Art Collaboration between the US and Cuba

Women in Trees * Mujeres en Los Arboles

ZM0A0682

This collaborative project brought together 4 US artists, Bonnie Levinthal, Sarah McEaneney, Betsey Batchelor and myself, and 4 Cuban artists, Jacqueline Brito, Yamilys Brito, Yasbel Perez and Alicia Leal.  Bonnie and I met Yamilys in 2012 at her studio in Havana, Taller Experimental Graphica. We immediately felt a connection to her, and had been thinking about doing a collaboration together.  That idea turned into this international collaboration.  We did not start with a theme, however early on we did come up with a title that is reflected throughout the work.  Each of the 8 artists started with a piece of paper, made their “mark” and passed the paper to the next artist. Many of the artists commenting that their favorite part of the collaboration was finishing a piece. For me this was true because I found seeing all of the voices together exciting.  We each had so much to say – and through the juxtapositions said it to one another, each maintaing our own voice while reflecting on those around us.

Discussion about the project at Taller Experimental Graphica
Discussion about the project at Taller Experimental Graphica from left; Ania(assistant to Alicia), Yamilys Brito, Yvonne Love, Alicia Leal, Sarah, McEneaney, Bonnie Levinthal, Betsey Batchelor.
The Process of passing.
The Process of passing.
And the 8 finished pieces;

cuba 1cuba 2cuba 3IMG_1906IMG_1908IMG_1909IMG_1911IMG_1912ZM0A2169ZM0A1790_1At the opening in Havana,From Left; Yamilys Brito, Jacqueline Brito, Yvonne Love, Gillian Siegfried (student), Bonnie Levinthal, Erica Lampe (student), Yilian Marie (student), Sarah McEneaney, Yasbel Perez.

Photo by Kate Hurni.

Women in Trees + Mujeres en los Arboles

Women In Trees .Mujeres en los Arboles A collaborative exhibition of American and Cuban Artists Artists: Jacqueline Brito, Yamilys Brito, Betsey Batchelor, Alicia Leal, Bonnie Levinthal, Yvonne Love, Sarah McEneaney, Yasbel Perez Students: Salome Garcia, Erica Lampe, Yilian Marie, Gillian Siegfried

Women In Trees .Mujeres en los Arboles
A collaborative exhibition of American and Cuban Artists
Artists: Jacqueline Brito, Yamilys Brito, Betsey Batchelor, Alicia Leal, Bonnie Levinthal,
Yvonne Love, Sarah McEneaney, Yasbel Perez
Students: Salome Garcia, Erica Lampe, Yilian Marie, Gillian SiegfriedOn Exhibition in Havana in November and at Penn State Abington December 4-January 31, reception Monday Dec. 9, 4-6pm.

This international collaborative art project involves 8 artists both from the United States and Cuba along with 4 student artists. The final collaborative works illustrate how the experience of collaboration changed viewpoints, exposed metaphoric boundaries and identities and opened a richness of shared experience between the artists physical and artistic juxtapositions.

A Collaboration with US and Cuban Artists

image Pictured above; the US artists Bonnie Levinthal, Sarah McEneaney, Betsey Batchelor and Yvonne Love.YLColab6

Take a look at this blog to follow a wonderful collaboration between 4 US artists; Bonnie Levinthal, Sarah McEneaney, Betsey Batchelor and myself and 4 Cuban artists; Yamilys Brito, Jacqueline Brito, Yasbel Perez and Alicia Leal. We will be working together at Taller Graphica in Havana beginning tomorrow. Above is one of four pieces circulated and worked on by each of the 4 US artists, we will exchange these with the 4 Cuban artist generated pieces and respond to each other’s work.

Cuba response exhibition at Arcadia University

Cuba response exhibition at Arcadia University

Mitos y Realidades: Inspiraciones de La República de Cuba
Myths and Realities: Inspirations from the Republic of Cuba at Arcadia University:

On the evening of Thursday, November 8, Arcadia University will have the official opening of an art and artifact exhibition featuring the fine art work of Bonnie Levinthal, Yvonne Love, Scott Rawlins and Abbey Ryan. All of this work was either completed during, inspired by, or used materials obtained during our week in Cuba. In addition to this work, we will be displaying artifacts from Cuba loaned to us by the participants . A reception for the artists begins at 7 pm with a discussion of art and culture in Cuba following at 8 pm.
Where: Commons Exhibition Space on the ground-level floor of the University Commons. The show will be up through January 2013.

Cuba Collaboration, 3, and our meeting with Pablo Armando Fernandez

Cuba Collaboration, 3, and our meeting with Pablo Armando Fernandez

Continuing with the collaboration with Bonnie Levinthal on Cuba;

This piece represented our first real struggle with this process. We work similarly enough to be frustrated by the differences. This piece has gone through many transformations, has been ripped apart and burned down…..I started it – a drawing in sand – and gave it to Bonnie – then we broke the rules and she gave it back to me – and then back to her. We added one of the poems that I wrote while we were in Cuba. One of my favorite images in the poem comes from the conversation we had with poet, Pablo Armando Fernandez, in his living room where he described his use of imagery in relationship to the Cuban landscape.
He took us out to his front porch to show us his “Cuban waterfall” – his neighbor’s Royal Palm tree.

Separate
distance
divide
with intention
a process
to fall
into silence
steps
shift down
to touch streets
rain weights
stone walls
yielding
to a lapping sea
where architecture moves
in pace
with dominoes
and zoom zoom
through the Royal Palm’s
water fall
in his living room
he carries.

Cuba Collaboration with Bonnie Levinthal

Cuba Collaboration with Bonnie Levinthal

These next two images are the second installment in a series of works between Bonnie Levinthal and I reflecting on our collaborative responses to Cuba. We were both inspired by the visual place but even more by the cultural, political and spiritual exchanges we encountered when sitting in the studios and living rooms of several Cuban artists and poets. Some of the themes which have emerged in our work since our return include; exile, identity, literal and metaphoric isolation and boundaries. For these two particular pieces, I started them, gave them to Bonnie and she finished them by working into my imagery. You can see my hand here through my materials; sand, fishing hooks, and mirrors. Check out Bonnie’s website to view more of her work;

www.bonnielevinthal.com

Cuba collaboration with Bonnie Levinthal

Cuba collaboration with Bonnie Levinthal

This is the first in a series of works between Bonnie Levinthal and I reflecting on our collaborative responses to Cuba. We were both inspired by the visual place but even more by the cultural, political and spiritual exchanges we encountered when sitting in the studios and living rooms of several Cuban artists and poets. Some of the themes which have emerged in our work since our return include; exile, identity, literal and metaphoric isolation and boundaries. For this particular piece, Bonnie started it, gave it to me and I finished it by working into her imagery. You can see my direct hand here through my materials; sand, sewn thread, and mirrors. Check out Bonnie’s website to view more of her work;

www.bonnielevinthal.com