Mitos Y Realidades Inspiraciones De La Republica De Cuba / Myths and Realities: Inspirations from the Republic of Cuba

November 6, 2012–January 6, 2013
Commons Art Gallery

Arcadia University’s Global Faculty Development Program was inaugurated in June 2012 when a dozen faculty and staff, along with eight faculty members from other Pennsylvania colleges and universities, made an unprecedented academic trip to the island of Cuba, a nation few Americans have visited in the last fifty years.

Installation view, photo: Matthew Borgen
"Mitos y Realidades:Inspiraciones de La República de Cuba / Myths and Realities: Inspirations from the Republic of Cuba" strives to document this experience. On display in the two outer bays of the exhibition space are new bodies of work created in response to the experience by four artists who went on the trip.
In the bay adjacent to the café are projects by Abbey Ryan and Scott Rawlins, faculty from Arcadia University’s Department of Art and Design. Ryan is represented by five landscapes painted on location and Rawlins is featured with a series of botanical studies of tropical sea grapes. In the bay adjacent to the stairway are collages incorporating indigenous materials collected during the trip by Bonnie Levinthal and Yvonne Love, faculty from the art department at Penn State Abington.

Left: Installation view, photo: Matthew BorgenRight: Installation view, photo: Matthew Borgen

On view in the center of the space are journal entries, manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts contributed by the other trip participants. These are presented alongside personal accounts of how this eclectic group of objects came to represent their journey. These materials attempt to distill the participants’ experience of a country—however brief, introductory, and cursory, that is so geographically close, but is so little understood.

This site has also been used for a series of panel discussions prompted by the visit of Dr. Raul Rodriguez, deputy director of the Center for Hemispheric and Cuban-American Studies at The University of Havana, during his recent residency at Arcadia.

For the University, this exhibition inaugurates a new means for the Department of Art and Design to collaborate with other departments on campus, and introduces a new way for students and the greater community to experience academic research. This exhibition was made possible by a donation to the Gateway Society by Theresa and John Rollins.


Myths and Realities: Inspirations from the Republic of Cuba Opening Lecture