Monday, May 02, 2011
Last Sunday John and I returned from Havana, Cuba. We got to go there legally because our son-in-law is Cuban and the Obama administration has made it possible for relatives of Cubans to visit with a tourist visa. This was our second trip there and this time we decided to hit the beach. We spent 3 days in Havana and 6 days at the Playa del Este right outside of Havana. Bright sun, magic sea, glorious music , good food (prepared by my co-mother-in-law, a world class cook), old car watching and large amounts of fabulous rum ...what more could a girl want?
Actually there is LOTS more to Havana that a girl could want, especially a pottery girl. Before I went I contacted Peter Held who had given a talk on Cuban ceramics at the latest NCECA. He, without hesitation, gave me names and introductions to some of the country's best ceramic artists. I will be forever grateful. Though my family is incredibly supportive of my ceramics obsession, my pottery touring time was limited. We were able to meet with Alejandro Alonzo who is the director of the Contemporary Ceramics Museum in Havana Vieja. Alejandro so generously spent a whole morning with us showing us the museum's beautiful collection and talking to us about the growth of Cuban Ceramics. Being in Alejando's energetic presence was being with a person of greatness. He glowed with enthusiasm in his beautiful museum. What an incredible experience, one I will never forget.
Attached is a little video that John made of our trip to the museum and our tour with Alejandro. You will also catch a glimpse of an amazing street artist we happened to see on our way to the museum. He is creating tile patterns on the street to simulate classic colonial floor tiles. He is using stencils and water and washing away decades of dirt. The artist informed us it was a political statement meant in some way to show the involvement of the community in Cuba. I think the work,both in concept and execution, is exceptionaly beautiful.