Since 1985, Linda Howe, associate professor of Romance languages at Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, SC, has watched first-hand how art-particularly the art of bookmaking-flourishes in adversity.
On May 20, 2009, she
will see more than two decades of research and work come to fruition when "Cuban Artists'
Books and Prints: 1985-2009" debuts at the Grolier Club of New York
on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.
"This exhibit is primarily about the ingenious resilience of the Cuban artists
represented and how they express their experiences of life in Cuba," said Howe
"But, it is also a testament to the service and entrepreneurial work of more than 200 Wake Forest students, faculty and staff over the years.
Without them, this exhibit never would have happened.
In 1997, Howe founded Wake Forest's summer academic program at the University of Havana and directed it until 2005, when student travel to Cuba was severely restricted by the US government.
During the trips, the student groups helped Vigía Press
translate and fabricate the books and worked with schoolchildren.
, whose expertise is Cuban cultural production, also performed research for her
book "Transgression and Conformity: Cuban Writers and Artists after the Revolution" during these trips.
As a result, she
established strong relationships with artists and writers and began collecting their books.
In 2007, Howe
initiated an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship project to create an exhibition that would bring national and international attention to these artists and their work.
"These artists have survived cultural politics, difficult living conditions and resource shortages that limited their access to the most basic materials, like paper," she
said, "but the project is not about politics.
It's about living our university motto, 'Pro Humanitate'-for the good of humanity.
Howe, one of the panelists, will describe her experience working with Vigía Press and well-known Cuban artists.
The symposium will be held in the Celeste Bartos Theater (Theater 3), of the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building.
Tickets are $10; members $8; students, seniors and staff of other museums $5.
For complete details on the symposium or to purchase tickets, visit (http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/events/1725).
will also present a free lecture about the exhibition at 6pm on May 21, 2009, at the Grolier Club