Columbus in Cuba | Cuba in Columbus

Gretchen Stevens Cochran

“Handshake”, recycled copper wire

“Handshake”, recycled copper wire

The handshake has been recognized as a short ritual of personal connection over time and across cultures.  As such it has become a human bridge, extending friendship, offering congratulation, and bestowing confirmation.

Two crocheted forms referencing extended hands describe an incomplete or deferred handshake. Shadows cast on the wall suggest a completed handshake. Might we imagine building human bridges of opportunity connecting Cuba and the USA to be a handshake of commitment?

“The Cost of Sugar”, recycled copper wire, EBay object, glass frit, hat pins, buttons

“The Cost of Sugar”, recycled copper wire, EBay object, glass frit, hat pins, buttons

In “The Cost of Sugar” an antique pan scale is suspended from the index finger of an apparently gloved hand suggesting a social distance between those who produce and those who profit from the production of sugar cane.

In The Matanzas Nobody Knows.* Migel Bretos introduced me to Mantanzas, Cuba. His detailed descriptions of the rich social history when sugar plantations flourished in early 19th Century Mantanzas led me to think about universal human costs of production and how they were reversed when freed slaves became plantation owners.

* Bretos, Miguel A. Mantanzas: The Cuba Nobody Knows. University Press of Florida (2010): Disguises and Holy Spaces 125 - 128.

artist bio

Gretchen Stevens Cochran - Headshot

Gretchen Stevens Cochran, an Emerita Professor of Art at Otterbein University, lives and works in Columbus, Ohio.  She has exhibited in local, national and international venues.   She has received Excellence Awards from NH and OH Councils for the Arts, and Artist in the Community grants from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. She has participated in Artist Residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts (California), Prague Contemporary Art Center (Czech Republic) and Sanskriti Foundation (New Delhi, India.)



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