Published: Nov. 1, 2013

MSU faculty member to display Cuba photography at MSUglobal

Contact(s): Patrick Hayes MSUglobal office: (517) 884-4598

Mark Sullivan, a Michigan State University associate professor of music composition, was familiar with Cuba through studying the country over the years. Nothing compared, however, to seeing it in person.

“I had a feeling that life in Cuba was different than how it has often been portrayed in media,” said Sullivan, who has been on the MSU faculty for 28 years. “After a few hours there, it felt radically different than what I expected. It’s a truly unique place, and the longer I was there, the more I wanted to convey that experience.”

Sullivan chose to share that experience through photography. He has selected favorites from the more than 6,000 photos he took during his stay in Cuba to show at an exhibit in the innovation space at MSUglobal Knowledge and Learning Innovations.

The exhibit opening is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Nov. 4 in the space, which is located in Suite 301 of the Nisbet Building, 1407 S. Harrison St., on the MSU campus.

The photos will be on display during normal business hours at MSUglobal throughout November and December.

The exhibit is titled, “Cuba: First Times Never Come Again.” Sullivan will be on hand at the opening to discuss his photographs and future plans with the project -- including turning his photos and experiences in Cuba into a book and connections made in the country that could lead to study abroad opportunities for Michigan State students.

Sullivan was in Cuba this past May and June to observe classes with colleagues from the MSU College of Music and watch performances. Through those connections with local educators, he was able to get unique access and insight into the island.

“I was able to meet many people and explore potential collaborations with musicians and artists,” Sullivan said. “It’s an amazing place to explore. I hope to go back and see even more.”

For more on Sullivan’s photography, visit

Mark Sullivan's photography gallery, "Cuba: First Times Never Come Again," opens Nov. 4.

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