POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — For nearly half a century, Cuba has been an enigma to most Americans. Isolated politically and economically for more than four decades by an American embargo, a vibrant cultural community remains shrouded in mystery. Rick Miller is trying to change that.
The James W. Palmer Gallery at Vassar College is proud to present "Cuba: Photographs by Rick Miller," a collection of the artist's experiences as an observer in the country, from Wednesday, September 26, through Friday, October 12. In honor of the exhibit, the Palmer Gallery will host a reception for the artist on Monday, October 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, and following the event, Miller will discuss how "A Photographer Looks at Cuba" at 7:00 pm in Sanders Classroom Auditorium (Room 212). The exhibit and all related events are free and open to the public.
"As a photographer, I attempt to capture the rhythms and textures, the spontaneity and surprise, and the individuality and public convergence of daily life in Cuba's cities, towns, and villages," said Miller.
The 45 black and white photographs in the exhibit were taken during Miller's trips to Cuba in 2001, as the official photographer with the human rights organization Madre, and in 2004, as co-leader of a group of students and faculty from St. Joseph's College, in Patchogue, New York. Until 2004, only cultural, religious, or educational organizations approved by the U.S. government, and family members of Cuban citizens, were permitted to travel to Cuba. Since then, the restrictions have become even more severe, but Miller crosses the divide with his documents of the ordinary Cuban experience, examining the combinations of shortages and exuberant music, long lines, and literature.
Miller is currently the Acting Chair of the Department of Art at St. Joseph's College. He began his career at the college in 1998 as an adjunct instructor of art, moving up to become an instructor and then an assistant professor. Miller was previously an adjunct instructor of art at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, New York, and at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York.
The exhibition, lecture and concert are all free and open to the public. For Palmer Gallery hours, or to arrange accommodations for people with disabilities, call the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.