GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s one of the first and largest pieces of public art made by a Cuban artist to be introduced in the United States since diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S. were reinstated.
Now, the artist, Mabel Poblet, officially introduced “Genesis” to the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
Monday, Poblet held a news conference in front of a crowd of about 30 to explain her vision for the 74-foot-by-30-foot piece that welcomes people into the building.
Poblet was one of about 30 international artists considered for the art commission.
Bringing it to the Tanger Center involved a donation from the Phillips Foundation. The Phillips family felt it was important to highlight a Latinx artist as they have family roots tied back to Cuba and Mexico.
“The artwork, first and foremost, is a bridge between families and it’s a homage to the matriarchs of the Phillips family and I’m very proud to be part of that history and to make it a reality,” Poblet explained.
For Poblet, bringing interactive art to the masses is her life’s work.
Now, her piece titled “Genesis” permanently hangs from the ceilings of the main corridor at the Tanger Center.
“It’s very exciting for me. This is the first time I’ve had public art in such a big magnitude,” Poblet said.
“Genesis” is made up of reflective metallic and acrylic pieces attached to 200 strands. Those materials represent the textile industry that helped shape Greensboro. The circles represent infinity and the circle of life. The lights, which are currently light red and blue, reflect from above, changing colors with the seasons.
“I want it to have the sensation of the spring, the summer, the autumn. The weather in our life and how it’s fluid in our personality,” Poblet explained.
It’s a project six years in the making as Poblet worked on it back in Cuba. One of the biggest challenges she says she faced was not being able to be there for the installation process because of the pandemic.
“It was the first time that I was away from the instillation, but Cynthia Reeves and her team did a great job, “ she explained.
For spectators who came to take a gaze at the larger-than-life art piece, said having Poblet’s artwork at a prime destination in the heart of downtown Greensboro is reflective of the art scene evolving here.
“It highlights the fact that we have so many amazing local artists that it attracts international talent,” said Greensboro resident April Albritton.
Poblet’s hope is that when you see “Genesis” you truly connect to her vision.
“First, I want the spectator to feel like they’re part of the artwork, and at the same time, I want them to see it as a union between the United States and Cuba and Latin America,” she said.
The Phillips Foundation, Poblet, and Cythia Reeves gifted some of the same art elements to the Greensboro Children’s Museum for children to make their own art.