2015 brought with it many creative and colorful installations and exhibits by artists from around the world. Many of the artists took us on a journey to a world occurrence or event that impacted them so deeply, it behooved them to share in the only way they knew how – through their art. It is through art that we visited New York’s other half, affordable housing, and how gentrification has changed our communities. Or how we might handle urban density, brought attention to the faces of the homeless, and looked back at the people who arrived on our shores, with hope for a better life. We viewed our lives in photographs from the street to the sky. Global and local news transformed into art in ways that caught our attention, as with the plight of the Syrian refugees shown through art at Trinity Church.
Moving into the New Year, you will see artistic works on such topics as the doors opening in Cuba, sustainability, ecology, mass incarceration, economic inequality, and our waterfront redevelopment. There will be discussions on the value of food in the form of art, from what we have tossed aside to what we will create on our rooftops. In the end, share a meal and stand beside a giant figure “Looking Up” to the sky in a whimsical and thoughtful way.
Many of these exhibits and installations will close early in the month. Be sure to check closing dates.
16. The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cuba
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, we are reminded that the tradition of this parade began with Irishmen serving oversees throughout the centuries. Many of them remained in the countries where they served and called home. Parades helped keep traditions alive.
In 2007, the artist Duke Riley visited Havana and discovered his own Irish roots researching prominent historical figures of Irish-Cuban descent and even finding a street named Calle O’Reilly. Inspired by his findings, he set about to stage the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Havana at Museum Nacional de Bellas Artes as part of the Havana Biennial 2009. A large billboard was created as a record of this performance, which included American cartoon characters marching through the streets of Havana. On exhibit at Socrates Sculpture Park is a section of that billboard, in the installation titled “El Primero Desfile de San Patricio en la Habana, Cuba (The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Havana, Cuba).