TWO, THREE-GALLERY TOURS: Old Havana and Vedado districts.
Havana may not be London or NYC but its choca with exciting art and there’s a lot of great – and collectable – stuff out there you shouldn’t miss.
Old Havana and the Vedado district are the best areas
I highly recommend starting with a guided, tailored, art tour where you can meet artists in their studios. After that, it’s the galleries. The districts of Old Havana and Vedado district are the best and in each the journey is as lovely as the destination as you take in very different and attractive parts of the capitol.
Start at GALERIE HABANA. GH showcases some of the country’s finest contemporary artists. Don’t be put off by the closed door. Just ring the bell. Next is the prestigious GALERIA VILLA MANUELA. (There’s a fun show on at the moment: Zoothby’s). Finally, take in SERVANDO CABRERA. These are all small galleries so you can cover them – walking – in a morning or afternoon.
BELLAS ARTES MUSEUM comprises two large buildings: one Cuban contemporary, the other earlier and universal. Each takes a few hours. The former is my favourite and where I’ve just seen a very moving exhibition by Peter Turnley. A short distance away, in the Plaza de Cathedral, is the esteemed WILFREDO LAM which last month housed a mini-Biennial of artists, including a piece by…
Ai Weiwei. Finally, a few blocks away, is FACTORIA HABANA with its two, airy floors of very fine contemporary work. All are free apart from Bellas Artes which costs 5 cucs for one museum, or 8 cucs for both.