Havana Part III: Viñales Valley, Experimental Graphics Workshop, Fabrica de Arte, and La Guarida

by Chris Murray on February 21, 2024

After the launch of David Fenton‘s SHOTS Exhibition, we drove to Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Pinar Del Rio, just a two hour drive from Havana. It is surely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in my life. We had a lovely lunch at Restaurante Buena Vista overlooking the valley.


Things to do in Pinar del Río and Viñales - Horizon Guides

Viñales Valley, Pinar del Rio, UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Restaurante Buena Vista, Viñales.


After lunch, we went to visit the Cuban ‘outsider artist’ Noel Diaz and the extraordinary park he built featuring his art, Proyecto Raices. I have visited Noel’s environment a number of times, an amazing exhibition space, studio, coffee plantation, and home, all rolled into one. Everyone was blown away by his artistry.


Carlotta Hester and David Fenton at Proyecto Raices (Project Roots).







Chris Murray with Noel Diaz on the road by his home in Viñales.


After returning from Viñales, we went to visit Taller Experimental de la Grafica de la Habana, the extraordinary artists’ print making workshop and atelier in Old Havana. It is open to the public and features artists working at the studio in a large open space that visitors can also enjoy. It is a remarkable artistic environment. I met the dynamic artist A. Sagarra and was delighted to buy one of his works.


Taller Experimental de la Grafica de la Habana.


Cuban artist A. Sagarra at the Taller Experimental de la Grafica.


Mater Caritatis In Pluetibus Maris Ambulavit by A. Sagarra.


The next evening, I was excited to bring David, Sylvie, Fabiola, Thorne, and Carlotta to the extraordinary Havana art center, Fabrica de Arte Cubano. David Fenton was giving an audio/visual presentation of his photographs from the SHOTS exhibition at Fabrica de Arte Cubano. We went to meet Nelson Ramirez, the director of the Contemporary Art Center Wifredo Lam and the Havana Biennial, who was to introduce David Fenton to the audience at Fabrica. But first, we had a wonderful meal at El Concinero, which is directly next door to Fabrica.


El Concinero.


Fabrica de Arte Cubano.


David Fenton gave an engaging talk that evening at Fabrica de Arte Cubano. Fabiola Castro, Govinda Gallery assistant to the director, translated Fenton’s talk to the Cuban audience. Fenton said of this photo with Nelson Mandela that he “helped organized Mandela’s first US tour and assisted him during the 1994 presidential election in Africa.”



Our last evening, we went to my favorite restaurant in Havana, La Guarida, and had a meal under the stars on their beautiful balcony. It was a great ending to a great journey in Cuba.


Fabiola Castro with collector Thorne Sirbak on La Guardia’s balcony.


The Govinda Gallery Gang at the stairway to La Guarida.


Govinda Gallery Director, Chris Murray, with La Guarida’s concierge.


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