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Local photographer brings the streets of Cuba to the San Juan Capistrano Library
By Emily Rasmussen
Since traveling to Cuba from the United States became less difficult in 2016, many travel addicts have pounced on the opportunity to explore the culturally-dense island.
International photographer and longtime San Juan Capistrano resident Judith Anderson was no exception, having gone to Cuba for the first time in July 2017 for 10 days. An adamant art lover who used to live in Jamaica with her husband years ago, Anderson was excited for the opportunity to visit Cuba. Her first stop was Havana.
“It’s a beautiful, colonial city—it’s an absolute charming city,” Anderson said.
Beginning Saturday, June 2, Anderson is presenting a photographic exhibition called “Cuba on the Go,” a compilation of photographs she’s taken, in addition to the work of other photographers and Cuban art. The exhibition will be featured at the San Juan Capistrano Library until July 31.
“It’s an overview of some Cuban artists, as well as our perspective as American photographers,” Anderson said. “I wanted to create a stroll through Cuban streets as far as eye work is concerned.”
Most of the photographs in the exhibit are Anderson’s work, in which she shot during her July 2017 trip to Cuba. Throughout the 10-day trip, Anderson took many photos of the lively streets of Cuba, filled with classic cars and other colorful modes of transportation.
Many travelers have been captivated by Cuba’s feeling of being able to step back in time, and Anderson appreciated the clash of past and present within her photography. Many other travel photographers have featured classic cars including old Chevy’s in their work, and although Anderson includes these gorgeous cars in her work as well, she wanted to express the other aspects to Cuban’s transportation life.
“I didn’t put just (the classic cars) because I wanted it to be richer,” Anderson said. “The other modes of transportation, such as the taxies, are a great way to get around in Havana and other cities, there’s an open air bike taxi and it’s a lot of fun. (The riders) have to peddle up and down cobblestone streets which is very fun.”
In addition to Anderson, other featured art will include work from photographer Larry Shapiro and Cuban graphic designer Jonathan Tillman. There will also be a display of authenticated prints from the BFC, El Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales, produced by the National Museum of Belles Artes and their Collection of Cuban Art (Colección Arte Cubano) of Havana, Cuba.
“They have suffered, but they have also developed these amazing things on a higher level than we have here,” she said, however, “(the exhibition) is sweet and light, my goal is to not be heavy.”
Anderson said that she is already “chomping on the bit” to go back to Cuba. In the meantime, readers can see the Cuba on the Go exhibit, with 24-28 pieces total, at the San Juan Capistrano Library, located at 31495 El Camino Real.