The Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to present Bridges Not Walls, a Cuba — Cincinnati exchange exhibition developed and curated by Cincinnati artists Kay Hurley and Jens G Rosenkrantz Jr. Jens G. Rosenkrantz, Jr.
After having met several Cuban artists during their first trip to Havana in 2015, Hurley and Rosenkrantz returned home and began to develop a plan to organize a cultural dialogue between artists in Cincinnati and Cuba. The resulting series of exhibitions features the artwork of 30 Cuban artists and 30 American artists, and culminates in a literal exchange between the two groups—each American artist has been paired with a Cuban artist with whom they will exchange artwork.
For this exhibition at the Art Academy, each of the 30 original Cuban artworks will be displayed (alongside photographs of their American counterparts), before being given to the American artists. This process does not involve sale of the work and is simply an exchange, intended as a cross-cultural gesture of goodwill and an avenue for dialogue between artists.
As the curators put it, “In the current political climate of turning away visitors and talk of building walls, we as artists think it is better to build bridges. We are all more alike than different. Nations may divide us, but it is our belief that we should be united. So, in our own little way we are trying to make a difference by building bridges, not walls.”
Photograph by Jens G. Rosenkrantz, Jr., 2017; image taken at the Casablanca ferry building in Cuba.