From Chemist to Painter

Photo Feature by Elio Delgado

Marcia Beatriz Diaz’s Chacon Street Studio Workshop
Marcia Beatriz Diaz’s Chacon Street Studio Workshop

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 5 — The gallery of painter Marcia Beatriz Diaz Amador can be discovered in historic Old Havana at 58-B Chacon Street (between Cuba and Aguiar streets).

Passersby and neighbors alike —taking walks and running their daily errands— form a part of her paintings as characters of quotidian life.

Perhaps surprisingly, Marcia has a degree in chemistry and studied mechanical drafting.  However, following the collapse of the socialist camp and the tightening of the US blockade, the country entered into a prolonged economic crisis (what is called the “Special Period).  This forced some professionals —such as herself— to enter the arts as a means of making a living.

Havana painter Marcia Beatriz Diaz Amador in her studio/workshop.
Havana painter Marcia Beatriz Diaz Amador in her studio/workshop.

As an artist, she participated in and joined the Kaiowas visual arts workshop, an artistic community connected to UNEAC (the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists).

Presently she is engaged in the Prado Painters Initiative, which brings together artists of different forms to display their work outdoors along the Prado esplanade, a highly frequented Havana promenade.  Here, city residents as well as tourists can meet and chat with artists of their preference.

Marcia has learned to develop a passion for painting, and as a result we’ve seen her work in a number of exhibitions; these include “Natura naturata” at the Fama Gallery in June 2003; “Manipulations” in the Taller Papel in September 2006; a display at the Salón Anual de Arte Erótico; the exhibit “Un invierno en La Habana,” which took place in the Morro Cabaña colonial fortress; and several other exhibits.

More information and samples of her work can be found on her website:

Click on the tumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery