Thanks to a Mondriaan Fonds grant I am working in the Caribbean as of November 2017 until May 2019, researching the sustainability of art practices in the region. None of this would be possible if I wasn’t supported by key people from and in the region being my point of entrance, hosting me, guiding me and generously sharing their network, talent and expertise!
You can follow my encounters with artists and other practitioners in the arts weekly in Dutch in the E-zine Trendbeheer, on social media Instagram / Facebook. Leave me comments on your thoughts!
If you are interested in being in contact with artists or arts institutions in the region please feel free to drop me an email and I will be happy to send you all my contact lists or for a specific island you are interested in.
PHOTO SLIDE SHOW: Tony Capellan, Map of Caribbean Region, Desiree Sporkslede, Nasaria Cholette, Ailsa Anastitia, Leasho Johnson, Mike Walsh, Christopher Cozier, Charisse Piper, Annemarie Daniels, Mario Benjamin,…to be continued.
AYITI: My first stop was in Ayiti (Haiti), for about 6 week’s and curator Giscard Bouchotte guided me through the arts field. I participated in his annual event Nuit Blanche, (a franchise from Paris) as his “invited international curator”. I did lots of studio visits and had conversations with artists, artist collectives, galleries and institutes and went to the Ghetto Biennale.
REPUBLICA DOMINICANA: In January I went for half my trip to Republica Dominicana (DR) where visual artist Jorge Pineda & director Henry Mercedes Alves were my hosts, the second half of my research in DR I was hosted by artist Fausto Ortiz and again by Joge & Henry and will be in May/June for the Tilting Axis/Curando Caribe Conference in Centre de Leon in Santiago & Centro de Espana in Santo Domingo.
KORSOU: After DR I traveled to Korsou where I was hosted by Marguerite de Rooy. It was great to be on an island that I already knew and get to know the artists and the art scene more in-depth.
ARUBA: I then moved on to Aruba where I was hosted by art historian Dr. Adi Martis and with the help of artist Elvis Lopez, founding director Ateliers’89 who hosted “studio visits” for young artists/alumni and presentations of works by colleges on the island. Aside from a stopover years ago this was my first visit to the island.
TRINIDAD: I have done curator in residencies at Alice Yard in the past and made a stop over to refresh my knowledge. I met up with Christopher Cozier (co-founder) who was installing his 2nd solo show in Y-Art Gallery a relatively new white cube gallery in Trinidad. I checked out the local artist in Granderson their 2nd building that offers affordable studio space for local artists. And met with co-founders Nicolas Laughlin (Bocas Literature Festival) and Sean Leonard (architect and owner Alice Yard / Granderson). Read about it here
JAMAICA: After Aruba I flew to Kingston, Jamaica. During this first visit to Jamrock I was hosted by writer and UWI staff member Annie Paul and her neighbor, artist & NLS founder Deborah Anzinger jumped in when needed!
CAYMAN ISLANDS: After Jamaica I flew to Cayman Islands, where I was invited and hosted for my first visit to the island by the National Gallery of Cayman Islands and stayed with director Natalie and her hubby landscape artist Sandy Urquhart (English article coming up first week of June) and artist Simon Tatum drove me all over the island to meet with artists.
ST. CROIX (US VIRGIN ISLANDS: I ended my first 6 months in St. Croix where I was invited and hosted by artist Kharis Kennedy and her hubby eye doctor Kevin Stewart and artist La Vaughn Belle guided me all over the island that I visited for the first time.
CROATIA: I curated the exhibition MAMMON in the Museum for Fine Arts in Split Croatia together with the museum director Branko Franceschi. It opened June 28th and ran till the end of July. The exhibition showed 7 local Croatian artists in dialogue with 7 artist from the Caribbean region. The exhibition has a catalogue. More about the exhibition here.
ST. MAARTEN / ST. MARTIN: After exhibiting some of the Caribbean artists I went back to the region and continued the research in St. Maarten / St. Martin hosted by the Head of Culture and co-founder of the National Instutitue of the Arts (NIA), Clara Reyes. It was my first visit and I saw first hand what the impact of a natural disaster does to an art field.
SURINAME: From St. Maarten and I went to visit Suriname where I have worked over the past 2o years and met with several artists, art institutes and the 6th Moengo Festival 2nd for the Visual Arts took place. I was hosted by Gerrie & Edmund Powel, Mariette Hedges, Chetkeys, and Raquel van Haver.
ARUBA: I went back to Aruba invited by Ateliers’89 Board and Director Elvis Lopes for the last week of work and presentations of Caribbean Linked produced by Ateliers’89. Aruba Surfside Marina sponsored my accommodation.
PUERTO RICO: Thank you to Michy & Matisla Marxuach & Jorge Gonzalez for hosting me in THE ROOM. I visited different art collectives, project spaces, museums and went out of San Juan to visit Master Artisans in traditional weaving, furniture making and pottery. Special thanks you to beta-local and to Jaime & Javier Suarez for the best last day on island out in the country!
BAHAMA’S: In Nassau I am hosted by the National Art Gallery of the Bahama’s and staying with director Amanda Coulson and her family. Among others they introduced me to various art collectives and spaces as Studio Nine, a selection of artists cross generations and cross media and the Current a new project to promote the contemporary non commercial arts while collaborating with a huge tourism enterprise. I want to express a very special thank you to Uli for the delicious food specifically the Lion Fish and Pizza dinner!
BARBADOS: Having visited Barbados hosted by Sheena Rose and her parents in 2012, I go for a short visit hosted by Carolyn & Jomo Slusher to catch up with a small selection of the artists and institutions to get a sense of the changes in the infrastructure (if any).
CUBA: I visited Cuba during the Havana Biennial 2019.
Thank you to everybody that made time to meet me, talk with me, refer me to others , etc. I appreciate you all so much for making time for me and sharing your knowledge and experience for my research. This trip is made possible in part by these incredible generous organizations and people:
MONDRIAANFONDS, Trendbeheer, Joost Vrieler, Charl Landvreugd, John Olivieira (NL); Giscard Bouchotte, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Jean-Ulrick Désert (Haiti); Jorge Pineda & Henry Mercedes Alves (chef Henry!!), Fausto Ortiz (Republica Domincana); Marguerite de Rooy, Sharelly Emanuelson, Suzy del Valle (Curacao); Dr. Adi Martis, Elvis Lopez/Ateliers’89, Aruba Surfside Marina (Aruba); Alice Yard: Christopher Cozier, Nicolas Laughlin & Sean Leonard (Trinidad); Annie Paul, Deborah Anzinger, Ebony G. Patterson (Jamaica); National Gallery of Cayman Island: Natalie (director) & Sandy Urquhart, Simon Tatum (Grand Cayman); Kharis Kennedy & Kevin Stewart, La Vaugh Belle (St. Croix); Clara Reyes, Deborah Jack (St. Maarten); CHETKEYS, Gerrie & Edmund Powel, Mariette Hedges, Raquel van Haver (Suriname); Michy & Matilsa Marxuach & Jorge Gonzalez, Sandra Guzman, Beta Local (Puerto Rico); NAGB: Amanda Coulson and Ulrich Voges (Nassau, Bahama’s), Blue Curry (Spanish Wells, Bahama’s); Carolyn Slusher (Barbados); Sharelly Emanuelson and Inti Hernandez (Cuba).