Art by Eliana Schuster-Brown.
ST. CROIX — On Saturday, Frederiksted town lit up for opening day of the New Blood 4 art exhibit at Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (CMCA), curated by Lucien Downes. Artists, art educators, appreciators, and community supporters attended the event from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to view an array of works from 40 different visual artists. The exhibit will continue to be accessible to the public until Saturday, May 22. They are also viewable here.
According to the event announcement on the CMCA website, Mr. Downes reflected on the commitment he made to himself to create a platform where all artists—emerging, established, and even legends—could display their work together. Herein lies the inspiration for New Blood.
Eliana Schuster-Brown of Eliana B Artistry shared her inspiration for all three of her mixed media paintings: (1) portray culture, (2) reflect your true identity in your artwork.
In the following video, Mrs. Brown gave advice to creatives.
Rane Edwards debuted her art at New Blood after 35 years of creating. She was taught persistence through the tough love and instruction of Leo Carty at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal School and recalled the many times she heard, “Don’t give up” by her teacher, the late Cy Levine at Alexander Henderson School. As an educator at Eulalie Rivera School, she teaches her students similar values to motivate them.
Ms. Edwards was inspired to create Op Art by an artist who was working on a mural. He told her, “You can look at it any way you want to.” Her three pieces at the showcase—Monotonous, Resuscitate, and Deliverance— were the final products of several mistakes, she said. As the artist suggested, the optical illusion may be interpreted as brains; however, this reporter saw brain coral.
Stuart Rames featured three culturally profound paintings. This legendary artist has been selling his art since he was 17 years old and as of six months ago settled into his commitment to paint full-time.
Virgin Island Flower incorporates local flowers (ginger thomas, jasmine, passion fruit, and bougainvillea) in a portrait of a woman. He said, “The lady is a flower and she’s surrounded by flowers.” Additional works by Mr. Rames feature his tribute to Lloyd Dove Braffith as well as a recreation of a black and white archived photo from The Whim Museum entitled Rum Factory Workers 1920 St. Croix.
The love for culture, sunsets, local flowers and “everything Frederiksted” was shared by established artist Brenda L. Cotto, which translated into the vibrant colors and subjects in her paintings A Walk in the Park, Sunset Jazz and On Fire.
Walking along the waterfront area on the way to CMCA, one can observe the Clean Sweep Frederiksted art installations that matched the sentiments of Maria ‘Irieah’ Stiles when she said, “Frederiksted is becoming an art town. It’s lighting up.” She recounted the past two months of art events across all three islands from Art in the Street on St. Thomas in February to Youth Art Month exhibits on St. Thomas and St. Croix in March. She even referred to Mr. Downes’s St. John exhibit last weekend at Bajo El Sol Gallery & Art Bar.
“I’m trying to make moves in the art community on all three islands,” expressed Mr. Downes. On April 17 he’ll be on St. Thomas at 81C to display his personal works.