Galería Cubana offers New England’s most comprehensive collection of contemporary Cuban art with rarely seen works by both internationally renowned and emerging artists currently living in Cuba. We showcase paintings, prints and drawings that encapsulate the cultural depth, aesthetic diversity and political edge unique to Cuban art.
Galería Cubana was first established in Provincetown, MA in 2007. Our mission is to introduce artwork rarely seen in the United States, support artists on the island, and thereby strengthen cultural ties between the two countries.
Galería Cubana Owner & Director, Michelle Wojcik has been studying Cuban culture, politics and economics since 1999. Born in Massachusetts and raised in New Hampshire, Ms. Wojcik has lived in several cities throughout the U.S. and beyond including, New York, Washington DC, and San Diego.
Ms. Wojcik earned a Masters Degree in Applied Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC and an Masters of Philosophy in Anthropology at the New School for Social Research in New York, NY. While earning her degrees, she studied abroad in London, England, Havana, Cuba & Krakow, Poland.
It was her longstanding interest and study in human rights, international development, and social entrepreneurialism that led her to open the gallery. While living in Havana during the Summer of 2002, her intent was to begin a dissertation on Cuba’s tourist economy. She found herself gravitating to the artists’ studios, deeply impressed by the depth of artistic production and creative use of materials. She developed a further curiosity for this sector of the Cuban economy that was permitted as private enterprise. (Between the years of 1994 -2010, art was one of five professions in Cuba permitted as private enterprise).
During this period between 2001-2004, Ms. Wojcik was actively involved with Cuba policy work through her position with the World Policy Institute’s Cuba Project (2001-2004) in New York, NY. Eventually serving as the Assistant Director of the Cuba Project, she researched the political and economic effects of the U.S. embargo on Cuba and collaborated with other leaders in the field to facilitate dialogue in Congress and the private sector. Among the more notable accomplishments in this role, was a medical delegation to Cuba in 2001 that Ms. Wojcik organized with two former surgeon generals to examine Cuban healthcare. In 2004, Wojcik was also a key coordinator of the National Summit on Cuba hosting former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev.
After studying and working New York City for several years, Wojcik felt a calling for a more creative life. She returned to Massachusetts to work briefly for Frontline, the PBS documentary series.
Yet, Cuba remained on her mind, as did the drive to be an entrepreneur. With art as one of the few private sectors of the Cuban economy, Ms. Wojcik wanted to support artists whose work would otherwise not be seen in the United States and present such work to an American population with limited exposure to Cuba's rich culture.
In 2007, she opened Galeria Cubana in Provincetown, MA and quickly discovered the appreciation of Cuban art in the NorthEast. By 2009, she opened a second location in Boston, MA that remained opened until the end of 2017. Ms. Wojcik has hosted scores of Cuban artists for exhibitions in both galleries since the U.S. government began granting visas to Cuban artists in April 2010.
In addition to organizing exhibitions and artist visits, she has been leading groups of collectors on Arts & Cultural Excursions to Cuba annually since 2012. Ms. Wojcik connects travelers to Galeria Cubana artists in their studios to see how they live and work in a changing Cuban economy. For more information on Cuba Travel with Galeria Cubana, click here.
In 2013, Ms. Wojcik co-produced the feature length documentary film Alumbrones directed by South African filmmaker Bruce Donnelly. Donnelly asked Ms. Wojcik if he could document the story of her artists in 2011 after visiting her Boston gallery. The Gallery Owner brought Donnelly to Cuba in 2012 on his first journey to the island. There Ms. Wojcik introduced him to the artists she had built close relationships with throughout the years of exhibiting their works in her two galleries. Donnelly was immediately enchanted with their spirit and talents and subsequently and was inspired to make a film! Click here to watch Alumbrones.
Throughout these years, Ms. Wojcik has lectured on the history of Cuban art and the contemporary Cuban art market at several universities including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston College, Boston University, along with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Ms. Wojcik travels to Cuba regularly in search of new works and undiscovered talent. She continues to focus on Cuba, but intends to incorporate more travel and adventure in her life.
The legal basis for the importation of Cuban art is premised on the “Berman Amendment” enacted in 1988 that amended the Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) to exclude “informational materials” from the scope of TWEA sanctions. In 1989, in Cernuda v. Heavy, a federal court in Miami held that paintings of Cuban origin were “informational materials” and were therefore exempt from the scope of sanctions on Cuba.
The reproductions of works of art herein displayed are not to be duplicated for personal use, for distribution, nor for sale. Violators will be prosecuted.