Puros Cubanos: Five Cuban Designers

Pratt Institute proudly presents Puros Cubanos: Five Cuban Designers, an exhibition of the current top five Cuban Poster designers. The exhibition will be held at FRONT Art Space at 118 Chambers Street, New York, NY 212-608-7676. Meet the artists opening night: Friday, September 18, 2015  6pm-9pm.


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Update from Donation Trip in May 2015

Thank you for your support to help transport art supplies to Cuban artists. With your help, we were able to bring digital assets (and more!) that are invaluable to the graphic designers who are also animators, and illustrators in Havana. The list of donated goods we lugged through customs includes a mac surface pro, five brand new Wacom intuous touch tablets, four cintiqs (the first cintiqs in the country of Cuba), ten card readers, and two mac minis. We padded the equipment with clothes and spices that you also donated—not a single inch of space was wasted!

These tools were delivered to some of the top graphic designers in Cuba. The advertisements and commercials for cultural events—including posters and videos—that are shown throughout Cuba as well as internationally are often the product of this talented group. So, your contribution alongside the generous donation from Pratt Institute and Wacom have helped shape the way these artists use technology for illustration, animation, and design in Cuba.

It has been an honor to work with Nelson, Michelle, Raupa, MOLA, and Giselle. When we first arrived at the Havana airport, Raupa and his wife, Vanessa, met us and helped us carry the hefty luggage. When Raupa and the other artists realized that nearly everything we carried (two large suitcases and two bulky carry-ons) were filled with materials for them, their response was humbling. They were in disbelief over the amount of donated materials we were able to bring into the country. The cintiqs and tablets have the potential to reduce the amount of time they spend on projects by half. Some of the designers had seen cintiqs while traveling to exhibit their work in Europe and were eager to try them out. As far as we know, these are the first cintiqs in Cuba. In appreciation, they prepared a Cuban feast for us with a ton of pork, black beans and rice, and avacados nearly the size of your head. Our bellies and hearts were full. After dinner and throughout our stay in Havana, they were generous enough to let us interview them about their artistic influences and creative processes. We look forward to sharing some of the footage from the interviews and the city with you later this year.

We (and the artists) cannot thank you enough for your generosity. You have helped enable Cuban artists to continue to create work, and you’ve helped open the door to a powerful cultural exchange that is just now only beginning.

This isn’t the end. We will be sharing some more information about the designers and their work soon, and in the meantime, we encourage you to check out their work.

And, it’s not just the graphic designers who need access to more art supplies in Cuba. This fall, in conjunction with Pratt Institute, more traditional art supplies will be sent to artists affiliated with ISA (Instituto Superior de Artes): items like acrylic paints, oil pastels, sharpies, pencils, and colored pencils. Thank you for your help in getting this initiative off the ground.

Thank you,


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