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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Sustaining and Spreading the Revolution

Many+of+the+posters+feature+simplified+forms+and+figures+with+vibrant+colors+and+engaging+background.
Many of the posters feature simplified forms and figures with vibrant colors and engaging background.

NEW EXHIBIT COMBINES POLITICS WITH ART—

 After the recent announcement revealing the reinstatement of diplomatic relations with Cuba, the Sustaining and Spreading the Revolution art exhibit conveniently provides the background for the political turmoil and instability experienced within the country. The exhibit opened March 1 at the Martha Cloud Chapman Gallery features Cuban posters of revolutionary themes such as solidarity and anticolonial/anti-American movements and the importance of the communist movement worldwide. These posters will be presented in conjunction with Dr. Rachel Vanderhill’s government class, which focuses on the study of violent and non-violent revolutions around the world and transitions to democracy or regime change.

The exhibit was planned last semester when Vanderhill and Arts Coordinator Youmi Efurd attended a lecture given by the collector, Lindsey Webster. Webster has been collecting political posters for several years and has lent a portion of this collection to Wofford. The works in this exhibit were largely produced in the 1960s and 1970s, which was the period of peak production for political posters. Featured pieces include work by Félix Beltrán and Rene Maderos, both internationally acclaimed artists.

“I appreciate how the posters graphically depict the ideological conflicts of the time period,” says Vanderhill. “The posters demonstrate how Cuban artists developed their own visual style separate from the social realism of Soviet communism. The political messages are very direct and powerful in many of the posters.”

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Similarly, Efurd’s favorite aspect of the exhibit is the individualized artistry of the many posters.

“I love their artistic creativity with attempting to convey the theme of Cuban assistance of anti-colonialism throughout the world. Mostly printed by the Organization of Solidarity of the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America, the posters exhibit unique designs and vibrant colors, and they were distributed in four languages to 87 countries.”

Vanderhill is excited for the exhibit as it allows students to study and think about the Cuban Revolution and its global impact in a tangible and unique way.

“The posters visually demonstrate how the Cuban government used themes of international solidarity and anti-Americanism to gain legitimacy and maintain its rule following the Cuban Revolutions,” says Vanderhill.

On March 12, the opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 4 – 6 p.m. at the gallery and will feature talks from both Vanderhill and Webster. Refreshments will be served. Students are also encouraged to view the Sandor Teszler Gallery as it will house a continuation of the Sustaining and Spreading Revolution exhibit. The Teszler Gallery works will relate to gender-oriented themes in honor of National Women’s History Month, such as the roles of women during revolution.

—Kelsey Aylor

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