A collage of work to be displayed during the final New Blood event, set for April 2, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
ST. CROIX — Lucien Downes's New Blood art event which has been held annually for the last five years, will give patrons a final experience today, with the art gallery and activities kicking off at 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Caribbean Museum for the Arts in Frederiksted.
According to Mr. Downes, New Blood, which aimed to foster budding artists and expose their work to broader audiences, has been largely successful in accomplishing this task. The well-known artist said he plans to pivot his focus to other events in a bid to continue burnishing the art scene locally, while exposing creators' work to broader audiences through tourism-related strategies.
"We're moving on to bigger things. I think that while there's still a need for New Blood, the current concept has run its course. The goal was to introduce new artists to the island and I think that we have a lot of artists who have benefited from the show," Mr. Downes said.
He added, "Art has definitely been on people's minds. They are going out to art shows now and spending more money than before, and New Blood was definitely the catalyst for this change."
Today's event features work from 30 emerging and established artists, said Mr. Downes. There will be music by Eddie Russell backed by his band from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Moving forward, Mr. Downes plans on hosting inter-island events that he hopes will help bridge the divide between St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John with an aim to strengthen the territory's standing as a destination known its art among other unique offerings.
"My future outlook is about trying to build up the art scene enough so that people from away would come here just to buy work," he said. "Think about it this way: we have an 84-square mile island and I can pull together a show with 30 strong artists? That's formidable," he said. The fifth and last New Blood costs $10 for CMC members and $15 for the wider public. Buy tickets here.