14ymedio, Havana, 14 November 2022 — The Cintas Foundation has awarded their annual scholarship of 20,000 dollars to three Cubans: Sandra Ceballos, visual artist, Armando Lucas Correa, writer, and Rodrigo Castro, composer.
The only one of these three to currently reside in Cuba is Ceballos, who, aged 61, is one of the most recognised of all Cuban artists internationally. Born in Guantánamo and a descendent of Spaniards who emigrated after the Civil War, she studied painting, sculpture and engraving at the School of Plastic Arts of the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Art, from where she graduated in 1983.
Among her most important awards are a mention in the Painting category at Salón Playa ’85 and the national finals of the Juan Francisco y Elso Contemporary Painting awards, 1995. She has been an artist in residence in New York (1997) and Basel (Switzerland) in 1998. She has had works exhibited not only in Cuba but in Mexico and the United States, and has achieved both collective and individual exhibitions in dozens of other countries.
Ceballos is also a well known feminist activist — she collaborates with [Cuban feminist magazine] Alas Tensas (Taut Wings), is an animal rights campaigner and has taken part in demonstrations supporting the San Isidro and 27N Movements in Cuba. Nevertheless, it has been her work as a promoter of culture at Espacio Aglutinador (Unifying Space) – the independent art gallery that she hosts in her house in El Vedado – which has garnered her the greatest respect amongst young creatives on the Island.
Armando Lucas Correa, on the other hand, lives in New York, and, although he has been awarded the scholarship for his dedication to writing, he’s also a journalist. He began that work on the Island, where he was editor, in 1988, of Tablas, a national magazine of theatre and dance with main office in Havana; before that, he graduated from the University of the Arts, Cuba (Higher Institute of Art) and then obtained a postgraduate degree in journalism from the University of Havana.
From there he went to USA where he was editor of The New Herald. In 1997 he moved to New York to write for the magazine People en español and became editor in chief in 2007 until 2022. His first novel was La chica alemana (The German Girl), which was translated into 14 languages. Next, in 2019, came The Daughter’s Tale, and he is now preparing for the launch of The Night Travellers in 2023.
Lastly, Rodrigo Castro is a composer and lives in Miami. The musician has a broad career trajectory which includes his experiment for orchestra, La Gaviota (The Seagull) in which he tackles the “long history of ideological divisions” which have marked Cuban culture over the past half century.
The Cintas Foundation was created through funds donated by Óscar B Cintas (1887-1957), Cuban ambassador to the United States and patron of the arts, and has been giving awards since 1963. The shortlisted finalists are selected by a jury of experts all of whom who enjoy international reputations.
In the last fifty years these awards have honoured the achievements, in a range of diverse categories, of great Cuban artistes like Félix González-Torres, Teresita Fernández, Carmen Herrera, María Martínez-Cañas, Oscar Hijuelos, Andrés Duany, María Elena Fornes and Tania León. After receiving their award the winners become a part of the ’Cintas Collection’, through donating one of their works to the Foundation.
Translated by Ricardo Recluso
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.