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HomeNewsArchivesBETTY BARBER WINS ANGUILLA ARTS FEST AWARD

BETTY BARBER WINS ANGUILLA ARTS FEST AWARD

St. Thomas artist Betty Barber is the winner of the first place award in the oil and acrylic painting category of the second biennial Anguilla International Arts Festival.
The festival represents a unique concept in cultural tourism marketing for the island. First, it attracts off-island artists, including many from the U.S. mainland, to participate in a week of activities focusing on art but taking place in conjunction with the local carnival celebration. Second, it motivates those same artists to go back home and create works depicting their impressions of the island for a competition that offers a top cash prize of $10,000. Third, entries are then exhibited on the island in the following year, available for viewing — and purchase — by visitors as well as residents.
Artists taking part in the festival, held in July last year and in August two years earlier, spend their week on Anguilla attending workshops led by top art authorities from around the world; learning about the history, heritage, culture and natural attractions of the island; and holding their own art show at the end. "After the week of festivities and workshops," Barber explains, "the artists return home full of ideas and inspiration and have six months to complete a work for the juried show that is held the following year."
This year, there were 37 entries from last summer's festival participants, and the prize winners were announced in February. Barber's winning work is a harbor scene painted on Belgian portrait linen. It's 42 by 52 inches framed and priced at $5,260.
Barber also attended the first festival, in 1997, but did not participate in the art competition the following year. That first fest was held during Anguilla Carnival, she says; last year's took place the week before the celebrations.
Her winning oil, titled "The Sweet Life of Anguilla," depicts Anguilla's Island Harbour, looking out toward Scilly Cay, a small islet known for its natural beauty and unique dining options: "Only Caribbean lobster and chicken are on the menu," Barber says. "Both are prepared on a charcoal grill."
The harbor and the cay "have long been favorite spots of mine, having been there many times in the last decade," the St. Thomas painter says. The cay owners, Sandy and Eudoxie Wallace, "are marvelous hosts, clearly making the tiny island, which features rare plants and a cactus farm and is surrounded by a hand-built three-foot-high conch shell wall, a much-loved spot for tourists and Anguillans." Lore about the harbor itself that she absorbed includes tales of "the war love turned away," when British armed forces invaded Anguilla, coming ashore from the harbor, in 1969.
The art competition winners were announced at a Feb. 8 reception at the Malliouhana Hotel at Meads Bay. Anguilla's governor, Peter Johnstone, commended the arts festival organizers for creating an event that benefits the entire island and expressed appreciation to the artists who took part. U.S. mainland artist Valerie Carpenter won the best of show $10,000 award for her oil painting "Sailing the Silver Seas." There were also first-place honors for pastels and watercolors and a People's Choice award. Each winner but Carpenter received $1,250.
The main prize sponsors were Cable and Wireless, Anguilla's Social Security Board and the National Bank of Anguilla. George Kentish of Cable and Wireless noted an increased recognition of art in Anguilla in recent years and congratulated those who have encouraged this development. He said the festival "is emerging as a premier forum for international, regional and local artists," according to a festival release.
Judging the artwork were Joyce Daniel, a Barbados artist and art teacher; Giovanna Rasario, a museum curator in Florence, Italy, who is internationally known for her art restoration work; and John Dowell, a professor of art at Temple University in Philadelphia, who has exhibited extensively in the mediums of printmaking and drawing.
The competition entries are being exhibited at various Anguilla locations through the end of April. For any work sold, the artist receives 65 percent of the purchase price and the arts festival, 35 percent.

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St. Thomas artist Betty Barber is the winner of the first place award in the oil and acrylic painting category of the second biennial Anguilla International Arts Festival.
The festival represents a unique concept in cultural tourism marketing for the island. First, it attracts off-island artists, including many from the U.S. mainland, to participate in a week of activities focusing on art but taking place in conjunction with the local carnival celebration. Second, it motivates those same artists to go back home and create works depicting their impressions of the island for a competition that offers a top cash prize of $10,000. Third, entries are then exhibited on the island in the following year, available for viewing -- and purchase -- by visitors as well as residents.
Artists taking part in the festival, held in July last year and in August two years earlier, spend their week on Anguilla attending workshops led by top art authorities from around the world; learning about the history, heritage, culture and natural attractions of the island; and holding their own art show at the end. "After the week of festivities and workshops," Barber explains, "the artists return home full of ideas and inspiration and have six months to complete a work for the juried show that is held the following year."
This year, there were 37 entries from last summer's festival participants, and the prize winners were announced in February. Barber's winning work is a harbor scene painted on Belgian portrait linen. It's 42 by 52 inches framed and priced at $5,260.
Barber also attended the first festival, in 1997, but did not participate in the art competition the following year. That first fest was held during Anguilla Carnival, she says; last year's took place the week before the celebrations.
Her winning oil, titled "The Sweet Life of Anguilla," depicts Anguilla's Island Harbour, looking out toward Scilly Cay, a small islet known for its natural beauty and unique dining options: "Only Caribbean lobster and chicken are on the menu," Barber says. "Both are prepared on a charcoal grill."
The harbor and the cay "have long been favorite spots of mine, having been there many times in the last decade," the St. Thomas painter says. The cay owners, Sandy and Eudoxie Wallace, "are marvelous hosts, clearly making the tiny island, which features rare plants and a cactus farm and is surrounded by a hand-built three-foot-high conch shell wall, a much-loved spot for tourists and Anguillans." Lore about the harbor itself that she absorbed includes tales of "the war love turned away," when British armed forces invaded Anguilla, coming ashore from the harbor, in 1969.
The art competition winners were announced at a Feb. 8 reception at the Malliouhana Hotel at Meads Bay. Anguilla's governor, Peter Johnstone, commended the arts festival organizers for creating an event that benefits the entire island and expressed appreciation to the artists who took part. U.S. mainland artist Valerie Carpenter won the best of show $10,000 award for her oil painting "Sailing the Silver Seas." There were also first-place honors for pastels and watercolors and a People's Choice award. Each winner but Carpenter received $1,250.
The main prize sponsors were Cable and Wireless, Anguilla's Social Security Board and the National Bank of Anguilla. George Kentish of Cable and Wireless noted an increased recognition of art in Anguilla in recent years and congratulated those who have encouraged this development. He said the festival "is emerging as a premier forum for international, regional and local artists," according to a festival release.
Judging the artwork were Joyce Daniel, a Barbados artist and art teacher; Giovanna Rasario, a museum curator in Florence, Italy, who is internationally known for her art restoration work; and John Dowell, a professor of art at Temple University in Philadelphia, who has exhibited extensively in the mediums of printmaking and drawing.
The competition entries are being exhibited at various Anguilla locations through the end of April. For any work sold, the artist receives 65 percent of the purchase price and the arts festival, 35 percent.