The Seattle-Havana Poster Show examines the rich shared history of poster design between Havana, Cuba and Seattle, Washington.


Curators: Daniel R. Smith, Jacob McMurray, Pedro Contreras Suárez, Pepe Menéndez
Exhibition Design: Jacob McMurray, Daniel R. Smith
Fabrication & Installation: Jacob McMurray

Venues:
Bumbershoot Arts Festival, Seattle, September 1-3, 2007
El Centro De Desarrollo De Las Artes Visuales, Havana, Cuba, April 17 - May 17, 2008

Synopsis:

Despite their geographic distance, Seattle, Washington and Havana, Cuba share vibrant, experimental graphic design cultures often best expressed by their distinctive poster design. The Seattle-Havana Poster Show is a selection of over 40 silkscreen-printed posters sharing cultural themes such as music, film, theater and other arts events. Artists include a range of talents, from Eduardo Muñoz Bachs (1937-2001), one of the most famous Cuban poster designers of the modern era, to recent graduates of Havana’s design school, el Instituto Superior de Diseño. These Cuban designers’ posters are paired with the work of Seattle designers, from established artists such as Art Chantry and Jeff Kleinsmith, to up-and-coming works by Micah Barrett, Johann Gomez, and many others. After its Bumbershoot debut, The Seattle-Havana Poster Show traveled to Havana in 2008, where it was exhibited at el Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (CDAV) and shared with Cuban designers prohibited from traveling to the U.S. The Seattle posters remained in Havana, a gift from this city's designers to CDAV's permanent study collection.

The Seattle-Havana Poster Show is a collaborative effort between four curators, two based in Seattle and two in Havana. In Seattle, Jacob McMurray, Senior Curator at Museum of Pop Culture and Daniel R. Smith, Design Director at Tether. In Havana, Pedro Contreras Suárez of El Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, and Pepe Menéndez, Design Director Casa de las Américas.

Selected Press:
  • Seattle PI: “Love this show...Despite embargoes and whatever else governments do to keep people apart, graphic design is a universal language. The call and response of the silkscreens not only crossed borders, it knocks them down.”