If you ever dreamed of spending an extended period of time in Cuba simply making art surrounded by a group of like-minded creative individuals, then the CubaSeen Artist Residency in Havana is ripe for your consideration. A joint venture between Santa Fe Workshops and CubaSeen, this nine-day residency offers an immersive program that provides time and space to focus on your creative process inspired by the culture of the city’s thriving arts scene with structured direction and feedback from Cuba’s fine-art professionals.
All visual artists are welcome including photographers, painters, sculptors, illustrators, and mixed media artists. The residency culminates with an exhibition at a gallery space in Old Havana. This is a unique opportunity to travel to Cuba legally while enjoying constructive artistic feedback mixed with unstructured time to think, feel, and create art – and then to bring a project to fruition.
Led by CubaSeen’s founders Jennifer Spelman and Andrew Child, this residency allows you the time to explore, reflect, and engage your natural curiosity as an artist with support and feedback from influencers in Havana’s sophisticated art community. Homebase is CALIS HAVANA, a boutique hostel in the leafy suburb of Vedado. This renovated 20th Century mansion includes eight comfortable guest rooms with shared common areas to meet, review work, and share meals.
In addition to accommodations and workspace, the residency offers structured critiques with Cuban artists and curators including Nelson Ramírez de Arellano, Director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center and Havana Art Biennial. Visits to galleries and artist’s studios further enrich the program’s outreach. In preparation for the final exhibition, a master printer joins the group for a session on editing and sequencing your images as well as a discussion on fine-art printmaking techniques.
Join Jennifer, Andrew, Nelson and their Cuban artist friends for an engaging community experience as well as a self-directed and contemplative creative time for you and your artistic expression.
True to the requirements of a People-to-People General License with U.S. Treasury Department, CubaSeen Artist in Residency in Havana, focuses on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their amazing lives with our cameras.
This SFW Cuba program is open to emerging and established photographers, painters, sculptors, illustrators, mixed media, and other visual artists. Enrollment is limited to ten residents.
Participants should be technically self-sufficient and need to bring their own equipment and supplies. Participants should be in very good health with good stamina and mobility, as long days will include walking, occasionally up steep stairs, steep hills, and along uneven terrain.
A project application must be submitted within 10 days of registration before final approval is granted to attend the residency. Details to come after registration is received.
Participants make their own air travel arrangements to arrive in Havana between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on Monday, March 18 and return to the U.S. from Havana on Wednesday, March 27 between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa are good connection points in the U.S. You may need to consider staying over the night before your Havana flight. Once the trip is confirmed, additional information and travel details are provided. SFW cannot help facilitate travel extensions.
Supplies and Equipment: You are provided a shared workspace during the residency, but must bring your own equipment and supplies. Art supplies can be extremely difficult to find in Cuba, so you must bring everything you need to create your work and be self-sufficient. Private studio space can be arranged for an additional fee.
Just a few meters from the Malecón in the heart of Vedado, Hostal Calis Habana is a renovated 20th century mansion which eight comfortable guest rooms and a shared common area to meet, review work, and share meals.
$6,695. Includes hotel accommodations for nine nights; full breakfast daily plus ten group meals; field trips, daily transportation into Old Havana, critique and review sessions; up to five exhibition quality prints; and all entrance fees to Fabrica de Arte Cubano, Biennial Events, and other private events. Airfare to/from Havana is not included, as well as additional meals, required Cuban health insurance, recommended travel insurance, and Cuban visa.
Jennifer Spelman is a documentary photographer and member of the Jibaro Photos Collective. She is co-publisher of CubaSeen, a quarterly magazine showcasing photography and writing about Cuba.
Jennifer received her photographic training as an assistant with Santa Fe Workshops, working with some of today’s most preeminent photographers: Jay Maisel, Norman Mauskopf, and Joe McNally.
A sensitive photographer of people, Jennifer strives to create portraits with energy and insight. She is most at home on the streets of Havana and has worked with Santa Fe Workshops across Cuba since 2011. Jennifer is a patient educator who has co- instructed with National Geographic Expeditions and taught workshops in Romania, India, Mexico, Japan, in addition to Cuba.
A popular workshop instructor, Jennifer is also part of our Mentorship Program »
Andrew Child is an author, photographer, and co-publisher of CubaSeen, a fine art magazine showcasing visual arts and writing about Cuba. He considers Cuba to be the land of his creative nexus and has been photographing on the island since 2013.
Andrew’s first photo book, Havana: Light Beyond Vision, explores the Caribbean metropolis through his unique niche of color, infrared panoramic photography. In his second book, Cape Cod and the Islands: Light Beyond Vision, he turns his lens closer to his Massachusetts home.
His passion for good coffee and wanderlust is best satisfied when he is in Cuba, among creative friends.