Miami Dade College Snags Cintas Collection of Cuban Art

Most people don't know that with seven galleries scattered across town and sprawling exhibition spaces at the Freedom Tower, Miami Dade College boasts the region's largest art network.

But by next Monday, MDC's rambling Art Gallery System will experience an even bigger bulge in its seam when it becomes home to one of the largest collection of Cuban art outside of the island.

The College is set to house close to 300 works comprising the Cintas Foundation's Collection, created by artists of Cuban descent who have been recipients of the organization's Fellowships awarded since 1963.

"We are truly honored to receive this extraordinary collection of art, a wonderful treasure and enormous educational resource for our students and the community at large for generations to come," Eduardo J. Padrón, MDC's president says.     

Glexis Novoa
Courtesy of Cintas Foundation and Miami Dade College

The Foundation was established with funds from the estate of Oscar B. Cintas, a sugar and railroad baron who was a patron of the arts and served as Cuba's ambassador to the U.S. between 1932 and 1934.

Cintas is the oldest organization supporting artists of the Cuban Diaspora and since its inception has awarded 300 grants to writers, architects, composers, visual artists and filmmakers.

Gean Moreno
Courtesy of Cintas Foundation and Miami Dade College

Past honorees include writers Oscar Hijuelos, Maria Irene Fornes and Reinaldo Arenas; visual artists Agustín Fernández, Félix González-Torres, Quisqueya Henríquez, Lydia Rubio, Gean Moreno, Glexis Novoa, Luis Gispert, María Martínez-Cañas, Carlos Alfonzo and Andres Serrano; architect Andrés Martín Duany, and composers Orlando García and Tania León.

More than 200 visual artists are represented in the collection through a wide variety of media including paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, films, sculptures and installation art.

The vast scope of the collection reflects the heterogeneous nature of the artistic production of Cuban artists, spanning across various generations, and their significant aesthetic and historical contribution to modern and contemporary art. 

Selections from the Cintas Fellows Collection will be on permanent display to the public for the first time at MDC's Freedom Tower galleries and the College will also oversee the Cintas Foundation Fellowship Awards and host the annual awards exhibition and reception moving forward.

"Preserving the arts couldn't be more crucial than it is right now, as so many public art, music, dance, and theater programs are being cut," Padron adds.  

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