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Cuban-American Artist Exhibit Opens In Downtown Jacksonville

Toni Smailagic

The Wall Street Fine Art gallery downtown opened a new exhibit Friday, showcasing Cuban-American Artists.

The exhibition, “Identity & Belonging: A Cuban Collective,” features eight artists from Miami. Curator Jessica Santiago said she was inspired by the current political changes happening in Cuba.

“There’s some very highly political pieces and there’s some that are just beautiful abstract pieces. It really looks like the cuban culture. You really feel like you’re looking at the cuban culture because there are eight very distinctly different artists,” Santiago said.

Santiago reached out to a group of leading Cuban artists in Miami to select the artists most appropriate for Jacksonville’s demographics. She said it’s the first time they are being showcased in North Florida.

Santiago said the pieces will give insight to the artist’s feelings and their heritage.

“A lot of it is based on their immigration process here. One of our artists actually had an exhibition in cuba,” Santiago said. “The government seized seven of his pieces and he said, ‘This is never going to be a place I can freely express myself.’

“So he actually built a raft and spent five days at sea. A lot of his work tells that kind of story: the realities of their life and their struggles.”

The exhibit opens to the public at 7 p.m. and runs through April 30.

Intern Serena Summerfield can be reached at, 904.358.6317, or Twitter @sumserfield.