Voices with vim, vigor

By Steve Palisin

Other expressions emanate nearby from “Voices of the Island: The Cuban Art Collection of Reynier Llanes,” with walls of 55 works by 18 Cuban artists. Goodwin said the exhibit gives insight into this Caribbean island, which, helped by its art schools, make it a “cultural Mecca.” Walking among the paintings, Miller pointed out various “vibrant” styles such as abstract, cubism and expressionism and, new for her eyes, “magic realism.”Pause by “Pursuing New Land,” an oil on canvas by Llanes from 2013. In the foreground, a sky ward peering man in a tank shirt sits on a brick wall, with his straw hat in his right hand, in front of rooster standing on one leg, but that’s just the start of the story. “The longer you look at it,” Miller said, “the more you see.”The waterfalls and clouds caught Goodwin at a glance on this walk-through, and another viewer might be drawn at first to the wooden house in an upper corner, and some sea life swimming at right by the subject’s left shoulder.Speaking by phone last week, Llanes, a Cuban native, said the amount and arrangement of works at the Myrtle Beach museum, a former beach villa, differs from its previous presentation at a Charleston gallery. He said he gathers more than one work by each artist, so the exhibit, and the pieces displayed, can shift with each site, yet with every host, the exhibit tells “a unique sense of story in the pieces” through their style and colors.Llanes said the Myrtle Beach museum added an “amazing” layout and accompanying printed descriptions of each work, with all the collection’s artists “well represented.” He hopes everyone who takes this tour of his homeland through this art will come away wondering about “the symbolism” in each work and “why the artist painted it like that. ”Art, Llanes said, becomes bookmarks in his life, because he’ll remember when he did certain paintings, and “every time I see them brings me back to that moment,” along with art in general affording a reason for any viewer to sit, ponder and “escape.” http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2015/02/05/4768382_winter-blooms-with-art-exhibits.html?rh=1