Photo: Luis Eduardo
The origin can be found in the The Steeds Hall opened by Cecilio Aviles-the Cuban cartoonist creator of the popular characters from Cecilín and Coti-in the House of Culture of Old Havana, on September 22, 1992.
The space, remembered for its characteristic steeds made of skin, immediately attracted a large group of artists and guests, from Cuba and other countries, and out of their interaction an itinerant project was born which for years has been taking over every weekend of the Paseo del Prado avenue and the gardens of the UNEAC (Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba) at its headquarters in 17 and H, Vedado, every last Saturday of the month.
It is officially called Paseo de Martí, but when it was built in 1772 it was named Paseo Extramuros, because they were beyond the walls that surrounded Havana city under the colonial rule of the Marquis de la Torre. For the capital, however, is quite simply the Paseo del Prado, the longest pedestrian avenue-and certainly the busiest, after the the Malecon promenade, but with the advantage in summer times of having lush trees.
Like his counterpart in Madrid, the Havana’s Paseo del Prado runs from south to north, from the Fountain of the India (or Noble Havana) to the fortress of La Punta. Starting in Neptune Street, there are the sections where large trees are planted, pedestrian-only, where artists and craftsmen place their simple shelves which make up Image 3, every Saturday and Sunday while the daylight allows it.
Casual walkers, as well as the regulars, find in these appointments the perfect excuse to take a break and experience the enjoyment that the aesthetic contemplation of art can provide.
But it is not only about contemplation. Image 3 exhibits while opening to the neighborhood, with a community cultural tool that complements the project while ennobles it: "The Feast of Knowledge-Learn To Enjoy" is the common denominator that brings together the various workshops that every Sunday are taught for free by the creators, available to those who wish to participate, for all ages and covering not only the visual arts but also music and literature.
As a culmination of two decades of work in the community, the Cultural Project Image 3 convenes the 20 Years of Creative Footprint Day, with a program that includes, as theoretical event, a conference to be held on Thursday 20th September at 10:00 am, in the lounge of the Canary Association. On Sunday, 23-the day set aside for workshops, opens with an art activity from 11 in the morning and end with a space for thought and debate devoted to Cecilio Aviles director, painter, commercial artist and animation, cartoonist and one of the most popular comics artists for several generations of Cuban readers, who also serves today as Chairman of the Standing Committee of the UNEAC Community Culture.
After the meeting ends, the Paseo del Prado will focus back to the music, with Mexican singer Fatima, a parade of stilt walkers and the usual space dedicated to tango, that starts after 5 PM.
In conversation with Mercedes Oviedo Ramos, public relations officer in Image 3 and an artist herself, and Arte Lidia 7project coordinator which deals with handicrafts, he learnt that on Saturday September 29, in the gardens of the UNEAC, "Learning while Enjoying" will have surprises in store at the close of this commemorative day, between 10 am and 12 noon.
The Paseo del Prado remains for the people of the capital and for passers-by, an ideal place for getting calm, for meeting friends and, thanks to the work of the Image 3Community Cultural Project, a space also for the enjoyment of art.