The Pendleton Middletown Art Center and the Art Central Foundation are participating in an exciting Cuban-American art exchange. Two well-known Cuban artists, Luis Eliades and Jorge Nuñez, arrived in America in April bringing their art and cultural experiences in an exchange program with artists in Ohio, Colorado, and Florida as part of a project called ReART Cincinnati-Baracoa (Cuba) 2013.

The ReART exhibit preview opening was sponsored by the Middletown branch of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and opened on the First Friday of April in the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Middletown. The ReART show opens at the Clifton Cultural Art Center on Clifton Avenue in Cincinnati on May 3rd. It will hang for one month and then travel to Cuba later this year

Downtown Middletown is also the site of a mural celebrating Cuban art. Local artist Brandon Johnston and the young artists of the Art Central Foundation began the mural earlier this spring on space donated by Flowers by Roger and then worked with Luis Eliades to complete it  this week. This gorgeous mural memorializes a painting by Eliades of the Cuban goddess of love and will be a lasting tribute to the Cuban-American art exchange.

Sue Whittman, president of the Art Central Foundation, said the mural may have started a movement. “I wanted to start doing more public art with the kids, I think it really gives them a sense of ownership in the community…,” she said. “I anticipate this is going to be the first of many of these projects downtown. We’ve been approached by several other organizations and businesses.”

Photography by Susan Gertz, Dogpatch Pix.