Havana Art Biennial kicks off with COVID-19 protocols

Havana Art Biennial kicks off with COVID-19 protocols

by Yoseli Carrero

HAVANA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) The 14th Havana Biennale of Fine Arts, the island’s largest visual arts event, kicked off Friday as COVID-19 protocols continue.

Featuring 300 artists from all continents, this year’s art fair takes place both online and offline, ahead of the city’s 50th anniversary celebrations on November 16.

Curator Yanet Oviedo told Xinhua that cultural activities, especially those related to visual arts, are part of the plan to reopen the island after the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” she said. “The Art Biennale will entertain thousands of people after several months of confinement due to the health emergency.”

On the first day of the event, the organizers opened an exhibition entitled “Roads Not Leading to Rome” by 11 artists. Cuban artist Glenda Salazar, whose works were among the exhibits, said she wanted to “raise awareness of environmental protection through the symbolism of endemic plants.”

The entire city is decorated with colorful signs reading “Future and Contemporary” while masked art lovers take over the galleries.

The Havana Biennale, which will run for six months until April 30 next year, also includes special events, conferences, performances and installations on the agenda.

Norma Rodriguez, President of the National Council of the Visual Arts of Cuba, said the Biennale devotes particular attention to the work of artists living outside Havana.

“Local art is more important now than ever,” she said. “Our artists depict a variety of subjects in relation to some of the biggest problems the world faces today.”

“I have always supported and will continue to support the Havana Art Biennale, which contributes greatly to the promotion of Cuban culture and national identity,” said Cuban artist Nestor Villalobos.

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