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Havana Wonderful Time

For those of you wondering what, besides cigars, salsa music and topnotch baseball talent, the 36-year-old embargo against Cuba has kept from you, the Arizona State University Art Museum has planned a series of events in conjunction with its "Contemporary Art From Cuba: Irony and Survival on the Utopian Island." The show runs from Sunday, September 27, through Sunday, December 13, at the museum's two campus locations: the Nelson Fine Arts Center, at 10th Street and Mill, and Matthews Center, at the intersection of Cady Mall and Tyler Mall, just north of ASU's Hayden Library.

First on the list is a cultural warm-up at Club Tropicana, from 6:30 p.m. Saturday, September 26, to midnight. The "club" will be, essentially, a one-night fest--behind the Nelson Fine Arts Center--of food, fun, music and a chance to meet the artists and other real and imagined dignitaries. Tickets are $50 per person. To make reservations, call the museum: 965-2787.

After a few hours of recuperation, you'll be ready for the formal public opening of the exhibition, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 27, at both museum locations.

Following the opening comes a series of free public lectures in October and November. Some of the show's artists will give gallery talks at noon Tuesday, September 29, and the same time Wednesday, September 30, at the Nelson Fine Arts Center, and on Thursday, October 1, at Matthews Center. The lineup for September 29 is Pedro Alvarez, Abel Barroso and Los Carpinteros; for September 30, it's Sandra Ramos, Yamilys Brito and Belkis Ayon; and for October 1, the scheduled speakers are Carlos Estevez, Rene Francisco and Fernando Rodriguez.

At 7 p.m. Friday, October 2, the Cuban artist and art critic Antonio Eligio Fernandez, who goes by the rap-singer-like moniker of Tonel, will discuss the exhibition in lecture hall AED 60 in the north building of ASU's College of Architecture and Environmental Design, at the intersection of University and Myrtle. The talk will be followed by a reception at the museum.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 13, at the Nelson Fine Arts Center, the museum's director, and curator of the exhibition, Marilyn Zeitlin, will deliver a gallery walk-and-talk, titled "Five Minutes to Midnight," about the contemporary Cuban art in this show.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 13, in lecture hall AED 60 of the College of Architecture's north building, Tucson's Tom Miller, author of Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee's Travels Through Castro's Cuba--this decade's best American travelogue of Cuban culture and society--will provide a street-level look at Cuba.

During the exhibition's run, the Nelson Fine Arts Center will also be conducting free noontime exhibition tours on the following days: Wednesday, October 14; Saturday, October 17; Wednesday, November 4; Saturday, November 7; Wednesday, November 18; Saturday, November 21; Wednesday, December 2; and Saturday, December 5. Other events may occur.

--Edward Lebow

For more information, call the ASU Art Museum at 965-2787.


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