Cuba: Culture, Cars And Cigars

cubashowfacebookpagenov19enddatesmfile202Barb Krawczyk and Diane Savioli-Chase recently went to Cuba to do some serious photography on a vacation trek. They are showing some of their prints and slideshows in Westfield next month at Westfield Creative Arts on Elm St.

The show runs from October 31st to November 19th.

The reception is Friday Nov. 4 from 6 to 8 pm.

Use Google Maps to find WCA.

Westfield Creative Arts is open Tuesday through Thursday 10-3 and Saturday 12 to 4.

Here is information they have provided…



Our Experience in Cuba …

Diane and I went to Cuba in April of 2016 for a week, visiting Havana, its environs, Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve, several artist and design studios, Hemingway’s Finca Vigia home, Matanzas, Cojimar, Jaimanitas, Coliseo and Varadero. The trip was organized by the Friendly Planet Tour Company with a manageable 19 people in the group. Because of the remaining restrictions for US citizens to travel to Cuba, traveling with a licensed tour operator was the easiest and most efficient (the tour company obtains the visa, travel documents, medical insurance, air charter flight, hotel accommodations and meals. They “vet” restaurants for food safety and help in navigating the complicated money exchange situation). Even though there has been loosening of restrictions, one still has to participate in a “People to People” exchange.

When asked why did you go to Cuba? I can only say, “Why not? I knew it would be fascinating and it didn’t disappoint. The trip was also an homage to my mother, who visited in the 1930’s, and we stayed in the same hotel, the Hotel Nacional! We wanted to visit before the crush of Americans and the possible spoiling of the experience by too many tourists.

It is very difficult to identify a single highlight. Merely flying over Cuba and landing in a country so strictly forbidden to most Americans for so many years was a thrill. Exiting the small Jose Marti International Airport and being transported back to the 1950’s was a unique experience. We were giddy with excitement to see all the old American cars! Our tour director likened it to a trip in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine (remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle show?). A pleasant surprise was the amazing friendliness and openness of the people. We felt completely safe and folks on the street were eager to engage us in conversation.

My only disappointment was not having enough time to visit some of the museums in Havana and having free time to do more independent exploration.

What saddened Diane and I was the state of disrepair of all the once magnificent homes and colonial architecture. The Cuban people are proud and resourceful with a sophisticated outlook on life. I believe that most Cubans just want to become closer to its big neighbor 90 miles north across the Straits of Florida.”

About Barb Krawczyk

Barb has lived in Westfield for 34 years and is a native of South Dakota. She is currently semi-retired and works part time for Pearson VUE as a test proctor after a career in marketing and employee communications. Her major hobbies are travel and photography. This show is an obvious combination of her true passions. Barb is currently president of the Westfield Camera Club and has served as an officer and on the Board of the Springfield Photographic Society. She holds the designations of PPSA and EPSA in the Photographic Society of America and has won many photographic awards locally and internationally. Her work has appeared in calendars, web sites, print marketing, newspapers, and magazines. She has also exhibited in various galleries and serves as a judge for photographic competitions.

About Diane L. Savioli-Chase

Diane considered photography a hobby with specific interests in documenting travel and street life. She was given her own camera at 9 years old, when her grandparents took her to Italy.

She started using a Minolta 35 mm film camera on her first trip to Mexico in 1976. In 1981, she started a project with two other photographers traveling around New England documenting textile mills. This culminated in exhibits at the Quadrangle in Springfield and the Holyoke Textile Museum.



About rcdanek

Photography, Video, Music, Engineering, and Family
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