Art lovers will be enchanted by Cuba and the creativity that is present all over the island. Most of the best galleries are concentrated in Havana, but there are also notable exhibitions in other cities. Read on to discover the best galleries to visit in Cuba.
National Museum of Fine Arts
This behemoth of the Havana art scene sprawls over two separate buildings, one of which is devoted to international art and the other to Cuban art. Alongside extensive permanent collections, there are regular temporary exhibitions of both national and international artists. This gallery is a must-see when you are in Havana.
One of Cuba’s most well-known modern artists lends his name to this gallery space, which has become one of the most important and influential places to see art in Latin America. You will find it in an old colonial building in Old Havana.
Cuba’s second city is known more for its music than its art, but the Galeria Rene Valdes is a great spot for art lovers. It aims to represent local artists and take their work to a larger audience, including visiting tourists. You can buy work by local artists in the shop, and relax over a coffee in the café. You never know, you could take home a piece by a future star.
The Cuban Art Factory (FAC) is an impressive venue that hosts exhibitions, film screenings and live music. It’s easy to spend a day taking in the gallery before staying on for drinks and dancing in the event space. The FAC is one of the top spots for creative endeavours in Havana, and is housed in a former factory in the Vedado neighbourhood.
This space promotes the work of members of the National Association of Writers and Artists, and has long been a focal point for Cuban creatives and critics. Since it opened in 2004, Villa Manuela has become known for showing works from a wide range of artistic styles; there are usually around 10 different shows each year.
Visitors to the city of Camaguey should make sure to stop in at this interesting workshop full of sculptures and paintings. Most of the works are for sale, and you can see bronze statues by Martha Jimenez in the street outside. There are other boutiques and cafés nearby, on Camaguey’s most interesting street.
Nestled in a loft in Old Havana, this gallery is a fairly new entry to the Cuban art scene. It’s not only a gallery, but also a place for the production and marketing of art and a training school. The space shot to prominence in 2016 when Karl Lagerfeld’s show Work in Progress was hosted here.
Artists in Cuba often struggle to afford materials, and so the 15-strong collective behind Yusi’s Art Alliance decided to take action. They opened this workshop-cum-gallery in Cienfuegos by pooling their resources, and they now have a place to work and sell their art. It’s a great example of innovative thinking being used to combat the difficulties faced by creative people in Cuba.
This innovative space focusses on new areas of creativity and supports the work of both established and emerging artists. It is famous for its role in organising two important annual events: the Salon de Premiados, a yearly show of competition winners, and the Contemporary Cuban Art Salon. You can’t miss out on visiting the CDAV, thanks to its accessible location in one corner of Plaza Vieja in the middle of Old Havana.
This space is found in the increasingly popular Vedado district of Havana, and hosts a constant stream of shows that change every three weeks. The rapidly changing exhibitions allow the gallery to promote the works of many different artists, and previous shows have included the works of Lazaro Saavedra, Luis Enrique López-Chávez and Alejandro Campins, all of whom are rising stars in the Cuban art world.