One of the true joys of going on a people-to-people tour in Cuba was the fascinating look inside the real life and culture of Cubans. Our first cultural visit occurred on the very day we arrived in Havana after a charter flight from Miami that morning. We were met at the airport by our fabulous, charismatic Cuban guide Abel, and taken to see the work and community art of Cuba’s most celebrated ceramic artist, José Rodriguez Fuster, at his outdoor ceramic fantasyland “Fusterlandia”.
A step inside “Fusterlandia” is like taking a walk inside a Disneyland of art. The entire community surrounding José Fuster’s studio and home is decorated in Fuster’s unique style of mixing painting and ceramic and it is utterly surreal.
Fuster began transforming Jaimanitas, a community on the northwestern side of Havana, over thirty years ago when he moved to the run-down neighborhood and set up his studio. As Fuster’s work became world-famous, he decided it was time to give back to his community. Fuster followed his dreams by creating “Fusterlandia“, a living, growing community art museum that began from his studio and has spread out around the entire neighborhood. The community art project now incorporates over 50 houses in the neighborhood in which the residents have allowed Fuster to use their homes, walls, and benches as an artists’ canvas. Fuster confesses he was inspired by some of Europe’s great artists and every day he continues his quest to make Fusterlandia even better and more impressive. Already, it is quite a site to see!
The center of Fusterlandia is of course José Fuster’s studio. Unfortunately when we arrived the sun was soaring high in the sky thus some of my photos were over-exposed. Yet I decided to include them all here in order to give a perspective of the massive size and scope of Fusterlandia. It is quite an amazing place.
Come, take a walk with me inside Fusterlandia, a place of brilliant color, art and creativity. It is certain to blow you away.
Inside Fuster’s compound there is art as far as the eye can see and beyond one’s imagination.
It was a hot day and the sun was beating down upon us. Yet that didn’t stop me from wandering aimlessly around the inside of Fuster’s studio to view his amazing pieces of art. The studio also sells small pieces of ceramic art and paintings as well as larger more expensive works of art. Here we get the chance to meet and talk with Fuster’s son about his famous father.
Up upon the roof, you can see the enormity of Fusterlandia as well as the blue of the sea. It is an incredibly inspiring place that has brought the entire community together and given them pride and joy.
To learn more about Fusterlandia, check out this great piece and video on the website Havana Cultura.
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