St. Croix This Week / Island Art
"A dance of science and culture,
nature and domesticity,
technology and mythology,
comfort and conflict:
the smallest of particles
and the size of the universe
merge into one dream
of beauty, color, tension,
pattern, balance and surprise."
"I was born in Michigan to a young military family and spent my childhood traipsing around the country and the globe as my father's career set a path for exploration. I was a daydreamy child, inventing my own fantastical inner worlds and constantly reading, drawing and creating. Each time my family moved, my mother would build up the excitement of seeing new places, meeting new friends, maybe even learning a new language. In the meantime, my engineer father would teach me mathematics by drawing calculus integrals on our car's windshield during long road trips, and telling me I could achieve anything if I put my mind to it.
Summers were spent at my maternal grandparents' small golf course/motel in central Florida, swimming and catching lizards and watching great, silly TV shows: Looney Tunes, The Lil' Rascals, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Monkees. Holidays were spent with my paternal grandparents, watching my grandmother paint still-lifes, my grandfather make homemade sausage and meatballs, and playing with my nine aunts and uncles.
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Davina Pallone" »
"I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico the youngest of three children in a family of educators so an education was and is a "must have" in my family.
When I came to St Croix in 1969, St Croix was truly a paradise island. Puerto Rico had then a very large artist community and the arts had always been big there. St. Croix had no galleries--only Many Hands in Pan Am Pavilion showing local art work. We used the Old Library by the Christiansted Fort as a gallery for shows in those days. St. Croix had a wonderful quality of life and the Crucian people have become very special to me.
I began painting from young but didn't take it seriously until I was in my first year of high school. The late Roberto "El Boquio" Alberty was my greatest influence when it comes to painting. He won a Guggenheim Scholarship and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought pieces from him. I learned color theory and the importance of good composition plus he introduced me to the 'big gun' artists like the late Rafael Tufino, Carlos Raquel Rivera, and Domingo Garcia.
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Diego Conde" »
"I was born in an east coast town and my childhood was immersed in beachcombing, building sacred spaces in the woods, drawing letterforms and animals, reading voraciously, and watching my mother create stained glass in her studio. I love layers of textures, cycling and decaying back to their original elements through forces of nature. Many of my paintings meld my seminal obsessions together.
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Christina Frederick Gasperi" »
Born the only girl (and a tomboy) into a large family in Hartford, CT, Marilyn admits that "drawing was my favorite thing to do even as a child. My father was also artistic in that he wrote many short stories and three entire historical novels."
"Painting is the only thing that Ican do well - so I love it - love colors, nature, sketching people in airports, doctor's offices, etc. and Ilove recording the unique features of each person I sketch. I do water colors and acrylics - never ceasing to be blown away by the colors of the Caribbean. Itry to have at least a little red in most of my paintings. Iuse lots of pure strong colors. I have enjoyed pencil drawings and pen and ink."
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Marilyn Phillips May" »
Paul E. Joseph, legislator, editor, publisher, and fearless civil rights leader is recognized as one of territory's most distinguished citizens. He was born in Christiansted and matured into a giant of his time. An eloquent speaker, he took over the West End News, a daily newspaper, which he used to champion causes in the interest of his fellow men and for improvements for his town of Frederiksted. In 1933 he was appointed to the Colonial Council and then elected to the Municipal Council of St. Croix. In 1964, just two years before his death, the 5th Legislature of the VI named the ballpark, located in Frederiksted, the Paul E. Joseph Ball Park (today a multi-use, 5,000-seat stadium and home to the USVI National Soccer Team) recognizing his interest and struggles on behalf of the people of Frederiksted. Paul married the former Elaine Gabriel and enjoyed 33 years together. One of their five children was a boy named Alva who later became a printer, aka "Square Deal." His son, Jose Joseph, is our featured cover artist for February and March.
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Jose Joseph" »
"CASA of the Virgin Islands is a program of VI Volunteer Advocates for Children, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to operate programs which serve and benefit children in foster care on St. Croix. I took over as Director in 1997 and have been offering student art cards for the holidays for 13 years now with much community support.
It started in 2000 with a school contest on all 3 islands where we found 8 businesses who were interested in buying our art cards. The overrun was sold out to individuals by word of mouth. Gail Widmer's art students at St. Croix Central High produced 7 of the first 8 cards and the 8th came from a St. Thomas student.
The following year, Phyllis Biddle, Head of the Art Department at Good Hope School, got involved,. Her student's artwork today amount to half of what we take in. Without her enthusiasm and commitment, we would not have sustained the program for 13 years. Other schools and teachers have participated over the years but not with the steadiness of Gail and Phyllis.
The second year, we added notecards and printed 12 holiday cards--10 from Central, 1 from St. Thomas, and Good Hope sent us Ray Thomas' Santa Lizard--the card we credit venture. With a loyal customer base today, we sell 25,000 cards to individuals and businesses annually raising much-needed funds for continued operation of our CASA program.
Continue reading "Casa Holiday Art Cards" »
A self-taught artist from Dominica, Elwin Joseph (his mother's only boy), moved to St.Croix in the early 70's at a very young age. "I grew up with my grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Some of them moved with us but some stayed behind and others went on to the states, Canada, and England."
Elwin started drawing in kindergarten and has never stopped, however he didn't paint all through school and only took basic art courses at St.Croix's Central High School. "My favorite subjects are people and their every-day life. I love painting and drawing people! I also like painting old buildings with history and character--there is something in those subjects that motivates me to just keep on painting...I love them! Landscapes and seascapes also interest me."
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Elwin Joseph" »
Marjorie was born in New York City and attended the University of Pennsylvania then the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design in New York--the two oldest art schools in the country.
"My mother's family was in the sea salt business in Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos islands and I spent the better part of my infancy in Salt Cay in the Turks. I listened all my childhood to my grandmother's takes of home. The Caribbean has always been home, with my parents moving here to St. Croix when I was in college," explains Marjorie.
Continue reading "Cover Artist Marjorie Robbins" »
"I'm Phyllis Biddle and I came to St. Croix eleven years ago to teach art at The Good Hope School. I attended Albertus Magnus College and Yale University Art School in New Haven, Connecticut before getting my MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Prior to coming to the island, I was Program Director at The Richmond Children's Museum in Virginia. I'd also taught painting and printmaking at Hopkins Day Prospect Hill School in New Haven, Connecticut, and at St. Catherine's/St. Christopher's Schools in Richmond. It was in 2000 that I got a call from The Good Hope School on St. Croix asking me to come and teach painting and printmaking to their middle and upper school students.
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Phyllis Biddle" »
by Niarus Gillian Benjamin
"My name is Niarus Gillian Benjamin. I am married to Jason Walker. I have two daughters Keren, 3 and Rayna, 2 and two dogs Mortimer and Pepper.
I was born in Dominica, West Indies and came to St. Croix when I was 9. I attended Evelyn Williams Elementary School, Arthur A. Richards Jr. High, and Central High School, graduating in 1989. I went to Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia (1989-1994), graduated in 1993 Suma Cum Laude, with a major in Fashion Design and Construction, but did an extra year in painting and drawing. I interned at Anne Klein in New York and, with a scholarship to Indonesia to study batik, I worked there with Twila Wilson who is still my friend. I do freelance 3-D interior drawings for her design business.
Continue reading "Cover Artist Niarus Gillian Benjamin" »
On third Thursdays (except for April 12), from November through June, the doors of galleries, jewelry studios, and fine retail stores stay open till 8pm to celebrate historic Christiansted's Art Thursdays!
Wind through the streets of town to find paintings, photography, handmade jewelry, fine furniture, handcrafted woodwork, and ceramics from Company Street to Strand Street. This popular series started fifteen years ago as an idea to merge the town's art galleries into a monthly event. Soon jewelry stores (St. Croix has amazing hand made jewelry), and other retailers came on board.
For a relatively small 'island' community, St. Croix has a rich, diverse, and vibrant art scene. Enjoy it all, along with dinner, at one of the many fine restaurants in town. Make a night of it!
See you soon at Art Walks on February 16 and March 15 -- Art @Top Hat, aka Gallery, Bassin Fine Art, Crucian Gold, Designworks, D&D Studio Fine Art Photography, The Goldworker, ib designs, Maria Henle Studio, Maufe Gallery, Mitchell Larsen Studio, The Sanctuary Studio and Gallery, Watch your Step Art Studio and Yellow House Gallery.
"As far back as I can remember, I have been creating in some form or another. Being from an artistically-inclined family, there were always art supplies around but, whenever I felt like trying something new (and if the materials I wanted weren't readily available), I went about obtaining them by any means necessary in quite a determined way."
"Even though my high school art teacher seemed bazaar at the time, by giving us projects for the year with absolutely no explanation and no instructions, only in retrospect can I now appreciate his less-than-conventional approach to teaching art. So, with no questions asked, we were forced to research topics, and create them to his expectations. To this day, terms like 'chiaroscuro,' 'analogous,' and 'monochromatic' are forever ingrained in my brain, thanks to Mr. Reichart."
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Leslie Cramer" »
"I grew up in Marin County, California with a passion for drawing. When I was just 5 years old, my Mom would have me look at something, close my eyes, visualize it, then draw from recall. I suppose this made me very detail oriented! My engineer Father taught me how to draw everything. My parents were supportive and encouraging. While I studied both flamenco guitar and opera, it was graphic art that I was most interested in and, in fact, studied it at the Art Institute of Houston.
I've done illustration, layout, design and airbrush professionally. I have worked with a prominent decorator on various projects such as restaurant murals, paintings and faux marquetry of the banquet floor of a major downtown San Francisco hotel.
Continue reading "Meet The Artist: Susan Snow" »
Elisa McKay, the youngest of eight children and a self-taught artist, grew up in Harlem, New York. After years of working and teaching in the Electronic Data Processing field, Elisa returned to college for a BA in English from the City College of NY. In 1978 she left the big city and migrated to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.
Here she taught English, raised her young daughter, Ayanna, and became a caregiver/companion to her aging parents, Ogese and Hedi McKay. Her father was a musician and artist himself.
Continue reading "Meet Cover Artist Elsa McKay" »
Toni writes, "I have been a permanent resident on St Croix for 30 years, painting and looking after birds. Originally growing up in Laguna Beach, California, I had a tremendous love of birds and photography from an early age. I was fortunate enough to be given a scholarship for college in that area from the Laguna Festival of Arts. For two years, at Humboldt State, I studied Photography and Wildlife Management. I was good at drawing and painting and the photography equipment was expensive, so I spent the next two years at Long Beach State studying Biomedical Illustration. That is really where I had my training for the detail and rendering. There I was being trained to paint human subjects and worked often with cadavers, but my passion was entirely birds and animal subjects."
Continue reading "Cover Artists Toni Lance" »
Miguel Ferguson, pictured here with classmates Xaise and Amanda, lives and goes to school in Grove Place, Frederiksted. He's a 6th-grade student at the Eulalie Rivera Elementary School and will be graduating from the 6th grade this year.
Today, Miguel is an art student in Danica David's classroom but learned that he liked art in kindergarten. At that early age, his father taught him what he knew and his mother encoueraged him to do his best in art. He draws at home as well as in school.
"I like using my hands and mind to create and I love to use color. I have no favorite color -- I like them all! But my favorite things to draw are people and cars in pencil, markers, or paint," says Miguel.
Continue reading "Cover Artist: Miguel Ferguson" »
Long-time St. Croix resident Caroline Duprey is the "artist-in-residence" at Designworks, located in Apothecary Hall at No. 6 Company Street in Christiansted, where a selection of her work is always on display and for sale.
Caroline studied art at the Manchester Institute of Arts, Manchester, NH, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Ginger Norman Studio, Loudon, NH, and DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, MA. Her work has been exhibited throughout New England and in the Virgin Islands. On St. Croix she is a regular exhibitor at the Good Hope School's Caribbean Fine Arts Exhibit, while on St. Thomas she has been invited to participate in several group shows at Mango Tango Art Gallery.
Continue reading "Caroline Duprey" »
"I have been painting for over 40 years. In 1965 I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BFA in Art and taught High School Art for several years before raising a family.
After first visiting St. Croix in 1972 and subsequently purchasing a home here in 1986, I became thoroughly enthralled with the colors, the surroundings and the inhabitants of the island. Though my permanent home is in Connecticut, my heart is in St Croix, where I maintain a studio and paint whole-heartedly while in residence.
Continue reading "Nancy Pistilli Byrnes" »
Isabelle Picard has been a St. Croix resident for the past ten years. Growing up on a sailboat in the south of France, Isabelle spent most of her formative years in Hyeres, a beautiful seaside town on the French Riviera, before venturing off to the far corners of the world. She has traveled extensively, spending much of her time in the French West Indies, New Caledonia and Mexico. She is fluent in four languages.
A mural artist by profession, her work can be seen in private homes and public buildings throughout South Florida, the Virgin Islands and the south of France. Her paintings on canvas have also been collected worldwide. Her style is whimsical, colorful, happy, and has been called modern Caribbean Folk Art. Having studied graphic design in Florida, some of her work reflects a more graphic style. Post baccalaureate, Isabelle worked for several years as the head designer for a high volume custom paintings and mural company in South Florida, before starting her own company.
Continue reading "Island Art - Featured Artist Isabelle Picard" »
DAILY STRIFE is an exhibition commemorating VI-PR Friendship, to be presented at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in October. This exhibition explores individual and collective struggles encountered as one deals with the current political, social and economic situation in the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands communities. Hope, oblivion and chaos are three emotional states that are intertwined with the daily quest for survival and inspiration as we face the same challenges of migration, hurricanes, traffic, decay, consumerism, apathy, environmental threats and economic crisis. In this exhibition, artists from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will present photographs, digital images and installations that address the struggle for our "daily bread" and the way we view our daily lives; some with hope and humor others with irony. Over 50 images ranging in size from 10 x 10" to 4' x 3' will be on exhibit for 2 months from Oct. 16 through Dec. Three artists will travel from San Juan, PR to help install the work and participate in the artists' talk that will be held at CMCA, Saturday, Oct. 17th.
Continue reading "Daily Strife" »
Bonnie Luria has been a painter, a textile designer, an illustrator, a jewelry designer, a city girl and a full time resident of St. Croix for the past 9 years.
A native New Yorker, moving to St. Croix fulfilled her "lagoon fixation" that taunted her for most of her life. "I always saw myself living in a tropical location but, like most of us, thought it was a fantasy reserved for a weekly vacation until a chance encounter with a charming, convincing, and uniquely alluring man who had moved here eight years before I did."
Knowing that if you don't take a chance, chance takes you, she packed up her city tent and pitched it here, marrying her lure and revitalizing her painting career.
Continue reading "St. Croix Artist: Bonnie Luria" »
By Pam Kerschner
"The novelty of Caribbean island living inspires my "cartoon" illustrations and oil paintings a lot. When I first came to St. Croix, I was compelled to pursue my art and enjoyed the support and friendship of many wonderful island artists. After twenty years on St. Croix, I am currently living in Colorado to help my 90-year-old aunt and my father during their challenging years. I paint Caribbean life while living "out west," and plan to retire soon, still painting, in the Virgin Islands.
Continue reading "Caribbean Living With a Sense of Humor" »
Jane Akin finds her subjects in historic buildings and the plants and animals all around her. You can almost hear the trees swaying and the creatures moving through the bush!
Jane's home/studio is in Estate Boetzberg where she produces four shows a year, as well as commissions, and teaches watercolor and drawing. She is also the Artist in Residence at the Buccaneer Hotel offering watercolor classes twice a week.
Jane has been an interior designer and architecture is still a haunting subject making many of her commissions house portraits. But tropical flowers are her very favorite subjects and, like Georgia O'Keefe, paints them larger than life. This is where her mastery of watercolor really shows its spontaneity--mingling colors, "glazing" one over another, creating luminosity, allowing the pigment to "bloom," and creating texture with salt or dry brush.
Continue reading "Jane Akin" »
By Nina York
Why should real art have to be serious? Why can't a painting that makes you smile be as valid as a somber one? At Christiansted's Yellow House Gallery, owned and run by long-time resident artist Judith King, originator of the charming cover art of this issue, you are guaranteed a few chuckles as you view her paintings of the St. Croix scene.
Located in a charming old wooden townhouse on Queen Cross Street between Company and King Streets, this gallery is Chicago native King's favorite venue among the sites she has occupied. She arrived here in 1967 with her parents after having obtained a BA in art from Knox College in Illinois.
Continue reading "Meet the Artist That Makes You Smile" »
Designworks, located in Apothecary Hall at No. Six Company Street in Christiansted, opens the 2008-09 Art Thursday series on December 11 with "The Red Pennant," a collection of new paintings by Designworks' own "artist-in-residence" Caroline Duprey.
Caroline studied art at the Manchester Institute of Arts, Manchester, NH; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Ginger Norman Studio, Loudon, NH; and DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, MA.
Her work has been exhibited throughout New England and in the Virgin Islands where it is available at Designworks and Twin City Cafe on St. Croix and Mango Tango Art Gallery on St. Thomas.
Continue reading "What's New at Designworks" »
SOCA is a visual arts organization based in St. Croix. Founded in 2006 by Norma Krieger, Maud Pierre-Charles, Roy Lawaetz and Nii Ahene. This group of well known professional artists formed the core team which spearheaded the effort to build a successful visual arts organization in the USVI. SOCA's mission is to foster and promote Caribbean aesthetics and the artistic expressions of the Caribbean visual artist.
The "Artist Circle" -- Arts Fest presented a day of two free art workshops for children and adults; a musical performance; a panel discussion of artist dialogue; an award winning film presentation and an exhibition of SOCA members works in the newly renovated gallery space. Artists were invited to come and sketch the historic Fort Frederik site and create a work of art during the course of the event.
For decades Stephen Larsen has been shooting images around the world. His travels have taken him to the ends of the earth including such places as Antarctica, Australia, Africa, Central America, Himalayas, India and Laos.
Continue reading "Stephen Larsen's Photographic Artwork" »
A showcase for local talent and international arts, the Museum Center is housed in an 18th century Danish townhouse on Frederiksted's magnificent waterfront. CMCA rts offers year-round exhibitions, classes, and shows for all ages. The Artistsin- Residence Program offers special classes, demonstrations and "open studio" time. Make a trip to Frederiksted to visit this unique and captivating destination which may be available to rent for your next special occasion!
For more information, visit www.cmcarts.org
F'sted Map #33
Since 1989, Quin House Galleries has been furnishing island homes with the finest quality, handcrafted mahogany, teak, and exotic fruitwood furniture. Classic Chinese antiques, restored furniture, and quality gifts and collectibles for home or office add variety and style. Quin House Galleries has always been known for its unique styles and excellent quality and is a consistent winner of the VI Daily News Readers' Poll for Best Furniture and Home Decor. Located on Company Street (at the corner of Queen Cross Street) in the historic Quin House, we are open Mon. - Fri., 10 am - 5 pm, Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.
There is always something interesting at Mauf. Gallery, featuring an array of artists and artwork. Gallery owner/artist Th.r.se Trudeau welcomes you to Mauf. Gallery, where she exhibits her own work and that of other local and international artists on St. Croix, USVI. Located at Crucian Gold, on Strand Street in C'sted., Maufe Gallery shares space with jewelry designer Nathan Bishop. There is often a new exhibition every month, and other activities such as live music and performance art pieces taking place. Check the local newspaper, or call for more information about current events at the Gallery. www.maufegallery.com Tel. - 332-4556 C'sted Map #96
Art @ Top Hat is a wonderful gallery on Company Street in Christiansted, across from the U.S. Post Office. It is host to the best of our local talent as well as internationally well-known artists. This beautifully restored townhouse dates from the mid-1800s and is a fabulous setting for ever-changing exhibits of modern and traditional paintings, watercolors, handcrafted jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, giclees, prints, posters and art cards. Antiques and special items from estate sales round out the unique offerings. A "must" to visit - easy to find that special gift for yourself, your home or for a friend. Available for small events. Open for Art Thursdays November through May or call for an appointment. Visit us at www.artattophat.com
Celebrating 20 years, this historic loft in Christiansted showcases the paintings and prints of the late Maria Henle, the photographs, books and films of St. Croix's premier photographer Fritz Henle, and the fine art photographs of Tina Henle. Other featured artists are Toni Lance, Larry Lipsky, Steve Rockstein, Sydney Solis, Nicolette Jelen, Cynthia Hatfield, Sacha Tebo, Janet Morgan and Lyn Voytershark. New exhibitions and events during Season. Call for appointment.
Island Map 131
This studio, located at 55 Company Street, sells stunning, eye-catching works from the Caribbean's finest photographers and is the only gallery in the West Indies devoted entirely to the art of photography. When in historic downtown Christiansted, you're invited to stop in the Studio and owners Ted Davis and Sam Dike will show you delightful new exhibits in a sophisticated gallery setting. Take home an original St. Croix Poster or any of our famous note card packs priced at only $20! Open Mon-Sat 10-5pm. Call or visit us on the web at www.ddstudio.us. D&D Studio, "Where Photography is Art!" - 719-1201 C'sted Map #21
Island Art Directory: • Meet Cover Artist Davina Pallone
• Meet Cover Artist Diego Conde
• Meet Cover Artist Christina Frederick Gasperi
• Meet Cover Artist Marilyn Phillips May
• Meet Cover Artist Jose Joseph
• Casa Holiday Art Cards
• Meet Cover Artist Elwin Joseph
• Cover Artist Marjorie Robbins
• Meet Cover Artist Phyllis Biddle
• Cover Artist Niarus Gillian Benjamin
• Walk This Way - Christiansted's Art Thursdays
• Meet Cover Artist Leslie Cramer
• Meet The Artist: Susan Snow
• Meet Cover Artist Elsa McKay
• Cover Artists Toni Lance
• Cover Artist: Miguel Ferguson
• Caroline Duprey
• Nancy Pistilli Byrnes
• Island Art - Featured Artist Isabelle Picard
• Daily Strife
• St. Croix Artist: Bonnie Luria
• September Cover Artist: Luca Gasperi
• Caribbean Living With a Sense of Humor
• Jane Akin
• Meet the Artist That Makes You Smile
• What's New at Designworks
• SOCA Celebrates Art
• Stephen Larsen's Photographic Artwork
• Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts
• Quin House Galleries
• Maufe Gallery
• Art @ Top Hat
• Henle Studio
• D&D Studio
• Art Thursday
• D&D Studio
• Quin House Galleries
• Maufe Gallery
• Henle Studio
• Historic Photographs and Artwork - St. Croix Landmarks
• Art @ Top Hat
• Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts