A trove of contemporary Cuban paintings has come to rest at Nuance Galleries after years of touring the United States. Robert Rowen, who owns galleries in St. Petersburg and Tampa, acquired about 300 works from a collector who had lent them to the Meridian International Center, which works with the State Department and embassies on cultural exchanges.
Rowen had seen the collection and exhibited a few works from it, so when the opportunity came to purchase it, he jumped at it, he says. Some but not all will be for sale at St. Petersburg's Nuance Galleries beginning Saturday and at Tampa's Nuance Galleries beginning July 19.
The works were created by 13 artists from Cuba's historic Oriente, an area that was one of the first settled in Cuba. They have often worked under hardships; some have died and others have left Cuba. Rowen said the original collector often provided financial assistance to many of them as well as art materials, which were unavailable. Shown is Aferrado (Obstinate) by Reinaldo Pagán Ávila.
Nuance Galleries, St. Petersburg, 2924 Central Ave., will have a free opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Nuance Galleries, Tampa, 804 S Dale Mabry Highway, will have a free opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. July 19. Both shows continue through August. St. Petersburg hours are 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. (727) 209-2125. Tampa hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. (813) 875-0511. Free. nuancegalleries.com.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic