Take a trip through an “Intrepid Journey” on Saturday, January 15, 2022, as artist Augustin Kelvin Holder presents a full-scale exhibition of his abstract works at 81C on Kronprindsens Gade.
“I get inspiration from living and going through times,” said Holder. He identifies the environment, social, and political interactions as inspiration for his artwork.
Holder has worn many career hats. After graduating from the Charlotte Amalie High School, Holder traveled the mainland and attended universities in Alaska, Hawaii, and home in the territory. He then joined and served in the United States Navy. Later, he settled in New York for 20 years.
“That’s where I was exposed to a lot of art and culture, and that’s where my interest started in culinary arts and visual arts,” said Holder.
Holder attended culinary school and even worked for major law firms in New York City. He garnered art education and theory at the Art Students League of New York and through independent studies at the Museum of Modern Art and The Brooklyn Museum. He moved back home to the Virgin Islands and served under Lieutenant-Governor Tregenza Roach during his time as a senator and during his current administration as a member of the executive staff.
Of painting, Holder says, “I’ve started now to live that life, but I think I’ve always been an artist … I’ve been painting for a very long time. Art and the humanities have always been part of my frame of reference.” He says, “I’ve been painting for a while where I’ve been part of the art community and part of the whole art movement.”
The exhibit “Intrepid Journey” uses bold, bright colors to create a timeline of activities. According to the artist, Intrepid journey showcases how someone goes through life, time, and space. For Holder, art is a medium that tells a story of intrigue and of shifting landscapes and deals with decoding algorithms. He wants viewers to connect with their souls and see their own stories through his work.
“I think art is about painting through time, and it’s your diary. It’s your story … In the collection, you will see there is one chapter but different stories,” said Holder.
In his last exhibit, “Beyond the Horizons,” Holder showcased his story on how he navigated the COVID-19 pandemic in its first year. He captured his vulnerabilities and feelings of what people were going through with strokes of his brush, and now, his next exhibit will continue that story and present the changes that have occurred in the global community and how people are adapting to what he called “the new modern reality.”
“This new collection is really an extension of one’s story. It’s full of growth and new beginnings. Facing reality,” said Holder. “To me, this collection captures moments in time where human existence felt still, surreal, and immeasurable.”
Holder says you can find beauty in strange places, and he uses those strange places to capture the essence of his collections. In recent years his work has been featured in the Virgin Islands at the Sevenminuseven art collective, the Crucian Coconut Festival Fine Arts Exhibit, and the November 2020 edition of the MOKO Magazine.
Some pieces to look out for this coming weekend are “The Safe House” and “Solitude.” Solitude, being Holder’s favorite piece, is one the artist says has “something about it that’s very calming. It has a very quiet, calming appeal to it. You kind of get lost in the painting. It’s got that white, translucent, eternal landscape.”
Holder’s exhibit will take place between 5:00 pm to 12:00 am at 81C near the waterfront. To see more of Holder’s work and to make a purchase from his collections, visit his website www.augustinkelvinholder.com.