Robaina's plantation

Friday 29 December 2017

Zaida del Rio (Cuban artist) Havana

                       Zaida was born in Guadalupe, Las Villas, Cuba, on June 3, 1954. She's a painter, drawer, illustrator, engraver, ceramic decorator, mural painter and poet. She is one of Cuba’s most respected living female artists today. She began her artistic studies at the Provincial Art School of Cienfuegos in 1960. She then entered the National School of Art (ENA) in Havana (1971-1974), Superior Institute of Art (ISA) Havana (1982-1987) and the Fine Arts School (L'Ecole des Beaux Arts) in Paris, France (1988-1989). Between 1976 and 1988 she exhibited more than 18 times in Villa Clara, Cienfuegos and Havana. She's had a time where she taught engraving at the Santa Clara Vocational School of Arts and years later she worked as a drawing teacher at the Art Elementary School. She's a member of Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and International Association of Plastic Artists (AIAP). She has made more than 30 solo and group exhibitions in Brazil, Cuba, Spain, United States, France, Italy, Japan, Martinique and Mexico. Her works have been present in all editions of Havana Biennial. Her artwork can be found in the collections of National Museum of Fine Art, Havana, Cuba; Salón Internacional de Gráfica. Roma, Italia; National Museum of Fine Art, Cuenca, Ecuador; Guayasamín Foundation, Cuenca, Ecuador; UNESCO, México, D.F.; Museo de la Cerámica, La Habana, Cuba; Museo de la Danza, Cuba; Museo Mapri, Pinar del Río, Cuba; Museo de Santa Clara, Villa Clara,Cuba; Casa de las Américas, La Habana, Cuba; Chateau Lormont, Bordeaux, Francia.
                     It's safe to say that she's famous on and off the island. She's not everyone's cup of tea, I have found people who both like her art and people that don't. I myself enjoy it, it's whimsical and I love her use of colours. She's not difficult to find in Havana, that is, her studio is not difficult to find. Above the restaurant 'La Mina' on Calle Obispo is an artists loft where a number of them have their studios, Zaida's is one of them. Be aware that fame demands high prices and you'll find that Zaida's art will not be cheap.

Casa de Los Artistas
Open: 10:30am-4:30pm Mon-Sat
Admission: Free
Oficios #6, e/ Obispo y Obrapía,
Habana Vieja
(Above La Mina Restaurant)

Amanecer En La Habana (1997)

Cultivo una Rosa Blanca (2013)

Dos Mundos (2008)

Paz (2008)

Mantra (2009)

Cosecha La Habana (2014)

Diamond Way (2008)

Aurora Boreal

Ofrenda (2015)



La Veguera (2010)

Hotel Breezes Varadero or Hotel Los Cactus (Varadero)

                     I stayed in this hotel in 2016 but never posted my thoughts about it until now. At that time the hotel was known as Superclubs Breezes Varadero but while looking it up on the internet for the address, it would direct me to Hotel Los Cactus. The pictures for this hotel were the same, the hotel has changed hands and is now owned solely by Cubanacan, completely Cuban.
                     Firstly, I have to tell you that I had originally booked the Junior Suite and was expecting a better room to begin with but when I arrived to claim my reservation I was told by the manager that my room wasn't going to be ready due to undisclosed reasons. Before I was able to explode my displeasure, she hit me with a bump to a Suite....too bad it was only for 2 nights.
                    The grounds were well maintained and clean and the staff was pleasant. Nice beach and not too far from where our room was but can be a bit of a hike if you're staying at the far end of this hotel. The food was decent with a pretty good variety at the buffet but the a la carte restaurant we went too was pretty bad. The Suite itself was great, although I don't think it would have been worth the price. Would I return to this hotel? If the opportunity arose and the price was right, I wouldn't mind returning here. However, no cigar smoking allowed anywhere around public spaces, only out front of the hotel, that sucks for me.

Adults only (12+)

Hotel Los Cactus
Carretera Las Americas Km 3 1/2,
Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba