Havana’s International Crafts Fair - FIART in its Spanish acronym - is a high-profile cultural happening. Now in its 14th edition, it will take place December 9 to 19, 2010, in the halls of the city’s Pabexpo Exhibition Pavilion.
The quality and variety of the works that are displayed and sold, the diversity of their creators – coming from 20 countries – and the plurality of trends, lead to the conclusion that this encounter constitutes a reference for future events. Surnai Benítez Aranda, adviser to the Cuban Cultural Fund (FCBC Spanish acronym) and member of the FIART 2010 Organizing Committee, said that more than 70 artisans of exceptional backgrounds from 19 foreign nations are present with their works in this exhibition.
The artisans hail from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Spain and Venezuela. Cuba is represented by some 205 craftspeople representing each of this country’s provinces.
Another space is allotted for Milú, a metaphorical reference to Mi lucecita (My little light), and is aimed at assorted children’s products.
The Fund’s Visual Arts Centre is, without doubt, one of the most appealing in Pabexpo, with a special stand dedicated to various expressionist lines of art, as well as to decorative arts. Regarding the latter, one can find antique objects of incalculable value because of their fine state of conservation and as examples of seemingly forgotten past eras.
Other Cuban organizations displaying their collections and products in the fair are Quitrín with embroidery, textiles and other needle-based handicrafts and La casa del abanico (The house of fans), both from the City Historian’s Office.
Exhibition stands exceed 240, of which 41 are institutional as they draw on traditional FCBC productions, with other spaces dedicated to relevant organizational projects, including those of the Casa Real, characterized by diligent artistic work with a special stamp that enables them to be exported.
Artex has a range of beautiful and utilitarian household objects stamped with the image of Cuba, Génesis galerías which has reproductions among its proffering, EGREM offers rich Cuban recordings, and ICAIC (Cuban Film Institute) displays a wide selection of prints and posters representative of the country’s cinematography. The FIART daily programme includes fashion shows with innovative apparel presented by notable clothing designers, such as Viera Reinoso, Maya Sierra, José Luis (Chuchy) González, the Manos group (from Fidel Pérez and Osniel Valdés), as well as Oscar de la Portilla.
Holguín to reign
This 14th edition is dedicated to the eastern Cuban province of Holguín and its extraordinary tradition of handicrafts. Creators from Holguín are exhibiting very noteworthy pieces, with a marked tendency toward pre- Colombian culture, inspired by archaeological finds and settlements in that territory, such as Chorro de Maíta. Works of plant fibres, ceramic, cattle horns, wood, coconut and other natural materials recreate the primitive, and are considered intangible heritage because they carry inherent values within them as well as their handiwork excellence.
The Cuban Cultural Fund, the authority charged with the evaluation and rigorous selection of the dozens of objects and collections on display at the event, has worked intensely to prepare so that everything at the fair is distinguished by its quality and aesthetic level. The Cuban Cultural Fund contributes to raising the appreciation of art by the public, by encouraging them to admire and buy items for themselves and others.