Still basking in the excitement of a recent two-month visit to Barcelona, St. Croix artist, Debbie Sun has returned with a wealth of inspiration and new textile designs. Some may already be familiar with her textiles showcased at the newly renovated Hotel Caravelle, including the contemporary fabric installation in the lobby, elegant bed runners, and eye-catching artwork at the new Casino. Her distinctive style captures an effervescent spirit and unique vibrancy, a sure reflection of her colorful Caribbean upbringing. A recent accolade aptly describes her style as "refreshing and uplifting".
We recently sat down with the bubbly artist, Debbie Sun, to learn more about the art process and her background.
"The creative process uniquely incorporates original silk paintings and photography, resulting in an interesting complexity of layers and colors. Born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, raised in St. Croix, and resided in Barcelona, Spain for several years, the diversity of my background and experiences plays a major part in the art that I create.
The most influential of experiences surely comes from waking up every day to the incredible natural beauty of St. Croix. No matter how many times I see the views, there is always something new and special about it, and each time it takes my breath away. Growing up here is a blessing that I will never take for granted. For a small island, we are rich in culture, diversity, inspiration, and the simplicity of joy. The key is to open your eyes to the beauty and appreciate what we have.
I am incredibly grateful for a childhood of frolicking in the sea, competing in the swimming pool and being surrounded by friends of all walks of life and all different ages. Island life has a special element that encourages us to work with what we have and provides us with a foundation to dream. As a long time swimmer with the St. Croix Dolphins team, I not only learned how to dream big, I also learned through dedication and discipline how to put dreams into motion. We were challenged to organize our time, we learned how to push ourselves, and how to set goals and go for it! My joy for travel was discovered during our swim trips and I made friends from all over the world. As an athlete, I understood the value of hard work, being confident and being proud; proud of each accomplishment and proud to be a Virgin Islander.
All these skills translated to other parts of my life, including my interest in art. I was fortunate to have two wonderfully talented art teachers, starting with Leo Carty at St. Dunstan's School, and Cindy Male at Good Hope School, both of whom are very accomplished artists. After graduating, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, an experience that opened my mind to creative and unconventional ways of thinking. Over the years, I experimented with different media including watercolors, and oil paintings, as well as photography. With a camera lens, I am always looking for the unexpected position to give the image an intriguing perspective.
In anticipation of being an entrepreneur some day, I earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of the Virgin Islands. Intellectual curiosity has its rewards and I found over the years, that I could always rely on my eclectic knowledge and experience to secure employment and follow my dreams in the art world.
My pursuit of art courageously led me to the city of Barcelona. I had always wanted to visit to see firsthand the remarkable architecture and design that I had studied. I immediately fell in love with everything about the city. I later returned to Barcelona to study art at an International Workshop, Metàfora. The one year venture turned into an experience of almost seven years living and working in Barcelona. During that time, I took part in numerous collective exhibitions, and worked as an architectural tour guide of Gaudí´s buildings. The Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí was one of Spain's most famous architects whose structures are renowned for their innovation, functionality and artistic exploration. The inspiration of Gaudí and Barcelona has inevitably crept into the expression of my work.
I am now back in beloved St. Croix and focused on my business as a Textile Designer with Debbie Sun Design Studio, launched in March, 2015. I am currently working on scheduling my next pop-up shop which will feature the new collection of designs on pillows, scarves, table cloths and other surprises."
St. Croix This Week | St. Thomas + St. John This Week
Location: # 1 Havensight Way, St. Thomas, VI 00802
Mailing Address: PO Box 11199 St. Thomas, VI 00801-4199
Telephone: (340) 774-2500
Fax: (340) 776-1466