Alaen Ledesma, All Around Art
By: Mercy Ramos / Photos: Courtesy of the interviewee
For Alaen Ledesma art is a part of his life, something he carries inside and could not live without. As a child he had an inclination for the arts but he graduated in economy and foreign trade, and entered the world of curatorship some two years ago.
In his adolescence he studied ballet, dance and theater, and has always been connected to the arts in one way or another, he tells Cubaplus. “I think that with time a person chooses a certain path, finds himself, decides how to express the art that lives inside him or her. It has been a big challenge for me to take on all these responsibilities and I believe that what I've been able to achieve has been because I studied the subject”, he said.
Ledesman is a curator and promoter of numerous exhibitions of important Cuban artists, among them Zaida del Río, Alicia Leal, Carlos Guzmán, Cristian González Téllez, Eliecer Leicea and Nancy Reyes. He has also worked with foreign artists including African John Van Means, American Lynne St. Clare and Rigo Peralta from the Dominican Republic.
Asked which exhibitions have been most significant for him, he said all the exhibitions he has worked on have had huge importance, “but for me those of Zaida del Río have a special meaning because we have been good friends for many years.”
Ledesma curated and promoted an exhibition at the Hotel Meliá Habana's Casa del Habano Robaina during the 15th International Habanos Festival in 2014. Themed around this quintessential national product - the Cuban cigar, the exhibition was led by Cuban painter Carlos Guzmán.
“In July of this year, I also prepared a collection called I Dream of Cuba at MNN Manhattan in Harlem, The Firehouse Neighborhood Community Center, a place that opened doors for my new project Mujeres con Alas (Women with Wings)”, commented Ledesma.
“Mujeres con Alas took place at the Barrio Workshop in Miami in May of this year with Zaida del Río and Alicia Leal, an exhibition in which I brought together work from different stages in the careers of these prolific and tireless creators, under the theme of the female form.”
“I was later invited to take part at the 20th anniversary of the Miami Ballet, an exhibition which I prepared with all my love as it is a subject that I adore, an idea that had been on my mind for a while and now had the opportunity to work on and develop”, he continued.
“I spoke to 20 artists for that project and gave them all ballet slippers as a demonstration of support. They delivered a number of metaphors that pondered and meditated on the multiple messages that dance can transmit”.
“For this exhibition, Convite a la Danza (An Invitation to the Dance), I consulted curator and art critic Silvia Lanes, and the exhibition was shown at the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Centre in August 2015.”
Ledesma is aware of the importance of his work, since painters give him for responsibility their work, simultaneously placing their trust in him and giving him the freedom to take care of their exhibitions.
On prospects for the future work, he says his goal is to uncover new talent and challenge of bringing in new talents who have not yet found their way, to show their work to the world so that they do not remain hidden.”