SAN FRANCISCO, July 16, 2012–The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) is proud to feature La Habana, a unique photographic exhibit by Cuban-born photographer Victoria Montoro Zamorano in the Katz Snyder Gallery from September 9 through November 17, 2012. The exhibit is part of 2012-13 Arts and Ideas Season’s Viva Cuba.

La Habana is comprised of 28 photos representing the architecture, people and details of Jewish life in Cuba today. Exquisite buildings fallen to ruin, the iconic 1950’s automobiles, and colorful personalities that draw visitors from around the world to Cuba are subjects of Zamorano’s work. All photos in the exhibition are available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds benefit the JCCSF.
Zamorano left Havana in 1961, when she was 12 years old. In May 2008, she returned for the first time, a trip she calls “the most important” of her life. She says, “I was a bit scared, being the daughter of a former political prisoner.” It was a time for her to reconcile her own memories, from those invented ones, or imagined ones acquired through the years from her parents and family members. Currently Zamorano resides in Miami, Florida.
An avid world traveler, she has a special sensibility for people and places off the beaten path. “I like to immerse myself in a place or culture and let the images find me,” she has said. Having no preconceived notions of what a photograph should be, Montoro’s instinctual approach has led her to the poignant remains of the Jewish synagogues of Romania, the faded splendor of Havana, Cuba, and the endless panoramas of Africa and the Namib desert, where she has captured some of her most evocative images.
Her solo exhibitions have been seen in Santiago Chile, Bogota Colombia, Havana Cuba, and in the U.S. in New Orleans, and in Boca Raton and Coral Gables in Florida. Her work can also be found in numerous publications and books. Awards include the Outstanding Achievement Award from the International Society of Photographers in 2008, and the Merit Award from the B&W;Magazine Portfolio Contest in 2009.
For Victoria Montoro Zamorano, the art of seeing consists not in actively looking for the striking or unusual, but in being ever open and receptive to see the world with new eyes. This unguarded, spontaneous approach gives her images a quality of abstract realism that turns undulating sand dunes into a woman’s prone body, and equally captures the emotional content of a crumbling façade or an old woman’s face.
Viva Cuba is a series of events comprised of a Cuban dinner followed by a SFJAZZ performance of Septeto Nacionale (October 4), a lecture by Ruth Behar author of Returning to Jewish Cuba (Nov. 1) and the La Habana exhibition. The series celebrates the JCCSF travel program’s ten sold out missions to Cuba over the past four years.

The Katz Snyder Gallery is located on the second floor of the JCCSF at 3200 California Street in San Francisco, and is open free to the public during all regular JCCSF hours: Monday through Thursday: 8 am to 10 pm. Friday through Sunday: 8 am to 6 pm. For additional information visit For information regarding the purchasing of Zamorano’s photographs, contact Lenore Naxon at 415/292-1235.
(Tags: Cuba, Art)