Haiti Haiti Art
Haiti may be known for its palm trees - lined bays and golden sand - but look at the art to get a real taste of Caribbean culture. The Museum of Haitian Art is one of the few in the world to house Haitian paintings from the 20th century. Most Caribbean islands have a rich artistic tradition, but none of these islands is as fertile or unique as Haiti.
The pieces here are colorful, creative and captivating, and working with overseas artists who come to Haiti gives the younger members of the collective the chance to use art networks around the world and stimulate their creative process with international artists. African-American artists are also very aware of Haitian art. I mentioned that Duval Carrie is from Haiti, but there is also Lois Mailou Jones, who went to Haiti and spent some time there and is also a member of a group of young artists in Haiti. There are a few other younger Haitian artists who use this kind of sculpture and also paint and do some really, really exciting things that they do. This gallery is one of our largest outside of Haiti, because it was founded by a couple who wanted to combine their love for Haiti and their passion for art.
Perhaps the most striking thing about street art here in Haiti, and perhaps what strikes me, is its ability to rise above tragedy. It is a fantastic way to explore the concerns and needs of the people of Haiti, because it illustrates through colour and symbolism how people are really doing.
Even after several generations, the Haitians I know and all those I speak to who do not want to speak for themselves remain very attached to Haiti and want the connection they want with language, food, music, etc. This is a strong statement for Haitian and Haitian culture, because Haitian artists are still an important part of their culture. We no longer worry about the survival of our people, our culture and our art, but we still worry about how the people of Haiti survive in poverty and suffering. Sometimes it's about the people and their art, not about art itself or even Haiti itself.
After the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, many of the artistic proposals based on the Goudou and its cultural significance for the people of Haiti were abandoned in the face of harsher living conditions. As Haitians struggled with the consequences of "goudous" and "goudos," many colleges and universities tried to educate their communities about the historical and contemporary realities of Haiti, but to no avail.
The Smithsonian Institution offered support to the Haiti Cultural Recovery Project, which rescued some of the Haitian artworks and helped rebuild the Centre d'Art. A single room has now been reopened to display the valuable Haitian art, and repairs are underway to reopen St. Pierre's College, which had about 9,000 visitors before the earthquake.
The Friends of Haiti staff organize special public events to educate and promote Haitian art, welcome visitors, provide information and insight into the arts, and support Haiti's efforts to restore culture. Read on to learn more about why art in Haiti is so important to the spirit of the Haitian people. All proceeds from the sale here will go back to Haiti to support these programs and bring more Haitian artists to world markets through Haiti Back Porch. The sale will be completed at a later date, probably in the spring or summer of 2016.
This discussion of contemporary art in Haiti is the first of three articles with interviews with artists from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the United States. Bordering the Imaginary "explores the art of the Dominican Republic and the Haitian diaspora, as the two nations share an island. He has edited many contemporary Haitian writers, many of whom have been translated into English, French, Spanish, English - and other languages.
Haiti, like other Caribbean islands, shares its share in African Catholicism, which is the foundation of the art of the Dominican Republic and other countries.
Today, there is a narrative that claims that Haitian art began in the 20th century with the founding of the Centre DaArt in PortaAuaPrince. The gallery now overlooks the harbor and houses both traditional and modern Haitian art, including representations of Noah's Ark, Paradise and Carnival created by influential Haitian artists. In 1947 Life Magazine published a work on Haitian art from the center, and several exhibitions outside Haiti have made the center an internationally renowned studio for artists from Haiti and the Caribbean.
Transformative Visions presents a series of works that allow viewers to see Haitian art, and hence Haiti and the world, in a new way. This lively and festive exhibition of paintings celebrates the 20th anniversary of the founding of DaArt in PortaAuaPrince and also marked the beginning of an important new chapter in the history of Haitian art in Haiti.