Hanging artwork at Youth Art Month STX Exhibit. By KIWAUN CUMBERBATCH
ST. CROIX — Art educators, art appreciators, and community activists attended last weekend's opening exhibit of Youth Art Month (YAM) on St. Croix at Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (C.H.A.N.T.). Artwork was displayed on the walls and columns, on the staircases, and some even hung from the ceiling.
"At tonight's opening exhibit on St. Croix, I felt the love, the magic, and the creativity of our young people. I was most amazed at the coming together of art educators and activists who ensured that our youth have opportunities to be celebrated and honored. This is critical to the strengthening of our community. They are our most important investment for our future,” shared co-chair of YAM Maria Stiles.
The following students presented their inspiration with the Consortium:
Yanilsa Brodhurst’s art depicting ‘women drowning in tears’, Tupac Shakur who she likes, and ‘women are out of this world’, she said.
Jedaya George and Normaris Perez of Central High School create handmade jewelry together from wire, beads, washers, and gears since they were bored during the pandemic, they said. They wanted to do something safe, so they brainstormed what they were good at and decided on jewelry making. Both young ladies sing, play the flute in the school band, and draw. Thus far, they’ve made over 22 pieces of jewelry and sell their pieces at the Saturday morning market at the Department of Agriculture fair grounds. These young entrepreneurs are working towards selling on Instagram under their business name ‘Creative Expressions’.
Comic book author Karim Callwood from St. Thomas came over to sell his comic books, t-shirts, and gave away coloring pages and posters to parents and children present featuring VI Guardian Alpha. His comic book tells the story of a local superhero with Superman-like abilities who tries to help the Virgin Islands by warding off enemies whose commit crimes that often get covered up. The stories are related to what is typically experienced in the territory, he shared in interview with VIC.
Juju and Cece’s Lemonades sponsored their delicious, locally made lemonades for the evening and shared that a portion of each sale goes towards Project Promise VI, a nonprofit organization that caters to the needs of at-risk youth in the territory.
Visit C.H.A.N.T. now through through April 24 to view a beautiful display of artwork inspired by the pandemic, womanhood, teen dating violence prevention, and more. The St. Thomas display is featured at The Virgin Islands Children’s Museum until April 17.
The STX exhibit was made possible by the following supporters:
*Niarus Walker, Youth Art Month Committee Regional Chair
*Frandelle Gerard, Executive Director of CHANT
*Dr. Chenzira Kahina, Director of VICCC
*Chantel Hoheb, The VI Children's Museum
*Baba NebKaRa, House of Per Ankh em Smai Tawi
*The Council for Art Education (National Office)
*The Virgin Islands Lottery
*Meiomi Wines, CC1 Virgin Islands
*Conch Shell Media
*Ethiopian World Federation , Local #5, Incorporated St. Croix
*National Art Honor Society
*Eliana B Artistry
*FIT (Fitness Integrated Tours)
*Cultured Naturals Body Care
*Juju & Cece's Lemonades and Treats
*St. Croix Council of Elders
*VI Childrens Museum (St. Thomas)
*Caribbean Volunteer Services
*The Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education
*Smiles St. Croix Dental Studio
*The Wellness Place
*Umoja Caribbean Union, Inc.
*From The Inside Out Expressive Arts
*ACT OUT Ensemble: Theatre of the Oppressed of the Virgin Islands
*The Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center
*All the participating student artists, parents, educators and organizations
*CHANT staff and supporters