CUBAN AT HEART: A photographic exhibition

November 28, 2012 – January 16, 2013
Opening Reception:  Thursday, November 29, 7-9 p.m.

KCI Gallery (lower level)
Krause Center for Innovation
Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Ron Herman, 650-949-7082
Lori Thomas, 650-949-7258

The upcoming exhibit, Cuban at Heart: A photographic exhibition, captures the magnetic pull of the Cuban people–their warmth, openness, and resourcefulness. Fifty years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, this group of Silicon Valley photographers captured images of Cuban life at a historic turning point. Thirty-nine photographs by seventeen photographers will be on display at the Krause Center for Innovation (KCI) Gallery, Foothill College, November 28, 2012 through January 16, 2013.  An opening reception will be held on November 29, 7-9 pm.

During a two-week professional research trip to Cuba led by Foothill Photography Professor, Ron Herman, these photographers, many of whom are associated with Foothill College, captured images of Cuban life on the cusp of change. Some had travelled to Cuba with Herman in 2010 and 2011. Others were visiting Cuba for the first time. Curators Susan Neville and Bill Scull, drawn back to Cuba to witness firsthand the changes that have begun to take shape since their first visit, have selected striking images that capture the daily life in Cuba.

“I have traveled widely and rarely return to the same destination,” said co-curator, Bill Scull, “yet there is something about Cuba and the Cuban people that compels me to return again and again. These photographs offer seventeen individual narratives of daily life in Cuba at a time of transition. The Cuban people truly have heart in every sense.”

Susan Neville noted her experience of travelling with fellow photographers, “When you travel with a group of photographers, the challenge is to find a unique and personal point of view when everyone is together.  Even when we were all watching the same ballet performance or baseball game, we each saw and captured it differently.

Cuba is simultaneously timeless and teeming with possibilities. “What struck each of us,” explains Herman, “was the open-heartedness and resilience of the Cuban people. Despite daunting everyday challenges, Cubans display their huge hearts and upbeat spirit in everything they do.”

What made this third photography trip to Cuba so unique was the contrast between the timelessness of Cuba and its people with the current context of impending change. American curiosity about Cuba is on the rise, as more and more Americans travel to Cuba. Newly introduced free enterprise, entrepreneurship and redevelopment were evident. From vendors selling the Cuban rendition of hot dogs and pizza at the baseball stadium to paladares (privately-owned restaurants) and entrepreneurial bicycle cab drivers—free enterprise is taking hold across this island nation  90 miles off the coast of Florida.

The arts, culture and creativity in the broadest sense are highly valued in Cuba as are exchanges with the international creative community. As photographers from the “heart” of Silicon Valley, we were welcome visitors.

Relationships established through prior visits afforded the photographers the opportunity to explore beyond the traditional tourist destinations, including photo walks with Cuban photographers, and visits to the National Art School and the homes of Cuba’s leading artists. The group travelled outside Havana to various provinces, exploring both the rural and urban landscape.

Exhibitors are:  Ann Eddington, Liane Freeman, Allen Gary, Julia Gary, Deborah Hayes, Ron Herman, Bob Hills, Le Lu, Neeley Main, Susan Neville, Annabelle Port, Gabrielle Rondell, Bill Scull, Joan Sperans, Timotius Tjahjadi, Lisa Van Dusen and Don Wheatley.

The exhibit is located in the KCI Gallery, on the lower level of the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022.  Parking is $3.00 (quarters or $1 bills only). Please park in Lot 4.  Disabled parking in Lot 4-B. KCI hours of operation are Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 8:30pm; Saturday: 9am – 5pm; Closed on Sundays and for holidays 12/17-1/6.

For more information on the exhibit and the experience of photographing in Cuba, view the exhibit blog,

Full resolution photos available.  Please contact: 
Ron Herman, 650-949-7082.

José Manuel Fors: Ciudad Fragmentada
Another Cuban related event in November was the solo exhibition of the internationally known Cuban photographer José Manuel Fors. This  exhibition, José Manuel Fors: Ciudad Fragmentada, ran from November 7-26, 2012 with an opening reception held on Thursday November 8, 7-9PM. Senor José Manuel Fors came from Havana, Cuba and attended the opening reception.


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