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El Acercamiento/The Approach: Cuban and American Artists Come together for Exhibition in Los Angeles

El Acercamiento/The Approach: Cuban and American Artists Come together for Exhibition in Los Angeles

Exhibitions in Havana, Los Angeles and Miami challenge Cuban and American artists to envision possible futures between the two countries. 

Saturday, May 7, 6 pm: exhibition opens at the Plaza de la Raza Boat House Gallery in East Los Angeles.

Valencia, CA-April 13—Fresh from a successful exhibition in Havana, Cuba, El Acercamiento/The Approach brings its transnational collaboration to Los Angeles. Uniting American and Cuban artists to investigate the past, present and possible futures of Cuba-U.S. relations, the exhibition opens at the Plaza de la Raza Boat House Gallery at on Saturday, May 7. The Los Angeles-based event is the second in this groundbreaking series of multimedia exhibitions—with the final event planned for Miami in fall 2016. 

El Acercamiento/The Approach is the brainchild of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) School of Theater faculty member Evelyn Serrano—and is a collaboration between student and professional artists from CalArts, and a multi-national group of visual artists, performers, musicians, singers, poets, art historians, and dancers. The series is a project of CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP)/Duende CalArts. Serrano, a Cuban interdisciplinary artist, teaches the class “Art & Community Engagement” in CalArts’ School of Theater. 

In Havana, the current process of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States is termed “el acercamiento”, the slow and cautious act of getting closer. For El Acercamiento/The Approach, artists from CalArts and Academia Nacional de Artes San Alejandro in Havana created art works exploring the acercamiento between the two countries. Giving shape to a multiplicity of potential futures, their projects include urban interventions, performative actions, sound pieces, and visual art works

During President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba in March, Serrano and a team of CalArts artists presented El Acercamiento/The Approach at the Ludwig Foundation in Havana. “One of my goals in having the three exhibitions is to see the projects evolve in response to dialogue and meaningful encounters with a place, its people and the histories that bind them,” said Serrano. “I am interested in the role that artists will -and ought to- play during this historic transitional period.” 

CalArts MFA Design Program student Marco Lukini created evocative posters for projects in the exhibition. They were displayed in urban spaces and public institutions in Havana and will be mailed to politicians and culture makers currently shaping the discourse and policies around Cuba-U.S. relations. 

This project is supported by the CalArts Center for New Performance / Duende CalArts, Espacio a-106, and Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro.

Calendar Editors Please Note:

Los Angeles exhibition of El Acercamiento/The Approach 

Saturday, May 7 through Saturday, June 11th.
Opening reception: May 7th at 6pm.  

Gallery hours:  
2 pm—7pm, Monday thru Friday
10 am—5 pm, Saturday and Sunday

Plaza de la Raza, Boat House Gallery
3540 N. Mission Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90031-3135
Click here for directions 

Admission is FREE

More Information:
El Acercamiento/The Approach
Video: El Acercamiento/The Approach
Duende CalArts
Obama’s historic trip to open new era of U.S. relations with Cuba
US-Cuba relations: timeline of a tangled history

CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), was established to provide a unique artist- and project-driven framework for the development and realization of original theater, music, dance, media and interdisciplinary projects. Extending the progressive work carried out at CalArts into a direct dialogue with professional communities at the local, national and international levels, CNP offers an alternative model to support emerging directions in the performing arts. 

California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.