TAMPA, Fla. -- "Growing Up in Neverland," an exhibition of eight of the most renowned and provocative contemporary Cuban artists, opens on March 4 at the University of Tampa's Scarfone/Hartley Gallery and runs through March 18. The eight artists in the exhibition are Ernesto Leal, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Sandra Ramos, Lázaro Saavedra, Esterio Segura, José Vincench, Javier Castro and the collective known as The Merger. Numerous mediums — including painting, sculpture, video, prints and installation — will be represented in the exhibit. The exhibition is a co-presentation of The University of Tampa, the Tampa Museum of Art, and The Cuban Arts Group.
Incorporating the work post-Revolutionary Cuban artists, "Growing Up in Neverland" is designed to reflect the everyday concerns that weigh upon the Cuban community, especially focusing on the problems Cuban society faces as it moves toward the future. According to the exhibition's Pinar del Rio-based curator, David Horta, a central aim of the exhibit is to encourage dialog and promote cultural exchange through the sharing of knowledge of important Cuban artists and their work.
"The artists in this exhibit have created vehicles for understanding the complexity of contemporary life and art in Cuba," said Horta. "And the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery is an ideal setting for the kind of free and open discussions this exhibition is designed to stimulate."
Lázaro Saavedra, one of Cuba's most respected living artists, will create a unique, large-format wall mural in the gallery. In 2014, Saavedra received the Cuban National Award for Visual Art in Havana.
Esterio Segura, whose work is included in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art, produced a print and sculpture at USF's Graphicstudio in 2006. Christies named Segura as one of the "Six Contemporary Artists You Need to Know About." [http://www.christies.com/features/Six-Contemporary-Cuban-artists-you-need-to-know-about-6383-1.aspx]
Pedro Pablo Oliva, who is noted internationally for his potently poetic (and often subtly political) imagery. Oliva was awarded the National Prize of Visual Arts (2006).
Artists Segura, Saavedra, Ramos and Vincench will be present to participate in the accompanying lecture series, along with Horta. Oliva, Castro and The Merger will join to attend the March 12th reception. The Tampa Museum of Art will screen two films and host a lunch-and-learn event with Horta.