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Monday, May 16, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesANNUAL CARIBBEAN COLOUR SHOW UP 2 MORE DAYS

ANNUAL CARIBBEAN COLOUR SHOW UP 2 MORE DAYS

There are two more days to take in the 12th annual Caribbean Colour art exhibition, which showcases works by 52 local professional artists and 31 students. Since it just opened on Friday evening, that may catch you by surprise if you're accustomed to the St. Thomas-St. John Arts Council's practice in years past of having the show hang for a month.
But this year the Arts Council board opted to go with a five-day show, for several reasons.
For one thing, the vast majority of visitors traditionally view the artwork at the opening reception, which is also when most of the sales take place. (About 250 people turned out for Friday's reception to peruse the 108 entries in the Port of Sale Mall gallery and enjoy the cool jazz of the Gbogbodada quartet and conversation under the stars in the courtyard outside. Eight of them walked away as new art owners.)
For another, if a show hangs for a month, somebody has to "sit" it all that time, which entails a lot of volunteering by a lot of people who don't have a lot of leisure time. And for yet another, it has become all but impossible to find a venue on St. Thomas or St. John that can accommodate a show the size Caribbean Colour has grown to be for that long a period of time — without charging rent.
This Colour exhibit, located in the complex of blue buildings behind Wendy's in Havensight, isn't the largest in terms of participating professional artists — which topped 85 a couple of years ago — but it's one of the most diverse, and well worth a leisurely look by anyone interested in or curious about the visual arts. The viewer will encounter works in an impressive range of mediums: acrylic, clay, colored pencil, etchings, gouache, mahogany, markers, monotypes, oil, oil crayon and graphite, paper collage, pastel, pen and ink, plywood, stained glass, watercolor and "mixed media" incorporating everything from seeds, beads and leaves to barbed wire.
The effects artists have achieved working within their mediums are intriguing, also. There are acrylics that look like watercolors, watercolors that look like acrylics, a pastel that looks like an oil, and an oil that looks like a pastel.
One does not envy the judges the job of selecting winners in the various categories. One does not necessarily agree with those judges' aggregate choices, either, but that in no way diminishes the legitimacy of their decisions. For the record, here's who and what they chose:
Among the 52 adult artists' entries:
Oil paintings: 1st — Deborah St. Clair ("Maho Bay"). 2nd — Kathy Carlson ("Tropical Prints"). 3rd — Susan Edwards ("Ferry Comin'").
Water media: 1st — Janet Cook-Rutnik ("Secret Place," acrylic). 2nd — Liz Ford ("Lady With Hat," watercolor). 3rd — Silvia Kahn ("Romantic Danzantes," gouache).
Three-dimensional: 1st — Gail Van de Bogurt ("Weaving and Spinning," painting on clay mounted on wood). 2nd — Lynn Berry ("Sailing," reconstructed clay sculpture). 3rd — Afreekan Southwell ("Surf Caribbean," mahogany sculpture).
Everything Else: 1st — Kimberly Boulon ("Weaving Broom from Teyer Palm," pastel). 2nd– Mace McDowell ("Up, On a Beach," pen and ink). 3rd — Bente Hirsch ("Flower Seller," mixed media).
That makes it a clean sweep for St. John, by the way. St. Clair, Cook-Rutnik, Ford, Van de Bogurt, Boulon and Hirsch are from the little island. All of the other winners are from St. Thomas (although there are also works on exhibit by artists from St. Croix and Virgin Gorda).
Among the 31 students' entries:
1st — William Caban Jr. ("Sunflower," mixed media). 2nd (tie) Chasda Clendinen ("Sea Fan Wall," watercolor) and Adrienne Miller ("Solitude," pastel). 3rd (tie) Jared Etsinger ("Fade," watercolor with crayon resist) and Nat Ford ("Green Vase," clay sculpture).
What's eye-catching in this show depends on your orientation.
Among the camera-like representational works, St. Croix painter Betsy Campen's three small watercolor florals stand out, as does Amy Thurmond's oil of emerald foliage, "Paradise Found."
For human interest, Kimberly Boulon's pastel "First Kiss" is a charmer, with a wondrous expression on the boy's face and only your imagination to tell you what's on the girl's, as she's in profile and wearing a big, floppy straw hat. Kathy Carlson's winning oil, "Tropical Prints," is also a stunner. This character study of a beautiful woman with bolts of cloth balanced atop her head won the People's Choice Award on opening night, too.
In terms of subject matter, Erik Pedersen's assemblage, "Unearned Suffering," a juxtaposing of a church bulletin's scriptural parable about a master and his servants with images of field slaves, is thought provoking. So, in a quite different way, is Jan Dunn's oil, "Before Government Hill Became a Parking Lot." It's a view from Hospital Gade looking up Kongens Gade with the road still dirt and the structures painted in pastel hues.
Robin Clair-Pitts retains her claim from years past to having the only purely abstract painting in the show, an acrylic that has the additional enigma of being untitled. Aimee Trayser's mixed media collage, "Heaven Earth and Sky," is an inviting complexity of aqua and bronze tones. Moe Kunsch's acrylic "Jumbie Shouting — I Want to Go Back to the Living" is abstract, too, but with enough imagery for the viewer to draw conclusions.
Most of the two-dimensional works are anywhere from slightly to mostly impressionistic. Kat Sowa's oil "Seize the Day II," depicting sunrise across a chain of islands, combines delicacy and grandeur in a blaze of pinks, golds and pale greens. Brooks Brown's oil "Sunlight on St. John" does a very different take on a similar theme, in suffused deep dark green and blue tones and broad strokes.
Deborah St. Clair's winning oil, "Maho Bay," is stronger on yellows than your average beach scene, with sand and the shade of a seagrape tree given prominence. Janet Cook-Rutnik's almost disconcertingly diffuse imagery in her acrylic "Secret Place" all but reaches out and draws the viewer into its depths.
And all of this is without even getting into the students' art, which won raves from most everyone who saw the show opening night. Many of the young artists are already at a level of sophistication far beyond their years. William Caban's sepia pastel "Face of Bob Marley" and his mixed media winning entry, a still life, are outstanding, as are Diana Zalucky's acrylic, "Renaissance Woman," and Jared Etsinger's modernist watercolor/resist landscape, "Fade."
There are many other works and many other artists represented in this show. They are all worth a look, and the joy of Caribbean Colour is that you can look at all of them at once. To repeat from the beginning, there are two more days to view the show. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Student groups are welcome.

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There are two more days to take in the 12th annual Caribbean Colour art exhibition, which showcases works by 52 local professional artists and 31 students. Since it just opened on Friday evening, that may catch you by surprise if you're accustomed to the St. Thomas-St. John Arts Council's practice in years past of having the show hang for a month.
But this year the Arts Council board opted to go with a five-day show, for several reasons.
For one thing, the vast majority of visitors traditionally view the artwork at the opening reception, which is also when most of the sales take place. (About 250 people turned out for Friday's reception to peruse the 108 entries in the Port of Sale Mall gallery and enjoy the cool jazz of the Gbogbodada quartet and conversation under the stars in the courtyard outside. Eight of them walked away as new art owners.)
For another, if a show hangs for a month, somebody has to "sit" it all that time, which entails a lot of volunteering by a lot of people who don't have a lot of leisure time. And for yet another, it has become all but impossible to find a venue on St. Thomas or St. John that can accommodate a show the size Caribbean Colour has grown to be for that long a period of time -- without charging rent.
This Colour exhibit, located in the complex of blue buildings behind Wendy's in Havensight, isn't the largest in terms of participating professional artists -- which topped 85 a couple of years ago -- but it's one of the most diverse, and well worth a leisurely look by anyone interested in or curious about the visual arts. The viewer will encounter works in an impressive range of mediums: acrylic, clay, colored pencil, etchings, gouache, mahogany, markers, monotypes, oil, oil crayon and graphite, paper collage, pastel, pen and ink, plywood, stained glass, watercolor and "mixed media" incorporating everything from seeds, beads and leaves to barbed wire.
The effects artists have achieved working within their mediums are intriguing, also. There are acrylics that look like watercolors, watercolors that look like acrylics, a pastel that looks like an oil, and an oil that looks like a pastel.
One does not envy the judges the job of selecting winners in the various categories. One does not necessarily agree with those judges' aggregate choices, either, but that in no way diminishes the legitimacy of their decisions. For the record, here's who and what they chose:
Among the 52 adult artists' entries:
Oil paintings: 1st -- Deborah St. Clair ("Maho Bay"). 2nd -- Kathy Carlson ("Tropical Prints"). 3rd -- Susan Edwards ("Ferry Comin'").
Water media: 1st -- Janet Cook-Rutnik ("Secret Place," acrylic). 2nd -- Liz Ford ("Lady With Hat," watercolor). 3rd -- Silvia Kahn ("Romantic Danzantes," gouache).
Three-dimensional: 1st -- Gail Van de Bogurt ("Weaving and Spinning," painting on clay mounted on wood). 2nd -- Lynn Berry ("Sailing," reconstructed clay sculpture). 3rd -- Afreekan Southwell ("Surf Caribbean," mahogany sculpture).
Everything Else: 1st -- Kimberly Boulon ("Weaving Broom from Teyer Palm," pastel). 2nd-- Mace McDowell ("Up, On a Beach," pen and ink). 3rd -- Bente Hirsch ("Flower Seller," mixed media).
That makes it a clean sweep for St. John, by the way. St. Clair, Cook-Rutnik, Ford, Van de Bogurt, Boulon and Hirsch are from the little island. All of the other winners are from St. Thomas (although there are also works on exhibit by artists from St. Croix and Virgin Gorda).
Among the 31 students' entries:
1st -- William Caban Jr. ("Sunflower," mixed media). 2nd (tie) Chasda Clendinen ("Sea Fan Wall," watercolor) and Adrienne Miller ("Solitude," pastel). 3rd (tie) Jared Etsinger ("Fade," watercolor with crayon resist) and Nat Ford ("Green Vase," clay sculpture).
What's eye-catching in this show depends on your orientation.
Among the camera-like representational works, St. Croix painter Betsy Campen's three small watercolor florals stand out, as does Amy Thurmond's oil of emerald foliage, "Paradise Found."
For human interest, Kimberly Boulon's pastel "First Kiss" is a charmer, with a wondrous expression on the boy's face and only your imagination to tell you what's on the girl's, as she's in profile and wearing a big, floppy straw hat. Kathy Carlson's winning oil, "Tropical Prints," is also a stunner. This character study of a beautiful woman with bolts of cloth balanced atop her head won the People's Choice Award on opening night, too.
In terms of subject matter, Erik Pedersen's assemblage, "Unearned Suffering," a juxtaposing of a church bulletin's scriptural parable about a master and his servants with images of field slaves, is thought provoking. So, in a quite different way, is Jan Dunn's oil, "Before Government Hill Became a Parking Lot." It's a view from Hospital Gade looking up Kongens Gade with the road still dirt and the structures painted in pastel hues.
Robin Clair-Pitts retains her claim from years past to having the only purely abstract painting in the show, an acrylic that has the additional enigma of being untitled. Aimee Trayser's mixed media collage, "Heaven Earth and Sky," is an inviting complexity of aqua and bronze tones. Moe Kunsch's acrylic "Jumbie Shouting -- I Want to Go Back to the Living" is abstract, too, but with enough imagery for the viewer to draw conclusions.
Most of the two-dimensional works are anywhere from slightly to mostly impressionistic. Kat Sowa's oil "Seize the Day II," depicting sunrise across a chain of islands, combines delicacy and grandeur in a blaze of pinks, golds and pale greens. Brooks Brown's oil "Sunlight on St. John" does a very different take on a similar theme, in suffused deep dark green and blue tones and broad strokes.
Deborah St. Clair's winning oil, "Maho Bay," is stronger on yellows than your average beach scene, with sand and the shade of a seagrape tree given prominence. Janet Cook-Rutnik's almost disconcertingly diffuse imagery in her acrylic "Secret Place" all but reaches out and draws the viewer into its depths.
And all of this is without even getting into the students' art, which won raves from most everyone who saw the show opening night. Many of the young artists are already at a level of sophistication far beyond their years. William Caban's sepia pastel "Face of Bob Marley" and his mixed media winning entry, a still life, are outstanding, as are Diana Zalucky's acrylic, "Renaissance Woman," and Jared Etsinger's modernist watercolor/resist landscape, "Fade."
There are many other works and many other artists represented in this show. They are all worth a look, and the joy of Caribbean Colour is that you can look at all of them at once. To repeat from the beginning, there are two more days to view the show. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Student groups are welcome.