growing up in neverland

growing up in neverland is the current exhibition at Scarfone/Hartley in Tampa. The exhibition showcases artworks created by eight outstanding Cuban artists who reside in Cuba, the island of their birth. The exhibition aims to foster a cultural dialogue within the Tampa community by presenting a historically significant selection of contemporary practices in Cuban art. 

The artwork is edgy, compelling and provocative. The subject matter details decision struggles: to leave their homeland, to speak out or not to speak out if they stay. Sculptures foreshadow escape with clarity, others contrast the dream of America and Cuba. The quality of the artwork in the exhbition is excellent. 

The entrance to the gallery allows a journey from Florida to Cuba or Cuba to Florida via an illuminated photographic installation. While the gallery had the installation steps blocked with Do Not Walk signs for safety, the artwork was designed to allow movement, even dancing, on its surface. Amid the over sized works on the walls and sculptures within the gallery space one piece hung from the ceiling. 

Gallery director, Dorothy Cowden, shared a companion piece to the suspended sculpture Goodbye My Love, another airplane sculpture measuring thirteen feet had yet to arrive. She explained any of the artwork shipped from Cuba went to Canada, before arriving on American soil in Miami.

" There's an embargo." One can only imagine shipping costs to display an exhibition of this scale and quality. The show is curated by David Horta and Jack King; it is dedicated to building on the "cultural evolution that has taken place - and continues to grow - both on the island and throughout the U.S. Cuban diaspora."

A variety of lectures and Cuban cinema events are scheduled over the next two weeks at Scarfone/Hartley and the Tampa Museum of Art and will include an opportunity to dialogue with the visiting artists. 

More information about the visiting artists: Ernesto Leal, Esterio Segura, Javier Castro, Jose A Vincench, Lazaro Saavedra, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Sandra Ramos, The Merger and The Cuban Arts Group is available at www.growingupinneverland.orgThe Cuban Arts Group,Inc. may be reached at

Pictured works include: Against the Tide, The Merger: Alain Pino, Mario M Gonzalez, Niels Moleiro; Goodbye My Love, Esterio Segura;  ; Homemade Submarine, Esterio Segura; Cuban Dream, American Dream, The Merger:Alain Pino, Mario M Gonzalez, Niels Moleiro; A Question of Optics, Jose Angel Vincench.

The Ruins of Utopia , Sandra Ramos

The Ruins of Utopia, Sandra Ramos