Juan Martínez was born in Jaruco, a rural city east of Havana. A state-aspect speckled with palm trees, mountain peaks and a coastal fishing city developed a landscape that planted itself in Martínez’s heart and would area many years later by means of his enthusiasm for artwork.

Martínez arrived in Miami in 1966 when he was 15 a long time aged. As a scholar at Miami Dade Faculty, Martínez took an artwork heritage training course with a professor that improved his lifestyle.

“I was fascinated by these images and the tale guiding them,” recollects Martínez, now an FIU emeritus professor of artwork history. “I uncovered that you can basically have a profession in this. I started off from there.”

He went on to get paid numerous graduate levels in art background at Florida State University. But it was not until finally a good friend asked him if he wanted to test out an show showcasing Cuban artwork that Martínez identified an area that spoke to his past. He was hooked.

“It’s really apparent now, I recognized that researching Cuban art was a way to set me in make contact with with my tradition and my id,” claims Martínez, citing a single of his favored Cuban artists, Carlos Enríquez, whose works often discover themes similar to Cuba’s countryside.

“When persons are immigrants, they yearn for their first culture,” Martínez explains. “In several scenarios, they like to have their content society. Aspect of that substance lifestyle is artwork, so they want to accumulate it, share it and want to insert to the knowledge of it.”

Martínez would inevitably turn into just one of the leading students on Cuban artwork and one of the most important voices in Miami keeping Cuban artwork and its heritage alive.