With inspiring humility, the renowned artist from the plastic arts of Matanzas, Lorenzo Padilla, goes through the streets of his hometown again.
After several decades representing Cuba in France returns to this city to give Matanzas people the wonders of its creation.
Whoever does not know him will feel like an old man like others, but his contributions and donations to heritage and Matanzas culture make him stand out as one of the most important artists since the 50s in Cuba.
Precisely Matanzas has brought its most important creation, the Lorenzo Padilla Foundation, with a socio-ecological project with broad repercussions for the cultural and tourist development of the Athens of Cuba.
“He returns to Matanzas and brings with him the most important legacy of the universal culture that he has managed to accumulate with the passing of the years: his Foundation and his integral collections.
“The Lorenzo Padilla Foundation, under the guidance of his son David, has developed a project of unusual character for the city of Matanzas.
It consists of rehabilitating the lands of the old Revolution Square that was not built on the south bank of the San Juan River, between the streets that limit the bottom of the Yucayo ring, “explained Leonel Pérez Orozco, City Curator of Matanzas.
A permaculture center, theater, salons dedicated to the sale of works of art and exhibition halls will be some of the facilities that will work in the place, all built in a short space of time from recyclable materials and with an approximate duration of 20 years.
“Buildings will be built in an ecological way taking advantage of elements that are not taken into account for these tasks. For example, the permaculture center will be made from disposable car tires, packed with a very modern glass structure.
“A beehive-shaped dome will be held in the center of the place, where exhibitions and celebrations will be offered. All the facilities of the Foundation will operate from the use of wind and solar energy. The river water will also be used recycled and treated for consumption.
“It will have an area of modern containers superimposed on top of each other and a large glass pyramid dedicated to the Lorenzo Padilla Museum.
” The site will offer various services to Matanzas population and visitors, which will open the doors of Cuban culture to the world and, also, allow foreign artists to exhibit their work in the city.
“Cafes, restaurants, sales of ornamental plants, works of art and fruits that will be grown in the greenhouses and permaculture centers of the institution itself. There will also be programmed cultural, folkloric activities.
“This will become a dynamic point of entry for international culture with Matanzas because artists from all over the world will also come to exhibit their art and exchange with the Matanzas”.
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The project also provided for the dredging of the San Juan and Yumurí rivers with solar-powered garbage collection barges. Sponsored by the Lorenzo Padilla Foundation, the Ministry of Culture, the Provincial Department of Culture and the Office of the Conservative of Matanzas, the initiative will be the first of its kind in the country.
“It is a cultural mega project of great significance for the city of Matanzas and for the country. It will be the first experience with these characteristics mounted in Cuba. We are talking about a unique possibility for economic, tourist and cultural development.
” But the work of Lorenzo Padilla will not be limited to this space. As a deep appreciation of the city for its contributions to Matanzas culture, including the donation of more than 300 pieces from 80 ethnic groups from 14 African countries to the Matanzas Art Museum, the artist will have a workshop at the School of Crafts, attached to the Office of the Curator, where he will be part of the faculty.
“He will give painting classes to mural painting restorers and will have an art gallery and a workshop for the exhibition of his creations at the center.”
That’s how great men are. With the opportunity to continue developing her work in the City of Light, after a request from the Ministry of Culture to represent Cuba in Paris, Lorenzo preferred to return to the land where he was born, and to give her the experience and talent accumulated with the years.
So far he brought with him, in addition to one of the most important creations of his artistic career, his Foundation, the greatest work that could be given to a city like this one: a life dedicated entirely to cultural development.