Stan Herd already is looking forward to developing his next art project in Havana, Cuba.
Herd, a Lawrence crop and landscape artist, hopes to know in the next few weeks if he will have permission to make a landscape portrait of Cuban poet and patriot Jose Martn Havana's harbor.
"The Cubans are very interested in it," Herd said during an appearance before about 50 people Sunday night at the Lawrence Public Library auditorium, 707 Vt.
Herd and friend Bob Augelli, Lawrence, discussed that project and one just finished in January. Augelli assisted Herd in working with Cuba on the Rosa Blanca project, or White Rose project. Herd made a white rose landscape art formation in a Havana park. The white rose is taken from the name of one of Mart famous poems.
The Rosa Blanca idea was conceived a few years ago by Herd and Augelli over a few beers at a Lawrence sports bar, they said.
"It was quite a long shot," Herd said. "As we pursued it, then it became more and more possible."
Herd and Augelli won the support of several influential Cubans, including Fidel Castro himself.
Herd wants to develop Mart portrait on a hillside overlooking Havana harbor, he said.
Both Herd and Augelli said they favor removal of the U.S. embargo against Cuba. They think it eventually will come to an end. U.S. corporations are eager to do business in Cuba, they said.
"A consensus is building that it (U.S. policy) needs to go in another direction," Herd said.
He hopes his art projects will help improve U.S.Cuban relations.
"This gives us a great opportunity to meet the Cuban people and tell their story," he said. "I think we see this as a project of exchange."