Tom Olmscheid 

Cuba, is an exhibition of photographs combining the colorful culture, architecture, and daily lives of the Cuban people.  Olmscheid’s visits over the past 3 years were possible through a US government license called “people-to-people”, even though US citizens haven’t been allowed to travel freely to Cuba since an official embargo sanctioned by President Kennedy in 1962. The photographs offer a glimpse of a country lost in time and nearing a transition that will change the face of their small island nation forever.

Olmscheid is a photojournalist in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He was chief photographer      for the Minnesota House of Representatives for over 35 years documenting many of the events at the State Capitol during that time. He retired in 2011.

Olmscheid has also been a wire service contract photographer in the Twin Cities. His images have appeared in USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and many other major cities’ periodicals. His image May Town Hall, a photograph taken on election day 2001, was included in Time magazine’s first ever “Best Pictures of the Year 2002”.  In 2014, he received the Gordon Parks Photography Gallery Award from Metropolitan State University.

Olmscheid’s photographs have been exhibited at the Minnesota IFP Gallery, Minnesota Center for Photography, the Minneapolis Photo Center, the Duluth Institute of Arts, Gallery 96, LERAC Gallery, and the Fine Arts Center at the Minnesota State Fair. 

Olmscheid realizes that many Cubans are hoping to see a better future with an end to the embargo, but is not sure anyone understands the full impact of how their lives may change.  In the words of singer, Joni Mitchell, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”