Havana-inspired artwork from City

Michelle Moran

The Luxe Gallery at City College opened a new exhibit on Friday, Nov. 30, featuring the work of the photography department’s faculty and students after their return from Havana, Cuba this past summer.

Students and faculty members traveled to the country during the beginning of June and were able to explore and capture some really great photos.

The group of 22 left Los Angeles International Airport on June 17 and arrived at Miami International six hours later, where they boarded a charter flight to San Juan Airport in Havana, Cuba. The faculty members included Dave Eichinger, Lisa Vella, and Marv Sloben.

The tour was made possible with President Obama’s lifting of time restrictions on educational visits to Cuba. They returned on June 24.

The photographs were recently showcased at Cuba Foto, an exhibit that received a lot of good feedback.

Roughly around 200 people were in attendance, music was played and food was provided.

The photos capture everyday life in Cuba, including the rugged streets, old Cuban cars and the people that grew up there.

Randy Barnes, acting vice president of instruction at City College, was there to see the work.

“The Luxe Gallery was an amazing venue for the Cuba Foto exhibit. The photos vividly expressed the culture and architecture of Cuba. Kudos to the students and faculty who were involved with this outstanding exhibit,” Barnes said.

Photography professor Dave Eichinger was one of the faculty members who took part in the trip.

“It’s been a great experience. Most of us didn’t know what to expect when we got there. When you’ve heard so many stories about Cuba, it’s kind of scary,” said Eichinger. “Turns out that, like, even the police don’t carry guns down there. It seemed like a really safe environment.”

Normally, Eichinger travels to Europe over the summer for the photography trip, but the opportunity arose to go to Cuba, and the group gladly accepted.

The trip included a two unit class offered through Los Medanos College in the Contra Costa Community College District.

The tours included lectures on the history and art of Cuba, with an emphasis on the influence of Hemingway in Havana.

Another trip to Cuba is planned for next summer and anyone is welcome to join.

The photography exhibit will be on display at the Luxe Gallery, located on the 5th floor the V building at 16th and Broadway through Christmas. It will remain open until January.