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Published: January 14, 2016

UT Presents Exhibit of Most Important Contemporary Cuban Artists

Featuring seven of the most renowned and provocative contemporary Cuban artists — many of whom will be on hand to lecture, teach and create — the University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery will host the exhibit “Growing Up in Neverland” March 4 to 18.

Seen as the seminal exhibit of pre- and post-Revolutionary Cuban artists, the exhibit 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.

The seven artists in the exhibition include Ernesto Leal, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Sandra Ramos, Lázaro Saavedra, Esterio Segura, José A. Vincench and the collective known as The Merger. Numerous mediums — including painting, sculpture, video, prints and installation — will be represented in the exhibit.

David Horta, Pinar del Rio-based curator of the exhibit, said 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,” Horta said. “And the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery is an ideal setting for the kind of free and open discussions this exhibition is designed to stimulate.”

Three highlights of the exhibit include:

  • Lázaro Saavedra, one of Cuba’s most respected living artists, will create a unique, large-format piece during the run of the exhibit.
  • Esterio Segura, whose work is included in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, produced a print in sculpture at the Graphicstudio at USF in 2006. His work is also under consideration for display at Tampa International Airport.
  • Pedro Pablo Oliva, who is noted internationally for his potently poetic (and often subtly political) imagery

Additionally, Segura and Saavedra are two of four exhibition artists who are scheduled to be present during the exhibition’s run to participate in the accompanying lecture series, along with Horta. The Tampa Museum of Art will also screen two films and host a lunch-and-learn event with Horta after each screening.

The schedule follows (all events in the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery unless otherwise noted; schedule subject to change):

  • Thursday, March 10, Tampa Museum of Art, Time TBA: Cuban Film and Discussion by David Horta
  • Saturday, March 12, 7 p.m.: Grand Opening Reception (by invitation only; media welcome)
  • Monday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.: Inaugural presentation by David Horta to UT students, faculty and Tampa community about the exhibition and significance of participating artists
  • Tuesday, March 15, 7:30 p.m.: Gallery talk with Lázaro Saavedra
  • Wednesday, March 16, Tampa Museum of Art, Time TBA: Cuban Film and Discussion by David Horta
  • Wednesday, March 16, 7:30 p.m.: Gallery talk with Sandra Ramos
  • Thursday, March 17, noon: Gallery talk with José Vincench
  • Thursday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.: Gallery talk with Esterio Segura
  • Friday, March 18, 7 p.m.: Student closing reception

Jack King, exhibit co-curator and professor of art at UT, toured Cuba last summer and said this exhibit, which features some of Cuba’s most noted and respected artists, “captures the diversity and complexity of contemporary Cuban art.”

The Scarfone/Hartley Gallery is located on the UT campus at the R.K. Bailey Art Studios, 310 North Boulevard, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1–4 p.m. on Saturday. There is no charge for admission.

The exhibit is co-presented by The University of Tampa and The Cuban Arts Group.

For more information, see the website Or, contact the UT Office of Public Information at (813) 253-6232 or

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