3220 NW 7th Ave.
Divine Presence the Art of Margarita Cano
curated by Carol Damian can be visited by appointment only on Sundays: April 18 & 25, May 2,9, 16, and 23 from noon to 2 pm. La Merced Chapen is located in the grounds of the Corpus Christi Church in Allapattah. The island of Cuba is so near and so far, especially in the memories of the Cuban exile community. Nostalgia, images of remembrance, religious subjects, and the legends of a lost land are a poignant presence in the small and elegant works of Margarita Cano. Over a long career, she has created sentimental objects, illustrated books, and made small devotional-sized paintings to capture the beauty of personal reminiscences about time and place, the present, and the eternal that live on in magical metaphors for her island home. Replete with a symbolic repertoire inspired by Catholicism, nature, and fairy tales, the works are a fantasy born in the artist’s imagination and completed with meticulous attention to detail. Often they are reminiscent of Medieval miniatures in their combinations of the real with beautiful artistic interpretations of biblical and heavenly scripts. Her subjects feature the divine presence of angels and goddesses of the sea who have long protected the people of Cuba on perilous journeys to freedom.