The Urbaniza Studio Gallery collection started on a dare: “I dare you to
represent artists from Cuba in the US."
My family member, Charlie, is an avid cross-country biker trained in France. He
embarked on a ‘Roots’ inspired bike trip to Cuba in 1993. He rode from Pinar
del Rio to Santiago de Cuba – end to end – a thousand mile trip.
He began buying art from the artists he met on the way on subsequent trips,
meeting a curator in Camaguey who introduced him to the artist’s guild there as
well as Havana. He brought the art back to the us rolled up on his bike.
Charlie challenged me to reach out and help artists from my home country.
I found out from a Cuban law professor at Columbia University that art is the ONLY product exempt from the embargo. I decided to go for it, and that an
online presence would provide a global platform.
Over the years, we have assembled a collection of contemporary artists trained
in the Cuban academies. Many exhibit on the island as well as Europe and Asia.
The works have a contemporary expression and embrace the tradition of the
artist as a social commentator. They highlight the challenges of working and
living in a conflictive political environment.
What started as a dare is now a thriving business and a channel for talented
artists to express their visions.
Gladys Margarita Diaz, Creative Entrepreneur
My brother in law, cyclist and art connoisseur, Charles B Espinosa.