Cuba Views at the Oldest House Museum
By invitation, we embraced an international artist
On Sunday afternoon, the Anonymous Society of Artists supported the St. Augustine-Baracoa Friendship Association by participating as plein air artists for Cuba views through Art, Graphics, and Photography. Celebrating the artistic links between Cuba and St. Augustine, this event was held at the Jose’ Tovar House, 22 St. Francis Street in Downtown St. Augustine. The artists who were able to attend this event responded with an RSVP to an invitation and checked their names at the door. Participants were limited to about 40 persons, keeping compliance with fire codes for this small historic structure. The Jose’ Tovar House has been renovated in recent years and if you have not seen the interior, please put it on your list of local historic things to visit.
The celebrated Cuban artist, Senior Luis Eliades, quietly led the plein air session and only spoke Spanish. Although we did not have a common language we understood each other by embracing our common ground: charcoal, pencil, pen and paper.
Many thanks to fellow artist and musician, Joe Rocco, for endorsing the Anonymous Society of Artists for this event. He played acoustic guitar and sang songs to enhance the mellow mood. A picnic was provided with beverages and finger foods. The weather was perfect. The event was truly a celebration of the universal language of art.
Although we did not have a conversation with the artist, it was evident that he enjoyed our company with his shy reserve and friendly smile, a slight yet cordial separation from blatant crowd pleasing. We sat in his shadow, casually absorbing his deliberate charcoal techniques, admiring his graceful response to frequent interruptions, and envying his steadfast yet quiet demeanor in the midst of an unfamiliar crowd. We also admired his choice of subject matter which was completely unrelated to the surrounding view: a vase and flowers. He was gracious, taking pictures of our own work and reciprocating a love the arts with the most respectful of nods in our general direction.