Afrodescendientes: Cuban photographer Roberto Chile’s collection of photographs are on display at three City College Campus Libraries. Chile photographed the Afro Cubanneighborhood of Guanabacoa in Havana, Cuba.
Chinatown North Beach Center
John Adams Campus Library
Through April 13, 2013
Afrodescendientes/Afro Cuban Guanabacoa
Photographer Roberto Chile
El Calor del Sol
Steven Daiber and Red Trillium Press
November 13, 2012-April 13, 2013
Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
(Campus is closed for winter break December 20, 2012-January 14, 2013)
These two exhibitions offer a chance to see Cuba from two very different perspectives, from both inside and from the outside. Here in the United States we don’t often get to learn about Cuba’s kaleidoscope of unique history, rich culture and powerful role in the history of the Americas. In 1960 the U.S. instituted a trade embargo against the socialist island nation, a blockade that is still in place, having just been re-insituted by a vote in the United Nations General Assembly. Cuba also maintains some travel restrictions although occasionally, musical groups (including Orquesta Aragon and Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro de Cuba recent visiors) and others are able to secure both Cuban and U.S. visas in order to perform here. The U.S. embargo limits travel to Cuba to for U.S. citizens to educational and religous purposes. The City College Travel Abroad program leads trips to Cuba during the winter break, click here to learn more.
For the exhibition Afrodescendientes/Afro-Cuban Guanabacoa , prominent Cuban photographer and documentarian Roberto Chile chose to capture life in the community of Guanabacoa in Havana. This collection of photographs was created for the UNESCO International Year for people of African Descent, 2011. In celebration of that year, Afrodescendientes, has been shown in Havana; Madrid, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Washington DC.
Over his forty year career as a photographer, Chile has served as the staff photographer (1984-2006) for Fidel Castro, President and Minister of Cuba and has produced bodies of work—films and photography collections—on a range of subjects: Cuban dance, children’s theater, Afro-Cuban religion and Alberto Korda, the photographer who created the famous image of Che Guevara that is seen around the world. Chile has been described as a chronicler of his time, in the words of the Historian of the City of Havana, Eusebio Leal Spengler:
“Roberto Chile has forged a unique image of Cuba, always dignified and luminous. His images make up a universe of faith and spirituality, visible to those who, like him, are able to love. “
El Calor del Sol features artists books from Steven Daiber’s Red Trillium Press Based in Massachusetts, Red Trillium publishes artists books in collaboration with Cuban artists. Daiber travels back and forth between the United States and Cuba and has worked in eight different silkscreen workshops in the city of Havana. Subjects for his books include daily life in Havana, the Cuban Revolution, U.S./Cuba relations, Baseball, gay and transgender life in Havana and daily food rationing—as Daiber travels in Cuba, his experiences, and those of the people he meets and the artists he collaborates with are all possible subjects for his handmade books. Daiber says:
“My work facilitates dialogue between Cuban and foreign artists. Red Trillium Press books create real, metaphorical objects: palaces of the memory in which each element underscores a meaning. The collaborative books co-created with Cuban artists tell their stories of the lived reality in Cuba during the 21st century.”
Daiber’s recent trips to Havana in 2010 and 2011 included teaching book arts and book collaborations with Cuban artists. Poder (Power), created in 2010, is the first book in a series of three books based on themes Cuban artists feel describe their social and political relationships: power, privacy and waiting. These ideas developed during a number of meetings and conversations in 2007 with the artists. The second book, Privacidad (Privacy), was created in 2011 and the third book, Esperando (Waiting), is planned for 2013.
Check back as we add more links!
Why Reinvent the Wheel? Kay Russell’s CCSF Painting Students Learn from the Master Works
October 23, 2012-April 6, 2013
Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
Painting from “Master Works:”
Many art instructors teach students by having them copy paintings, drawings or photographs made by experienced and well regarded artists. Painting from different master art works allows students to carefully study different artistic approaches and to experiment with different techniques before settling into their own style. Painting from master works created over centuries offers an infinite range of imagery, color selection and approaches to painting.
Learn to Paint at City College:
Check the Art Department class schedule for painting classes for beginners though advanced painters.
Database, Books and Magazines
ARTstor Image Database:
ARTstor is an online database that the CCSF Library subscribes to. It offers high resolution access to over a million paintings, photographs, maps and other images. CCSF students can access ARTstor through the Library: www.ccsf.edu/library, then choose Articles and Databases and click on ARTstor. Would you like to see the fine strokes of a painting in detail, or examine a photograph’s details, study the curves or grooves in a piece of sculpture? ARTstor offers rich, lush images in extremely high definition so that you can enjoy the details of a work of art, a map or an architectural site. Members of the CCSF community can download ARTstor images for educational use. Ask a CCSF librarian for more information.
Every library at CCSF has books on painting and drawing. To see some of the paintings used in Kay Russell’s classes look at books in the library on these very different artists:
Claude Monet: A French Impressionist painter especially known for his landscapes(1840-1926).
Chiura Obata: A Bay Area Japanese American artist interned with his family during World War II during which he founded the Topaz Art School (1885-1975).
Georgia O’Keeffe: An American Modernist artist famous for her paintings of flowers, bones and the landscape of New Mexico, (1887-1986).
John Singer Sargent: An American portraitist who turned to landscapes later in his life (1956-1925).
The Library subscribes to: Art in America and ARTnews come in and take a look!
Healing Herbs and Home Remedies
In Collaboration with
Equipo Multicisciplinario de Colombia
September 21, 2012-March 22, 2013
Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
Home Remedies are an essential part of health care systems all over the world. It is estimated that up to 80% of the world population depends on herbal remedies as their primary healthcare. Especially in the less developed world, herbs are a vital health resource for both humans and animals, although alternative medicine is accepted to varying degrees globally.
Home remedies are healing recipes that are based on plants and herbs, spices, fruits or vegetables. Around the globe families treat ailments based on remedies that have been passed down through generations.
Maybe you know of a home remedy that your family or friends use?
Home remedies, by definition, have not been scientifically tested. Although when they are, many remedies are shown to have a scientific basis for their efficacy. Many pharmaceutical drugs are in fact based on plants and herbs. The CCSF Library offers many resources for researching the effects of specific plants—beneficial and toxic. As with pharmaceutical drugs (many of which are based on plants) herbs can have both good and bad effects on your health or that of your pet.
The Multidisciplinary Group of Colombia/
Grupo Muliticisciplinario de Colombia
Grupo Multicisciplinario de Colombia, a group of artists and scholars wanted to investigate the use of herbs in their native Colombia. They collected home remedies by interviewing fellow Colombians across the country. Following the interview process, they compiled a collection of remedies and recipes and transformed them into the Vademécum pages that you see here in the cases. Following their work in Colombia, the Group next traveled to Cuba to interview Cubans about their use of plants and herbs for health and religious purposes. They collaborated with MAC/SAN, The Contemporary Art Museum of San Agustin in Havana for the Havana Bienal. Because of colonization and globalization, the Group found that many of the same remedies were used in both Colombia and in Cuba although each country had its own rich tradition of herbal use from, indigenous, African and European sources.
In Cuba the Group used video and visual art to share their findings—creating an installation at MAC/SAN, a museum without walls, in Havana where they displayed herbs and offered remedies for the public to sample. To emphasize the popular use of herbal remedies in Cuba, MGC created the Ruta Medicinal/Medicinal Path, silkscreening an image of the Botellas Curadas logo (bottled remedies) on the homes or offices of people practicing herbal medicine.
Here in the Bay Area we are lucky to have access to herbal health practices from all over the world. We can easily find Chinese, Ayurvedic and herbs from other cultures in local stores and markets. We can purchase growing plants from nurseries or plant them from seeds. We could easily create a Bay Area Vademécum of global health remedies.
At the display in the Rosenberg Library Norma Villazana-Price’s
Child Development class shares home remedies used by
their families and communities.
Artist Evan Bissell: About What Cannot be Taken Away
What Cannot Be Taken Away: Families and Prisons Project was a collaborative dialogue looking at the impact of incarceration on families that took place from 2009-2010. For 5 months I met weekly with four fathers at San Francisco County Jail #5 in the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP) and with four youth who have fathers who are or have been incarcerated and are part of the programs Project WHAT! or Roots (All three programs are run by Community Works West, who made the dialogue structure and project possible). Not related and never coming into contact with each other, the two groups worked on the same exercises and prompts each week, accumulating ideas, furthering their dialogue and building community in the process. The workshops centered around processes of reflection, writing, painting, drawing and recorded conversations that were subsequently played for the other group. During the third month, participants began to design the narrative structures, composition and symbolism present in the pieces. We then continued our dialogue less frequently – through letters and individual meetings, while I worked from their sketches for the following 3 months. The timeline, interactive components and resource library offer bits of context to an endemic social problem that has deeply personal effects.
I came to this project through reflections on being a teacher, not through a personal connection to having a parent or child incarcerated. My interest stemmed from the lack that I was experiencing in schools – the lack of buy-in for students, the lack of compassion and healing as part of learning, and the lack of imagination for dealing with ‘problem’ students. The treatment of students who step ‘outside the bounds’ reminds me of the current mentality of incapacitation that characterizes the US prison system. On this, Ruth Gilmore notes, “Incapacitation doesn’t pretend to change anything about a people except where they are.” Through these mechanisms of separation, our society stokes fear of difference, the unknown, and unseen to create standards of being and living that renders pain invisible except in spectacle. With an understanding that pain rendered invisible so frequently manifests in violence, WCBTA is an attempt to create an alternative communal education, one that is focused on dialogue, sharing and expression with the intention of positive change and healing.
The power of these portraits lies in each person’s honest confrontation of their experience and the freedom that comes from that. I continue to be grateful for their wisdom and love – Ben, Cheyanne, Darren, Joe, Liz, Melvin, Sadie, and Vonteak. Thank you as well to Community Works, Dee Morizono Myers, SOMArts, LEF and Penguin Foundation and the many individual donors. A special thank you to the Rosenberg Library, Health Education Department, Interdisciplinary Studies, Kate Connell, Donna Willmott, Tim Berthold, Lauren Muller, Amber Straus, Nancy Elliot, Graphic Communications Class, and Lauren Porter for affirming the importance of this process.
-Evan Bissell, 2012