A collage of artwork from St. Croix artists. By LUCIEN DOWNES
ST. CROIX — Trailblazing artist Lucien Downes has once again brought together artists from around St. Croix who on Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. will display their work at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts for all to see — and buy. The event, "New Blood 4, The Rebirth" seeks to showcase what Mr. Downes said is the phenomenal work of artists in the U.S. Virgin Islands while exposing these artists to a wider audience. The museum is located on 10 Strand St. / 62 King St., Frederiksted.
"It's going to be a big show. I think it's going to be the best one we've ever had," said Mr. Downes, adding that the event will feature forty-two up-and-coming as well as established artists.
The event, the fourth installment of Mr. Downes's signature affair, will also be held in St. Thomas on April 17 as part of his vision to unify artwork commerce in the territory. During an interview with the Consortium this week, he said, "I think we're looking at things strangely. We function on an individual island base whereas we have 100,000 people to reach. So I said, 'why be a St. Croix artist or a St. Thomas artist and not a VI artist.' So that was my goal: to branch out this year and takeover all three islands."
Mr. Downes held his first event for the year on St. John two weeks ago at the Bajo el Sol Gallery, Art Bar & Rum Room, which he said was extremely successful.
The artist said his work comes in six different styles, with his signature being the fusing of contemporary with old ideas.
Relative to "New Blood", Mr. Downes said he envisions a platform where emerging artists would be given the opportunity to showcase their work alongside the top artists on the island. The platform was born out of Mr. Downes's own experience when he was starting out. In a release, Mr. Downes said he had to work extremely hard for a chance to be seen in the large Atlanta market. "It was not because of lack of talent, but more of a lack of opportunity," he said.
"New blood" is Mr. Downe’s way of giving lesser known artists the opportunity for wide exposure with the hope of these artists forging a successful path ahead.
New Blood 4 opens Saturday and runs through May 31. Strict Covid-19 protocols will be in place and mask-wearing will be mandatory.