Sandra Ceballos, founder of Aglutinador in Havana, Cuba, and Coco Fuso.

Aglutinador, Cuba’s Longest-Run Independent Arts Space, Crowdfunds New Initiatives

Cuban-American artist Coco Fuso has teamed up with artist and gallerist Sandra Ceballos, the founder of Cuba’s longest-running autonomous art gallery, to make the “real” story of Cuban art accessible to a broader public. By launching workshops in English, digitizing the arts space’s massive archive, and upgrading its communication systems, the two creatives intend to turn the gallery into an educational resource available to the local and international community.

In order to raise funds for the artists’ vision for Aglutinador, Fusco and Ceballos launched a Go Fund Me campaign, which has already raised more than $3,000. The gallery will continue its fundraising efforts through the end of 2017 and is hoping to hold its inaugural workshop next year. While Ceballos has been running the gallery out of her home for the past twenty-four years, she is unable to finance the space through the sale of artworks because she is not permitted to work as an art dealer in Cuba.

Over the years, Aglutinador has earned a reputation for being a space where artists can exhibit free from government interference. “Lots of people who travel to Havana are impressed by the island’s rich culture and its world-class art schools, but the art that that most visitors get to see is limited to what state organizations will show them,” Coco Fosco said. “Contemporary Cuban art is often much bolder and much edgier than what you might find in a museum.” For Fusco, in order to engage with the “real” Cuban art scene, visitors need to go to galleries such as Aglutinador. The space features works by emerging artists and household names including Tania Bruguera and Carlos Garaicoa alongside artists who have been jailed and censored by the state.