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photo from the González exhibit

Cuban artist Alan Manuel González shares his art and experience with MSU students

The Golding-Yang Art Gallery hosted the opening reception of world-renowned Cuban artist, Alan Manuel González Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Claypool-Young Art Building.  

“We couldn’t take 50 students to Cuba and instead we brought him here,” said Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, professor of art and curator of this event. “It’s like a cultural exchange. He’s learning about the U.S. and about us and we’re learning about him and his country in many different ways.” 

González served as a Visiting Artist in Residence at Morehead State for nearly three weeks (Oct. 8 through Oct. 24).  He participated in several activities during his time at MSU such as demonstrations, presentations and one-on-one/small group conversational meetings. 

“Through visual arts you are touching the inner part of their hearts and minds,” said González. “Once you already know the letters of the alphabet then you know the words, but then you have to learn how to make poetry out of that. That’s what visual arts is for me, it’s visual poetry.” 

González is an award-winning artist whose work addresses the social and political issues of Cuba. This is his first solo exhibition at a university in the United States. 

“It’s been fruitful for both entities,” said Mesa-Gaido. “He’s getting some exposure and learning about how to enter the university gallery system, but for our students they have really been able to connect with what he does in so many ways.” 

Mesa-Gaido said she would like to extend her gratitude to all of the people who made this possible. “I see it as a cross-campus collaboration and it really does show that if we all pull together our funds, which are limited, we can make something amazing happen at not a huge cost that’s impactful for our students and the community.”  

The exhibition, “Crystal Glazing in Cuba,” will be on display in the Golding-Yang Art Gallery until Nov. 20.  

To learn more about Alan Manuel González, visit For more information about MSU’s Department of Art and Design, call 606-783-2766 or visit

View photo gallery from the opening reception
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