81C is honored to announce the full-scale gallery exhibition “Lucien Downes – Virgin Islands Contemporary.” A public opening party event will take place on Saturday, April 17, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., where guests will experience exhibited artwork in the 81C gallery, enjoy an open wine bar, and have the opportunity to engage in conversation with St. Croix based artist Lucien Downes, community members, friends, and 81C curators.
Virgin Islands Contemporary features primarily figurative paintings by a renowned and seasoned painter delivering works that are as enigmatic and hypnagogic as they are culturally visceral, elegant, and uniquely soothing.
Show Description: There are countless ethereal tales in Virgin Islands Contemporary, which ask the viewer to deeply consider not only the figures, colors, and woven layers we inspect, but the viewer’s most personal conditions within the collective human story of time. We see figurative icons turning mysterious, and innocents growing wise and powerful. There is futurism to the work that challenges the viewer to take note of personal consequence, tradition, and performance. Considerations for the artist’s technical processes are highly intriguing concepts, but only after you reconcile the impulsive stream of consciousness this show so profoundly inspires. Mr. Downes provides a force of insight without the need for immediate clarity or a sure conveyance of narrative control. The artist trusts the viewer to summon what is needed, personally and does so with grace. This important and pivotal exhibition features a heavyweight fighter of an artist in his absolute prime. -The 81C Curators, April 2021, Charlotte Amalie, USVI
Artist statement: “My work consists of using UV resin, acrylic, raw pigments, plexiglass, specialty papers, and sometimes found objects to create multi-dimensional art pieces that demonstrate movement and depth. My work has an ethereal feel to it and impressionist in nature. I base my paintings on historical, spiritual, cultural, and topographical themes that are conveyed through abstraction or impressionism. I create work in hopes of bringing a contemporary feel to everyday subjects.” -Lucien Downes, April 2021, St Croix, USVI
Artist bio: Lucien Downes is a contemporary, Caribbean-born impressionist, artist, and curator. His work demonstrates freedom of thought and expression through mixed media. Lucien’s work is composed of spiritual and worldly elements that function independently at times or merge to encompass a whole. His work is diverse as he draws inspiration from daily life, spiritual themes, objects, moods and movement. Through his distinctive portrayal, his work often provokes thought and emotion. Lucien utilizes resin, acrylic, fibers, raw pigments, plexiglass and sometimes found objects to create dimension and depth in his pieces.
Lucien’s work has been exhibited at the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (Atlanta Ga. 2012), The Alliance Theater for the Arts (Atlanta Ga. 2011), The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (St. Croix U.S.V.I. 2011), Top Hat Gallery (St. Croix U.S.V.I. 2013), Marjorie Robbins Gallery (St. Croix U.S.V.I 2013), The Caribbean Fine Arts Exhibit (St. Croix U.S.V.I. 2009-2014), and The Caribbean Colour Exhibit (St. Thomas U.S.V.I 2013-2016). He has had several one-man shows, “Acention” (Georgia Perimeter College Atlanta Ga. 2011), “Visions” (Sam Flax Art and Design Atlanta Ga. 2010), “Fazes” (Atlanta Foundation for Public Space Atlanta Ga. 2012). and he has participated in numerous group shows around the Caribbean and United States. His pieces are displayed in the homes of Maya Angelou, Teddy Rielly and many private collections around the world. Downes’ work, Phoenix Rising, was selected by the Textile Museum of Canada to represent the US Virgin Islands in their project entitled WATERCOLOUR. This project will include designs from artists originating in Pan American countries to create a flotilla of customized sails that will navigate Lake Ontario’s shoreline from Oshawa to Welland as part of the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. Lucien currently resides on the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands.
Event details: 81C presents Lucien Downes – Virgin Islands Contemporary – Art exhibition opening party Date and Time: Saturday, April 17, 7 p.m. to midnight.
Location of event and gallery show: 81C – Downtown Charlotte Amalie. Strand Gade between waterfront and Market Square. Right around the corner from Moe’s Grocery on the waterfront. Visit www.81CVI.com for a map link. Or google 81C Virgin Islands.
Parking and COVID-19 info: Park on the waterfront. COVID-19 capacity regulations will be observed. Face masks are required to enter the event. 81C also has an outdoor space where guests can comfortably socially distance themselves.
About 81C: 81C is a newly opened event venue in historic Charlotte Amalie, featuring a pop-up event space and art gallery. The space is available for private and public event rentals. 81C was launched by entrepreneur Zack Zook after renovation and restoration to the (circa 1810) building located at 81C Kronprindsens Gade. 81C has hosted artists Shansi Miller, Augustin Kelvin Holder, Jared Shomo, and Juan Carlos Amador to date. 81C currently hosts weekly “salon” social hour events each Wednesday and Sunday. In 2021 81C will expand operations to include a “hurricane season artist in residence program” and launch a boutique hotel component featuring an upper-level historic grand residence complete with a library and lounge, also serving as an additional event and art gallery space.