Manierre Dawson Gallery
Through exhibitions, our vision is to enrich the people’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our cultural heritage, to reflect its diversity, to provide a cultural and educational resource, to encourage involvement in the visual arts and nurture a culturally diverse but shared regional identity.
The Humankind Series is hosting a Cuban poster exhibition in the Gallery until Dec. 6.
An exhibit reception was held on Thursday, Nov. 7, in the lobby outside the gallery. Following the reception, historian and journalist Elisa Shoenberger, the owner of the collection, delivered a talk about the posters. She has this to say about her collection:
The posters of the Cuban Revolution presented Cubans and the rest of the world with a vision of a vibrant new Cuba. The Revolution saw a rich production of posters from the 1960s to the mid 1980s. Posters covered film, celebrations of key political days or meetings, and solidarity with liberation movements throughout the world. These posters were placed in public places throughout Cuba including community centers, schools and street kiosks, as well as inside residences.
But the proliferation of posters is only part of the story. Propaganda is often derided as low quality and lacking artistic merit; for much of the 20th century, most propaganda used social realism, a style of hyperrealistic work that reflects the actual socio-political reality of the working classes. It was a style not known for imagination or high artistic style. While Cuban artists and designers didn’t escape censorship and political pressures, they managed to create daring and innovative posters that serve as a testament of Cuban life and a high art form.
Elisa Shoenberger, Historian, Journalist
Schoenberger discussed how the posters reflect the rich visual language of graphic design and reveal some of the production challenges that their makers faced in Cuba. She also shared how she obtained the posters through special permits from the Cuban government.
The Humankind Series, this year focused on Cuba, brings together artists, researchers, and intellectuals, along with previously explored geographical and cultural topics such as Africa and the Middle East. For each topic the College produces exhibitions, artist talks, lectures, panels, discussions, workshops, and more.
The exhibit is free and open to the public.
The Manierre Dawson Gallery is located in the Arts and Sciences Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., and during events held in the Center Stage Theater.