrush and hasn’t stopped. Particularly inspired by the theme of migration, Rivero uses powerful, symbolic imagery to explore Cuba’s past and present. The winged ladies, shadowy forests and moonlit seas of her paintings and altarpieces evoke a deep sense of history and recall the magic realism of Marc Chagall.

Acrylic cat by Lisandra Ramirez.

Acrylic cat by Lisandra Ramirez.

To celebrate her exhibition, Rivero’s husband, the Oscar-nominated composer José Maria Vitier (“Strawberry & Chocolate”), will present a brief musical performance as an introduction to the exhibition on Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. (preceding the opening) in the Helmerich Theater. Vitier is an icon in Cuba, combining the elegance of the classical tradition with the romance and pathos of Cuban folk melodies.

“Flamingo” by Osmeivy Ortega.

“Flamingo” by Osmeivy Ortega.

The exhibitions and piano performance are free and open to the public. Both exhibitions will be on view through Nov. 28. The Studios of Key West’s Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Both exhibitions are made possible by The Gallery on Greene. ¦

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