Article from CUBAN Art news – 2 Cubans in Brooklyn: Jorge Wellesley and Elizabet Cerviño
" Jorge Wellesley and Elizabet Cerviño are the last of six Cuban artists to take part in this spring’s international residency program at Residency Unlimited, sponsored in part by the Cuban Artists Fund. In a pair of mini-interviews, they talk about the program, speculate about its impact on their work, and compare New York to Havana—and Miami.
First up: Jorge Wellesley, who recently moved from Miami to Guttenberg, NJ.
Had you spent much time in New York before this residence? For you, how is Brooklyn different from Havana or Miami? How is it similar?
Actually I had been in NYC many times before for exhibitions and conversation about my work. This time, I started my residence in early June.
For me, Brooklyn seems more like Havana than Miami. Walking the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, where I have the studio, reminds me a lot of the dynamics of Havana and its inhabitants. The art and all the movement it generates in these cities is perceptible in so many museums and galleries, but also in the subways, the streets, and the parks.
Havana has, on another scale, a lot of that. The art culture there is well known, and with a lot of history that even connects it to New York. The parks, the Capitolio and all the architecture, the sea, the city’s capitalist past, Martí, the people walking the streets and interacting.
Miami, by comparison, is a very young city. It has other attractions than art. But it’s growing. It’s like the capital of Latin America, with all the diversity and richness that this implies.
What do you find most interesting about the RU residence?
The RU residency has a special appeal. It’s very pragmatic in terms of the relationships that it fosters between artists, curators, critics, and so on. RU takes advantages of the New York infrastructure, so that artists can experience the city in their own way or as their work requires. The program is very diverse and includes visits to museums, exhibitions, open studios, studio visits. The network they’ve established provides artists with opportunities to make important contacts for their own careers.
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