Taller Experimental de Grafica (Habana Vieja) November 2019

                   Jutting out from the side of the Plaza de La Catedral is a little dead end street called “Callejon del Chorro”. Right at the very end of the street is the “Taller Experimental de Grafica”. It was founded in 1962 with the support of Che Guevara (minister of industry at the time). It attracts many young artists & has become a meeting place for people in the arts. It’s a workshop dedicating itself to the art of printmaking and one of the most important of it’s kind. It uses old printmaking techniques and produces some of the most important works of art in Havana. Limited numbers of each print are made and some of the pieces are quite racy taking jabs at the current political situation in Cuba. I’ve always been surprised at some of the content that is allowed. There are a whole bunch of pictures hanging on walls as soon as you walk in & you can see the presses a little further down. The prices should be marked, they’re fairly reasonable, if you wish to buy. I’ve read that they offer classes in engraving which in a month allows you to produce your own engraving plus copies for about 250cuc…I don’t know if this still goes on. I’ve often said that I’ll come here when I’m ready to decorate our house in Havana. I’ve always found several pieces that I’ve liked enough to hang on my wall.
                 Printmaking in Cuba started in the 18th century and expanded in the 19th century with illustrations of sugar mills and cigar paraphernalia. After the last revolution in 1959, printmaking was introduced as a subject in art school and became a specialty in itself. When this shop opened it used the old printing stones and machines that were once utilized for the making of the decorations for cigar boxes. It’s solely concentrated on artistic projects with contributions from some of the most important artists of the time.
                 You don’t need to go out of your way to visit this place but if you come to see the Plaza de La Catedral (one of the most important squares in Havana) it’s worth a moment to poke your head inside and walk around, nobody bothers you and there’s no high pressure selling going on here. You can definitely include this in your visit to this part of the city along with other stops in and around the square such as; La Catedral (the church), Casa Lombillo (mansion turned into art gallery), La Bodequita del Medio (where the mojito was invented), Museo de Arte Colonial (Casa de Don Luis Chacón turned museum) and the Seminario de San Carlos y San Ambrosio (Private Roman Catholic seminary)….the Restaurant ‘El Patio’ makes a good cappuccino and just outside the Taller an assortment of restaurants have opened after the success of the popular paladar ‘Dona Eutimia’ which has been just outside the doors of the gallery for a number of years. You could easily spend a good part of the day roaming around this square. I always make it a point of coming here if I’m ever anywhere near this area. These pics were taken on my last trip this past October.

Taller Experimental de Grafica
Callejón del Chorro No 6
Habana Vieja
+53 7 862 0979
Hours: 9:30am-4pm Mon-Fri
Admission: No Charge