Günther Maier & Stuart Ashman - Harlistas Cubanos

Monday, May 20, 2013 - 6:00pm

Günther Maier will be joined by Stuart Ashman. The pair will be introduced by Diane Karp, who is an arts activist, arts educator, arts connector and devoted supporter of the creative process in all realms of society. Harlistas Cubanos is a photographic documentary of the history of Harley-Davidson in Cuba. Harley-Davidson motorcycles were a common sight in mid 20th-century Cuba. Today there are probably only slightly more than 100 of them still running some fifty years after Havana’s Harley dealership closed and spare parts became unavailable. Luis Bretos opened the first Harley dealership in Havana in 1920, and that’s when the fascination began. Police officers known as caballitos (little horses) rode Harleys back then, as did workers from the phone and electrical companies. If you had a Harley in Cuba, chances are you knew the caballitos, which gave you an edge if one of them caught you speeding.

Günther Maier started taking pictures in Germany with nothing more than a Kodak Instamatic camera and curiosity. He completed a three-year photography apprenticeship and later earned a B.A. in marketing
communication and design in Germany. Working as an art director in large and small boutiques and agencies in New York City served him well and gave him the mojo he needed to eventually co-found his own advertising agency in Philadelphia. After moving to Santa Fe, he started Ride the Dream, a Harley-Davidson tour company, and rediscovered his love of photography and entered the world of filmmaking.

Stuart Ashman was born in Cuba. When he was 12, his family migrated to New York. He received his B.A. in photography and fine arts from the City University of New York. He continued his studies in the Graduate MFA program at Rochester Institute of Technology. His career spans over thirty years of working in the arts and includes cultural exchanges with Cuba, tenures as director of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, founding director of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and as Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs under Governor Bill Richardson. He is currently the President and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California. He received the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in Santa Fe. He is the co-author of "Abstract Art" and "Photography New Mexico".