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Impressionist Watercolor and Oil Paintings by Artist Elena Maza

cuban art

“Laguna del Tesoro: a Fable”

To purchase a reproduction of this painting CLICK HERE.

oil on canvas, unframed (edges painted)
42"h x 58"w
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The title of this painting refers to a beautiful fresh-water lake in the interior of Cuba. My parents spent their honeymoon there, and after Castro’s revolution, my father worked there for two years on a project. It was to be a hotel, made up of small cabanas artfully set in the gorgeous surrounding nature. But actually, as we found out later, it became one of Castro’s personal hideaways. The smiling crocodile represents the perfidious tyrant, trying to swallow the turtle, my symbol for the Cuban people. The turtle, however, has a hard shell, and is large enough that the crocodile can’t swallow or digest it.

About Cuban Artist Elena Maza

Español: Elena nació in La Habana, Cuba; siendo menor de edad en 1961, vino a los Estados Unidos bajo la protección de la Operación Pedro Pan. Fue enviada a Nuevo México, donde vivió con una familia hasta que sus padres pudieran salir. Desde entonces ha residido en el área de Washington, D.C., estudiando arquitectura en la Universidad Católica, donde trabajó con un grupo de estudiantes en la Galería de Arte Moderno de Washington de Walter Hopps. Comenzó a pintar en 1970, mientras empleada de dibujante, y más adelante estudió en la Escuela de Arte Corcoran. Sus pinturas has sido presentadas en exposiciones juradas al nivel regional y nacional, y han recibido numerosos premios, inclusive una beca individual del condado Montgomery en 1994; también ha organizado exposiciones para grupos locales y en Delaware, donde la exposición “Collage of Cultures: Many Visions, One Community” recibió un premio del Gobernador. Ha sido Presidenta del Women’s Caucus for Art de Greater Washington, y Presidenta de la Sociedad Cultural Cubana Americana de Washington. También ha sido profesora de Tai Chi Chuan, un arte marcial Chino.



English: Elena was born in Havana, Cuba, and came to the U.S. in 1961 as a result of Castro's revolution, living in New Mexico with a foster family for a year until her own family was able to leave. A resident of the Washington area since then, she studied architecture at Catholic University, where she gained her first exposure to the local arts scene working with a group of students at Walter Hopps' Washington Gallery of Modern Art. She started painting in 1970 while working as an architectural draftswoman and designer, and studied later at the Corcoran School of Art. Her paintings have been exhibited nationally in juried and invitational shows. She has received a number of awards, including an individual artist grant from county in 1994, and has been curator for art exhibitions locally and in Delaware, where Collage of Cultures: Many Visions One Community received a Governors award. She is a past President of the Women's Caucus for Art of Greater Washington, and of The Cuban American Cultural Society of Washington. She has also taught Taijiquan, a Chinese martial art. A book about Elena’s life, Embracing America: A Cuban Exile Comes of Age, by Margaret Paris, was published by the University Presses of Florida in 2002.

Artist's Statement

My paintings are meditations on nature, its infinite beauty, variety and richness. Finding an unusual viewpoint to convey the specialness of a place, I look for images that have what the Japanese call yugen , a word that means depth and mystery. I think of my work as a form of visual poetry. The world is badly in need of poetry, as a way of cultivating serenity in the face of constant bombardment from artificial stimuli. I offer my work as a way of sustaining and healing the viewer’s spirit. Fill your gaze!

The artist will gladly undertake art commissions. Contact Elena Maza for more information.

All images copyright Elena Maza. Use without permission from the artist is prohibited.

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