“We are proud of our artists and very pleased to view their art in this wonderful setting” HE Ambassador Teresita Vicente Sotolongo told guests at a special viewing of Cuban art at London’s iconic Gherkin building on Tuesday 6 December. The stunning showcase of Cuban art is a selection from the recent highly successful show at the GX Gallery in London – PRESENTE! Contemporary Art from Cuba. It captures the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Cuban art at its best and the selection at the Gherkin, which will remain until 22 December, displays the exceptional creativity and talent of Cuba’s visual artists.

A wonderful evening was enjoyed by guests who viewed the exhibition featuring art by over 30 artists living in Cuba, and providing a cross-section of the island’s lively visual art scene. PRESENTE! is a first for London, as the capital has never before exhibited Cuban art on this scale and with this generational spread. Artists who have been creating art for six decades, display work alongside established mid-career artists and a host of newly emerging talent on the international art scene.

The exhibition was coordinated by a team of volunteers led by Doreen Weppler-Grogan and Trish Meehan as part of a broader project organised by the UK charity Music Fund for Cuba in partnership with the Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales and the GX Gallery.  Welcoming guests at the event, Rob Miller, Director of the charity, explained that ‘This project gives Cuban artists a rare opportunity to present their work to UK viewers and secondly, through the sale of the art, we are raising funds for supplies for art education in Cuba, badly needed in light of the continuing illegal blockade by the US government.’

Guests attending the lively evening at the Gherkin came from a wide range of sectors demonstrating the broad support for this project which has a goal of raising £10,000 for the recently established fund. Trade unionists including Len McClusky ,General Secretary of Unite and Philippa Harvey, President of the NUT joined artists Rasheed Araeen, John Keane, Iwan Bala, Kathryn Thomas and other cultural practitioners as well as campaigners and friends of Cuba.  A number of major sponsoring organisations were represented including Robin Blackburn from the Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust; Nick von Christierson from the Watch Hill Trust; Mike Donaghue from Sutch & Searle Shipping; as well as world music producer Nick Gold, a Trustee of the Music Fund for Cuba.

There is still time to purchase the art and arrange with the GX Gallery a viewing of any work you are interested in. See the artwork online at http://www.gxgallery.com/exhibitions/48/works/

Contributions to the Music Fund for Cuba’s £10,000 goal for art education materials at https://presentecubanart.org/support/

¡PRESENTE!Contemporary Art from Cuba was at GX Gallery, London 6-29 October 2016. A selection of works are at The Gherkin, London until 22 December, by appointment only via the GX Gallery. Showcasing stunning painting, photography and works on paper by over 30 Cuban artists living and working on the island. About the project and the art view www.presentecubanart.org  About the charity www.musicfundforcuba.org.uk

Image caption: Rob Miller, director Music Fund for Cuba, Anand Saggar, director GX Gallery, Cuban ambassador HE Teresita Vicente, Trish Meehan and Dodie Weppler, Presente team.