Milly West: Cuba for Keeps

posted in: Book, Cuba, Profile

March 2014

 

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Cuba for Keeps is a collection of photographs (56 pages) from my travels in Cuba since 1996. On that first trip, I knew immediately I had found a place that spoke to me of the possibilities of community, relationships, and simplicity in living and giving. The Cuban people struggle to live a comfortable life, to communicate, to get from here to there, and to prosper; but the artists I meet have figured out how to make their lives full, open to opportunity, and many of them are featured in the book.

In addition to seeing many artists, you will also see Havana in the rain, the hairless dog in his t-shirt, school girls, tourists, living spaces, art projects, and places of comfort, history, and color. Yet, there is more with the narrative. I wrote my narrative to complement the work and the book is (as one Cuban friend described it) like a diary. And I suppose she is right.

The book was designed by my daughter, Jasmine Moorhead, and was presented for the first time on December 6, 2013, with the exhibition of the work at her gallery, Krowswork, in Oakland, California.

I just returned from 10 days in Cuba where I presented the book to the artists and friends I know in and around Havana. We met at the Ambos Mundos Hotel where my Mississippi work had been shown in 2000. The artists who came were among the most well-known in (and out of) Cuba. A few days later, I traveled to Santiago de Cuba where another presentation was arranged for me, with special significance, because the book is dedicated to a beloved member of the art community there who died as a result of Hurricane Sandy. All profits from the book (to date) were given to help ten artists and writers who are rebuilding their lives after that tragedy. -Milly West, Oxford, Mississippi

Photos from both events can be seen on the website:www.millywestart.com

West’s work will be featured in a one-person show opening March 6 at the Fielding Wright Art Center, Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, and again on April 25th at the Tennis Club of Berkeley, California, on the grounds of The Claremont Hotel.

The books can be ordered by emailing millywestart@gmail.com. The cost is $35 (includes shipping). Checks or money orders may be sent to: Milly West, 212 Bramlett Blvd., Oxford, Mississippi 38655.

 

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