Ademola Olugebefola – US Virgin Islands
Dr. Ademola Olugebefola began his professional career as a bassist, playing with several small ensembles throughout the New York metropolitan area during the late 50s and early 60s. In the late 60’s he turned his creative energies to the visual arts and frequently incorporates musical ideas and theories in his extensive body of work. Over the past four decades, Olugebefola’s works have been included in hundreds of exhibitions at major American museums, universities and cultural institutions internationally. Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he has lectured and participated in forums at universities, museums and cultural institutions in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. He is a highly respected cultural activist and renowned Harlem artist whose art and career papers are in the permanent collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Hatch Billops Archives, Howard University, and scores of other well-respected American institutions.
Afreekan Southwell – Antigua/US Virgin Islands
Afreekan Southwell was born in Antigua. He moved to the US Virgin Islands in 1981. He is a self-taught artist whose creativity ranges from oil paintings and poetry to acting and music. He is a master wood carver and drummer. His wood carvings reflect his love for his African Heritage. He uses mahogany as his medium and with his hammer and chisel creates a transformation of this beautiful wood that is nothing less than spectacular. Afreekan has recently added a new skill to his already long list of talents, wood turning; creating smaller objects that exhibit his extraordinary gift of communicating with the wood he is working with. Afreekan’s first solo exhibition in New York City, “Reflection of a Culture”, debuted in 2001 to positive critical reviews. He has since exhibited his creations multiple times in USVI, Barbados and the USA.
Anthony George – Trinidad & Tobago
Anthony George was born in Trinidad and Tobago and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, A largely self-taught artist he mainly works in oil on canvas exploring subjects thematically in series or individual subjects such as portraiture. A favorite subject is the annual West Indian Day Carnival in New York and it’s display of vibrant color, action, and movement. George captures the striking colors of the costumed revelers but also the ordinary folks who are caught in the pageantry. His portraiture derives from the satisfaction of capturing a dignified representation of his subjects.
Arlette St. Hill - Barbados
Arlette St. Hill was born in Barbados and is a graduate of the Barbados Community College, Erdiston Teacher’s College, The Jamaica School of Art, and the Teachers’ Technical Training Institute, Madras - India. Arlette has a degree in Art education, diploma in Curriculum Design and the Development of Instructional Materials and certificates in Multimedia Production and Educational Text Book Publishing. Her artwork explores a variety of mediums and techniques which include acrylics, oil pastel, markers, pen and ink, print making and collage. Arlette exhibits frequently in Barbados, and has also exhibited in Kingston, Jamaica; Boston, Washington, New York, North Carolina and Miami, USA; London, England and Paris, France.
Barbara Russell – Jamaica/USA
Visiting a Massachusetts spirtual retreat hosted by a native American shaman, I returned to NYC to become a professional doodler bearing the artist name Ms. B. short for Ms. B. The Doodle Queen”. Using ballpoint pens/markers, I doodle every day; quirky, skinny, fine lines that twist into varied fictional botanical shapes residing in colorful landscaped works on paper. Promoting my therapeutic workshops: “Doodle to Dabeat'’ & “Doodle to Refresh Your Noodle”, decreases students of all ages' stress and anxiety levels. I’m influenced by astonishing artists Romare Bearden, Leroy Clarke, Willem de Kooning, Shantell Martin, Julie Mehretu, Cy Twombly, and Robert Motherwell.
Bernard Stanley Hoyes - Jamaica
Bernard Hoyes lives and works in Palm Springs, California. However, his career in art began at an early age in Kingston, Jamaica when he enrolled at The Institute of Jamaica, Junior Art Center. At fifteen years old he moved to New York City to continue his academic and artistic endeavors. Classes at the Art Students League introduced him to the art scene in N.Y.C. He continued his studies at Vermont Academy, in Saxton River, VT and in 1974, he received a B.F.A. in Painting from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Hoyes is particularly known for a body of work that recalls his Afro-Caribbean roots, specifically the rituals of African Spirituality and Christianity. This body of work has earned him multiple awards of excellence internationally. Hoyes has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the globe. He has created murals in the inner city of Los Angeles, CA, has curated exhibitions and served on the board of the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles. His works have been featured in numerous television and film productions, as well as collected internationally.
Carla Armour - Dominica
Carla Armour is a visual artist currently living in Brighton, England. After graduating from Parsons School of Design (NYC) in the 80’s she returned to her Caribbean Island, Dominica where she immersed herself in the island’s Art scene finding her message through abstract symbolism in mixed media paintings, fashion, Conceptual and Installation art, poetry and spoken word performances. Armour continues to work within her Lifelines series; employing tribal symbols and prehistoric glyph images and markings. Her current work, ‘Resonance’, explores the use of ritual elements and sacred spaces and objects to imbed messages into her pieces. She has participated in shows and exhibitions over the years in the Caribbean, US, Europe & Namibia, some of which included the International Art Project ‘Women of the World, a global collection of Art’, submissions and readings for Literary Festivals, an International Artist Exchange, ‘Carambolage’ with 8 artists from Austria and Dominica.
Cher Antoinette Corbin – Barbados
Barbadian Forensic Scientist, Visual Artist & Writer, Cher-Antoinette is multi-faceted and has been successful at NIFCA in Photography 2009, Literary Arts 2011/2012/2013/2014 and Fine Arts 2012/2013. She has published a poetic anthology MY SOUL CRIES in 2013, VIRTUALIS: A New Age Love Story in 2014 and ARCHITECTS OF DESTINY: Poetry & Prose in 2015. Her artistic journey started in earnest in 2014 where she decided to let her work speak to her life. A self-taught emerging artist, the process included finding what media she was most comfortable with and resulted in works of Watercolour, Pen & Ink, Charcoal, Acrylic and a mixed media of all three. Most recently she has ventured into Modern Pointillism and Hard Edge Abstract Art. Cher has gotten much attention since the launch of C-Toi Wearable Art, a jewelry line that showcases her Acrylic Fluid Art. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and brings art to the average person in an affordable form. The pieces are also enhanced with healing crystals such as amethyst, hematite and black onyx. She has had two solo art exhibitions, “Just Call Me Sarah” at the UWI in 2017 and “The Colours of My Life” in 2018 at the OAS Marcus Garvey Gallery and the Barbados Embassy in Washington DC. Cher is an active artist within the local fraternities of Artist Alliance Barbados, who hosted a national exhibition celebrating our island’s 50th year of Independence; and Artist Studio Tours Barbados who showcases the artists via onsite studio visits and online gallery viewing and auctions.
CMC Arts, St. Croix, USVI – representing:
David is a Caribbean native; he lives, shoots, and edits just outside Frederiksted, St Croix, on an old Danish plantation close to his family home. Cultural norms are always subject to change and for various reasons, culture, the way we do things, can become vague, muddled, and perhaps even lost. In my work I strive to distil those essential elements that ground me in this culture and simultaneously create an awareness of the changes that threaten the nostalgic purity of this Island Culture identity. Several of the black and white images shown here examine the historical roots and magical realism of St. Croix’s rich, natural surroundings. While other images represent nostalgia, memories reminiscent of youth, and daily life activities that are generational and for which we hope to remain part of our ever-changing quality of life. I want to bring awareness to my community of what we might be losing of our treasured heritage. David has been exhibiting his work for nearly a decade and has been featured in many shows that center on the African diaspora and the effects of colonialism including “Native View” a 2011 solo show in St. Croix at the MacheteMachete Gallery; “Columbus Landing, Colonial Comfort,” a 2014 group show in St. Croix and Puerto Rico at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (CMCArts) and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico; “My Islands Do not Make a Nation” a 2017 group show in Cuba at the cultural institution Casa de las Americas; “Invisible Heritage” a 2017 group show in ST. Croix at CMCArts and in Denmark at the Cultural Embassy, and “Forgotten Lands” a 2018 group show in Brooklyn, NY at the Picture Farm Gallery.
La Vaughn Belle:
La Vaughn Belle makes visible the unremembered. Borrowing from elements of architecture, history and archaeology Belle creates narratives that challenge colonial hierarchies and invisibility. Belle explores the material culture of coloniality and her work presents countervisualities and narratives. Working in a variety of disciplines her practice includes: painting, installation, photography, writing, video and public interventions. Her work with colonial era pottery led to a commission with the renowned brand of porcelain products, the Royal Copenhagen. She has exhibited her work in the Caribbean, the USA and Europe in institutions such as the Museo del Barrio (NY), Casa de las Americas (Cuba), the Museum of the African Diaspora (CA) and Kunsthal Charlottenborg (DK). Her art is in the collections of the National Photography Museum and the Vestsjælland Museum in Denmark. She is the co-creator of I Am Queen Mary, the artist-led groundbreaking monument that confronted the Danish colonial amnesia while commemorating the legacies of resistance of the African people who were brought to the former Danish West Indies. The project was featured in over 100 media outlets around the world including the NY Times, Politiken, VICE, the BBC and Le Monde. Belle holds an MFA from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba and an MA and BA from Columbia University in NY. She was a finalist for the She Built NYC project to develop a monument to memorialize the legacy of Shirley Chisholm and for the Inequality in Bronze project in Philadelphia to redesign one of the first monuments to an enslaved woman at the Stenton historic house museum. As a 2018-2020 fellow at the Social Justice Institute at the Barnard Research Center for Women at Columbia University she researched the‘citizenless’ Virgin Islanders in the Harlem Renaissance. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled How to Survive Colonial Nostalgia. Her studio is based in the Virgin Islands.
LUCIEN DOWNES is a Caribbean born artist and curator, whose work demonstrates freedom of thought and expression through mixed media. His ancestry of Trinidadian, Bajan and Crucian roots brings forward a culturally rich consciousness which emanates in his art. Mr. Downes always had an affinity for art and photography, but did not take any steps towards creating until his tenure as general manager of Pearl Paint Atlanta, GA. As the GM, he was given many vendor samples of products which he used along with workshop, books, and critiques (from some of the top artist and teachers in the Atlanta area), to create 6 distinctive styles that he calls his own.
Lucien’s work is composed of spiritual and worldly elements that function independently at times or merge to encompass a whole. His artwork is diverse, as he draws inspiration from daily life, spiritual themes, objects, moods, and movement, and his distinctive portrayals often provoke thought and emotion. Lucien utilizes resin, acrylic, fibers, raw pigments, plexiglass, inks, dyes, and occasionally found objects, to create depth and dimension within culturally themed pieces culturally themed pieces and depth within his pieces. His work brings a contemporary feel to everyday culturally significant subjects. Mr. Downes' career is in its 13th year and has not slowed down since selling his first painting six months after starting to teach himself how to paint. Mr. Downes believes that his ability to paint is a gift from the Creator and intends to use it for the upliftment of his culture and its people. Mr. Downes' work has been highlighted in several publications, events, murals, and high-profile homes around the world. His pieces are displayed in the homes of Maya Angelou, Teddy Riley, Jeff Johnson, The Honorable Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and other private collections around the world.
Deisha Dare – Trinidad & Tobago
Deisha Baxam of Sangre Grande, Trinidad, has always been inspired by art and fashion. In 2010, the same year she founded her own fashion company, Deisha Dare Designs, Deisha dared to launch a fashion show entitled “The Serengeti”, inspired by the theme from the Serengeti plains of Africa. This young star went even further in 2013 to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies International Festival at Canoe Bay Beach Resort, Tobago, where on the runway she displayed her costume designs which were also featured on the road for Trinidad Carnival Celebrations 2014 in the band Petlemas. No stranger to high-end fashion, Deisha has worked closely with top designers such as Fashion Dandy, Deson Ayinde Sealey, Sheldon Warner, and Richard Noel, among many others. She was able to create remarkable pieces for clients she never thought she would be able to interact with. Some of these are Gage Amighty (Jamaica Dancehall Artiste), Skinny Banton (Grenada), Wave Element (Barbados), Whiteflag Entertainment, HS Productions, Fantasy Faces, Orlando Octive, Super Star Ray (Synergy), Code 202 Productions, Patrice Roberts, Dkrewe mas band, ekon Sta (Soca Artist), and SYO, just to name a few.
Diogenes Ballester – Puerto Rico
Diogenes Ballester, visual artist, educator, and writer holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BFA from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He has taught as Professor of Art at The Cooper Union in New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz, the College of New Rochelle and The State University of New York at Albany. Mr. Ballester’s work explores oral history, memory, mythology, ritual, and cultural identity along a transnational spectrum. In recent exhibitions, he has appropriated cultural objects and historical artifacts together with painting, drawing, prints and new media as a way of accessing the past and re-interpreting the present in a trans-Caribbean dialogue. Ballester has received numerous honors for his artistic work and has exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. His work is in numerous private and public collections.
Earl Darius Etienne – Dominica
Born in Massacre, on the west coast of the island of Dominica and currently living in Mahaut, Earl Etienne received his formal training at the Jamaica School of Art, now the Edna Manley School of Visual Arts. Etienne is known for his trademark technique called bouzaille or flambeau, a method of using a carbon flame to apply forms to canvas. A brilliant painter and conceptual artist; he is equally adept at capturing his culture as it manifests itself around him. Now retired to life as a full time creative, he has managed to extend himself into many areas in service to his fledgling nation as senior cultural officer, painter / coordinator of events / curator/ carnival costume designer / art graphic consultant/ set designer / founding member of associations related to preservation and cultural awareness of historical and architectural heritage. His works are collected throughout the Caribbean and in many nations across the world. Earl left is way too early when he joined the ancestors in March 2022.
Gilberto Wilson - Aruba
Gilberto Wilson and his family emigrated from Aruba in the Netherlands Antilles to the USA in 1968. His love for art was kindled in the 8th grade of his new home, Philadelphia, PA. He later gained a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and went on to receive his MFA at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. After graduation he spent five years working as an apprentice at the Brandywine Workshop. While there he worked with artists like Romare Bearden, Benny Andrews and Richard Hunt, amongst others. A noted collagist and mixed media artist, Gilberto’s work speaks extensively about migration, longing, family, assimilation and rebirth. His paintings, photography and mixed media creations have been exhibited widely in many individual and groups shows. Gilberto’s work is a part of several private and public collections including the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYC and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.
Gina Samson - Haiti
Gina Samson’s work has been influenced by the rich cultural heritage and vibrant colors of the Caribbean, as well as the New York City urban environment. After showing interest in the arts at a young age, she enrolled in her high school’s art program, took classes and workshops at the Art Students League and NYU’s School of Continuing Education, and participated in shows and competitions. She regularly exhibits in the New York metropolitan area and her work is featured in several corporate and private collections. In her view, artwork reflects the importance of creation and imagination in everyone’s life. Working primarily in painting, collage and drawing, she aims to create works that incite reflection; while bringing to the viewer an appreciation of the pride, resilience and cultural achievements of the African Diaspora. Currently her work explores in two series the immigrant experience and the interplay of music and the visual arts: “This series focuses on the relationship between the 2 art forms and is linked to fact that I most often listen to jazz while I’m working”. Jazz has been the “soundtrack” of this production.
Hedy Klineman – Barbados/USA
Born in Hamburg, Germany and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Hedy Klineman graduated from Cooper Union, NYC, where she encountered the maximalist, full canvas Abstract Expressionism that has shaped her style. Hedy’s works have been exhibited at the Whitney, Rubin, Hood, Tibet House and Vizcaya Museums, among others, and she has enjoyed solos exhibitions at the Bridgewater Lustberg Gallery, Benrimon Contemporary, Dorothy Blau and Vered Modern, as well as internationally. Her work has been inspired in recent years by the ethereal figure of the Buddha further infused by the creative nourishment provided by her winter sojourns in Barbados. When the USA elected its first African American President in 2007-08, Hedy became fascinated with the spirituality of another place, Africa, and the masks of Gabon and the Ivory Coast. These common threads of spirituality combine the sublime and every-day, the personal and political, as well as bear a strong influence on the many enchanting phases of Hedy’s career.
Hilroy Fingal – Dominica
Hilroy Fingal is a 52-year-old Dominican artist who resides at home in Dominica, “The nature island of the Caribbean”. Hilroy studied art in high school and continued through private instruction. His love of drawing began at a very young age and the passion continues today. His mediums include acrylic, watercolour, pencil, pen, charcoal and airbrush. Other creative skills include sculpting in wood, metal, and papier maché, jewelry making and fabric painting. Hilroy has exhibited frequently over the years. Recent outdoor installations which include his participation with the Waitukubuli Artist Association (WAA) in 2022, are: the iconic Dominica art Installation at the Dominica Cruise Ship Berth in Roseau, commissioned by the Discover Dominica Authority and the Cadence Lypso Murals which house portraits of Cadence Lypso enthusiasts who were instrumental in developing Cadence Music in Dominica. Hilroy has worked behind the scenes in the construction and building of the skeleton framework in metal and wood of an 8ft replica of the late Earl Darius Etienne in Sensay costume. This was exhibited at the VVIP Lounge during the World Creole Music Festival in October 2022, and the project was commissioned by NexConnex Ltd. His exceptional skill and style are unique to him. Hilroy has taught art in various communities around the island, judged art exhibitions, shows and has done commercial art with businesses in the city. Hilroy has been recognized for his continued development of art on the island by the Cultural Division of the Government of Dominica, and in 2016, earned a special recognition award for Excellence in Art.
JW Folkes – Barbados
J.W. Folkes is an accomplished self-taught Barbadian artist with over twenty-five years of creative experience. He has won several National Fine Arts Awards at NIFCA, the local annual independence festival of creative arts, including multiple Golds and the prestigious Ivan Payne Award of Excellence, of which he medaled twice. J.W.’s body of work showcases many of the cultural and traditional elements of Barbadian life and his fondness of the village chattel house is evident. His preferred medium is oils, and presently the artist is exploring new expressions of his creativity and new collaborations within the local art community. The artist is presently involved in a number of Mural creations, both in public and private spaces on the island. J.W is an affiliate of Cher-Antoinette’s Studio Barbados.
Lisame - Barbados
Coming from a diverse cultural background including the West Indies and South America, Lisa Mona’s artwork is eclectic. She finds inspiration while interacting with different cultures from all around the world. Through photography, painting and drawing her creations are influenced by nature’s simplicity, its colors and organic shapes. Lisa Mona is a believer in being an Eco-friendly artist and does her part by using recycled items as much as possible in her artwork. Her professional training was acquired at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. Her photography has been showcased in numerous publications, exhibits and galleries both in North America and Barbados. Lisa Mona’s philosophy is that there is beauty in simplicity, and it can be found when looked at with non-critical eyes and a different perspective.
Lowell Omtni Royer – Dominica
Based in Siboulie, Massacre, Dominica, Lowell Royer is a visual communicator represented by artist name OMtNI (silent ‘t’). The name OMtNI was derived from the omni in words like omniscient, omnipresent and omnivore, which means all of whatever it comes before. Being a polymath, he enjoys working on various surfaces like paper, canvas, wood, skin and even concrete. With a style dubbed ‘Dramatic Realism’, he enjoys showcasing his love for nature with exaggerated effects to bring out the features that strike him the most. He studied Illustration at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, in Jamaica, which showed him the ways of visual story telling. Therefore, most of his creative work stems from a deep conceptualization combined with elements of fantasy.
Malique Shorey - Barbados
Malique Shorey was born Barbados on February 6th, 2000. He was not always an artist initially. He was more of an aspirant to greater things or a dreamer, but always to something vague and unsure, always fleeting. His path as an artist started on a whim after his CSEC exams. With no clear route at the time he chose to go to the Barbados Community College and obtain an Associate Degree in Fine Art. Now his body of works consist mainly of small and medium sized paintings, but seek to extend outside of traditional bounds of art by using sculpture, painting, storytelling and designing to create not only a set of art works but also a space for them to exist and belong. Malique’s work has been displayed at The Barbados Community College Gallery and at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society. Not one to be confined to just the galleries, he has also created logos and tattoo designs for companies and individuals alike.
Michael Lees – Dominica
Michael Lees is a Dominican filmmaker and photographer whose work focuses on the themes of nature, development, and our relationship to the natural world. Michael graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he transitioned from majoring in business at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, to a degree in communication studies with a focus in media production, minoring in business & PPE (Political science, philosophy, & Economics). In 2020, Michael released his debut documentary, “Uncivilized”, which led him into the forests of Dominica, where he would face Hurricane Maria alone in a palm leaf and bamboo hut. The film premiered at the Trinidad Film Festival in 2019 and went on to screen at festivals across America, Europe and the Caribbean. It won the Caribbean Spirit award in 2020 at the Barbados Independent Film Festival, as well as best documentary at the Cinestar Festival in Guadeloupe in 2022. Lees has written, shot, and edited for clients including National Geographic, Lonely Planet, UNICEF & Billboard. He has exhibited his photography work at national exhibitions as well as the OECS exhibition Climate Change: An Eastern Caribbean Journey. Michael is an Executive member of both the Waitukubuli Artist Association & SHAPE (The Society for Historic Architectural Preservation & Enhancement).
Moses Ros-Suarez – Dominican Republic
Moses Ros‐Suárez is best known for his intense paintings and sculptures that transform common objects in his characteristically expressionist style. His large graphics of figures and objects explore themes such as AIDS awareness, the global economic crisis, and personal versus national identity and power. Ros--‐Suárez has had one--‐person exhibitions at museums in the United States and the Caribbean, including the Yeshiva University Museum, New York; the Paterson Museum, New Jersey; and the Instituto de Cultura y Arte in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The New York Department of Cultural Affairs and the Bronx Council for the Arts have awarded him commissions for public sculptures, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority for stained glass windows. A licensed architect in the state of New York, Ros-Suárez is a graduate of the Pratt Institute.
Norma Lithgow – Honduras
A native of Honduras, Ms. Lithgow received her early training at the Academy of San Vincent Paul. She came to New York City to study fashion at French's Fashion Academy and went on to Spain to study art at the Academia de Bellas Artes. Ms. Lithgow’s wonderfully expressive “Jazz Series” paintings have been shown at New York’s 2003 and 2004 JVC Jazz Festivals and have won her an enthusiastic following since then. Her creations are exhibited frequently in the New York City Tri-State area and have become part of many private and public collections.
Patricia Brintle - Haiti
Self-taught artist Patricia Brintle was born in Haiti and immigrated to the United States in 1964. Although she has made the U.S. her residence, her colorful style reflects her native land. Her works on the Holocaust are on permanent display at the Holocaust Center of Temple Judea in New York and are used as teaching tools for visitors. One of her religious works, The First Mother, travelled with the Black Madonna Exhibit which made its debut at the famed National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York and toured museums throughout the United States. One of her paintings hangs in the permanent collection of Albert Schweitzer Institute in Hamden, Connecticut, and her images have been published in both secular and religious periodicals.
Ras Ilix Heartman – Barbados
Ras Ilix Heartman, wood sculptor and farmer, was born in Barbados. His first international exposure was at the Third Havana Biennial in Cuba which was followed by the “In The Spirit Festival" at Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, Since then his work has been exhibited at numerous exhibitions in Barbados and in the U.S. His sculpture Melchizedek was awarded "Best In Show" at the 1997 Black History Month Exhibition held at New York’s Hintersteiner Gallery in Washington Heights. Ras Ilix’ 2012 solo show received critical acclaim at the Queen’s Park Gallery in Barbados. His sculptures are a part on many private and public collections including the Barbados National Collection.
Shadrach Burton - Dominica
Born October 1986, Shadrach Burton is a visual artist from Wotten Waven, Dominica. His older brother Gharan, along with his father David, are artists also, and this was a key factor in his art collection currently dating back to 1994. After being introduced to Earl Etienne and Ellingsworth Moses in the year 2000, he was participating in exhibitions at the age of 13 and has since stacked up over 50 exhibitions including 6 solo art shows. He recently graduated with a master’s degree in fine art after studying for 7 years in Hangzhou, China. Before going to pursue studies in China, in 2007, Shadrach majored in Biology and Physics and even taught high school biology for 3 years. He currently produces art using a style that is influenced by nature, music, pop culture, social commentary and his odd sense of humor.
Steve Reid - Barbados
Steve Reid is a University of the West Indies trained agriculturist who has worked within the agricultural and financial services sectors for over two decades. Pottery making, however, has always appealed to his creative spirit and was brought to light in the early ’90s with displays at the Bridgetown Market and at the Barbados Crop Over Festival. His work often shows plant life and natural features of his environment, and embodies an ancient spirit in a unique, contemporary style.
“Emerged” - Contemporary art by 6 Barbadian artists:
Akilah works with a number of media including drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture as well as high and low relief paintings. Akilah has exhibited locally (Barbados) in a number of group exhibitions at The Punch Creative Arena, the Frame & Art Co., Grande Salle Central Bank of Barbados), The Crane Gallery and in a few other spaces. She has also been featured in a few local publications such as the Easy magazine and the Exporter magazine. Some of her works deal with pop culture and cultural exchange as well as Barbadian folklore and traditions through ideas of play and souvenirs. Watts’ new works touch on issues such as race, culture as well as ideas of belonging and beauty. Akilah has started pursuing her dream of showing around the world, starting with showing in Prizm Art Fair 2017 in Miami and participating in a mail art exhibition in Romania in 2018. In March of 2019, Akilah exhibited in her first solo show entitled ‘Barbadiana Nostalgia’. Her work has since been exhibited frequently internationally and entered a number of important private collections.
Alanis Forde is a contemporary Barbadian artist who specializes in expressionistic realism portraiture. She works mainly with oil paint and collage. Alanis attended the Barbados community College and attained her bachelor’s degree in Studio art. She’s been in a number of group exhibitions at The Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Vermont Studio Center, Gallo Family Gallery at Strohl Art Center in New York along with a few other non-conventional spaces. Forde has just completed her second residency at the Chautauqua Institution Visual Arts Program of June 2020. In the years she’s been creating, Alanis’ concepts are based primarily on the black female identity in an idealized, exotic, paradisiacal Caribbean space. Through her proxy she navigates life through paradise.
“I’m a Barbadian contemporary artist who explores multiple mediums, crafting images of body manipulation through realism and expressionism. I have been practicing for over 5 years completing my BFA in 2017. I have been able to participate in some local (Barbados) group exhibitions at The Punch Creative Arena, UN women ‘1in3 Art Exhibition’ at the UN House Barbados, ‘Young Artist’ at The Barbados Arts Council Art Gallery and more. My artwork is routed in exploring women’s’ bodies and their relationship between our cultural, racial, and social environment. Focusing on insecurities, my artwork explores and exposes the vulnerabilities women have about their differences to each other, and how they seek to mentally and physically mask or morph their bodies, in an obsessive process of evolving, using various beautification methods to achieve acceptance. These embellished females exist in and out of decorative gardens, reflecting their internal process of growth, using themes of destruction and rebirth from the story of narcissus.”
Brandon K Best
“Growing up I was always fascinated by the creative work of television, and especially animation. It being so easy to pick up a pencil and draw, that’s where it all started for me, as early as 8 years old. By the time I reached my teens I was at least curious about painting, but I was surrounded by extraordinarily talented painters from around the world in my class, and this deterred my confidence to paint, so I continued to draw instead; up until 2016. 2017 was the year I discovered my love for oil pastels, which brought my love for drawing to be with vibrant color & versatile texture; this was the prerequisite to what lead to my painting style. 2 years later into November of 2019 I did take up painting, and just doing what I felt was right and true to me. I knew from the beginning that I had to stand out, be different and push the limits of the local norm. Playing my most favorite tracks from Mf Doom, Kanye, Earl Sweatshirt, John Coltrane; experimental hop-hop and jazz allowed me to work in a trance, in a rhythm that carried my acrylic paint across wood (in the beginning I didn’t have many canvases, so I used any wooden surfaces my neighbor could spare me). The drive to paint came from me trying to find something in my personal life that actually worked, and I had control of. Over time my artwork began to be less rigid & chaotic, more balanced, harmonic and personal; making references to my experiences in the hotel industry and observations as a young man in Barbados.”
Shain “Rudy” Clarke
Barbadian native Shain Clarke, professionally known as Rudy, is a self-taught visual artist. Rudy, born in the 90’s has been heavily influenced by pop culture comic strips, graffiti and advertisements. His work explores the juxtaposition of these elements. Rudy develops his concepts by examining the possibilities of finding new within the old and using nostalgia as a form of time travel in hopes of connecting viewers to forgotten memories and emotions.
Shane Eastmond is a 27-year-old visual artist. He was born in Jamaica, however, raised in Barbados. Shane has always possessed a love for creating from a very young age. Since then, he has experimented with various types of visual art and with tremendous success, Shane continues to push the envelope of what is possible with talent, acrylic paint and ink. Today, he has mastered a style of his own, using primarily ink, acrylic paint, and other unique materials to create intricate freehand lines and patterns to produce complex forms. Shane’s experiments incorporate unique textures, colors and use of line work. He is a storyteller unlike any other with works of art that continually evoke emotion with its immersive aesthetic.
“Diaspora Dialogue “X” – special exhibition of Global Diaspora Artists
Akira Bennett – USA
Akira Bennett is a self-published author and spoken word artist from New York, where she began her life-long writing journey. She has been writing since childhood and professionally active in publishing and writing for over a decade. Akira is the author of two published inspirational books: a poetic collection and children’s book, with new literary works to be released in the new season. Some of her other works include numerous plays and magazine articles. Akira believes that the usage of words is her superpower, as words have the power to enact transformation for a better world---her work and efforts seek to utilize words just for that cause. She also enjoys helping other inspirational authors who may be struggling to release their work, to find the confidence and clarity to take their projects from pending to published. Faith, family, books, and business are Akira’s life priorities, informing her work and role as a writer.
Brian Cannady – USA
Brian Cannady II is a multimedia artist and avid fan of mythology, superheroes, and manga. He earned his BFA and MFA in Computer Graphics from New York Institute of Technology.
Brian's studies led him to develop the promotional mascot for SIGGRAPH Asia 2009. Though he studied digital sculpture, Brian's love of clay, watercolor, and digital painting inspire him the most. Currently, Brian exhibits his paintings, sculptures, and illustrations across galleries and conventions along the Northeast United States. His passion for the Arts led to earning the Marvin Horowitz Sculpture award. Brian has curated two exhibitions, Character Among Us and Our Muses Do Ninety. When he's not creating Brian enjoys relaxing by walking in nature, observing the world around him to take in inspiration, or reading a new comic/manga.
Danny Simmons – USA
Danny Simmons, Jr., is an American abstract painter from Queens, NY, who coined his particular style of painting as “neo-African Abstract Expressionism.” His talent and passion for the arts reaches beyond the canvas; he is a published author, poet, painter and art philanthropist. The New York Times, in reviewing one of his art exhibitions, stated that Simmons “injects freshness” into his abstracts, and that they are “meticulously rendered and decoratively impressive.” Today, his works appear in prominent locales around the globe, including: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Museum, Chase Manhattan Bank, Deutsche Bank, Schomburg Center for Black Culture, The Smithsonian, United Nations, and, on an international scope has shown work in France, Amsterdam and Ghana. In 2015, he served as a scholarly consultant for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC.
Josh Kidd - UK
Josh Kidd is a Painter, a Filmmaker and a Writer. He was born in South-East London and is of mixed Caribbean and British decent. Kidd has been drawing and writing ever since he could pick up a pen, but it wasn’t until he moved to NYC to study acting that he really started his journey as an Artist. Josh had his first exhibition in 2019 for the Grenfell tower anniversary. Since then, he has been successful in selling many of his paintings. His most popular work are the abstract expressions that he makes. In this work, Kidd attempts to express the multitude of different people’s facial expression with acrylic paint on paper.
Khuumba Ama - USA
Khuumba Ama hails from the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor of Savannah, Georgia. She now resides in Harlem, USA. She is a full time multi-dimensional Visual Artist, Storyteller and Reiki Therapist. Khuumba uses various textures to tell the stories of her art, such as, images printed on canvas, a technique Ms. Ama developed while experimenting with various materials to create her collages; sand and felting. Khuumba is currently the President of National Conference of Artists (NCA), New York Chapter. As a Teaching Artist, her classes are designed for elevating “Life Skills Through Art”. In September 2019, Khuumba received a Citation from the City Council of New York, for Outstanding Work in Community Service.
Ron Jackson – USA
Ron Jackson is a practicing artist as well as a retired art instructor for the past fifty years. He now occupies most of his time producing artwork. Ron’s style is abstract cubism. His medium is pen, ink and watercolor. His subject matter is suggestively erotic, with intricate details that tends to draw the viewer closer to the artwork for a better understanding of what the artist is trying to convey. He was the owner of Rongio Gallery where professional artists like Otto Neils, Glen Martin, Carlton Murrell, Donovan Nelson, Robert Reid have exhibited, to name a few; as well as budding young artists. The gallery is now closed, and is replaced by The Red Carpet Studio Gallery, joint owner with artist Glen Martin. The gallery is open to anyone who seeks inspiration or guidance in pursuing the activity of art, also patrons seeking original African American artwork.
Ross Browne – USA
Ross Browne studied Communication Art and Design at Virginia Commonwealth University
and Photography at The Corcoran School of the Arts. He is also an alumnus of The Miller
School of Albemarle, Charlottesville, Virginia. He has taught art and design for inner city
and at-risk youth for the Fresh Air Fund of N.Y.C, Weed and Seed, Project Ready and Art 180
of Richmond, VA. He was also an instructor for the Resident Associate Program at The
Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. During his tenure as the Art Specialist for the VCU
Health System, Ross practiced art therapy for and taught art to his various patients with an
emphasis on pediatric hematology/oncology, infectious disease and brain injury patients. He is
also an illustrator and graphic designer with a long and varied list of clientele. Ross continues to
paint and write out of his studio in Richmond, Virginia. In a review of the exhibition Art Fusion in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Special Correspondent, CeCe Bullard wrote; "Browne, always
intense and direct, explores the many faces of the American experience in a variety of media,
each of which he uses effectively." S. Ross Browne is the recipient of numerous awards and
honors, and has been featured in various local and national media. His work has been acquired
by the internationally recognized Virginia Museum of Fine Art and is in the collection of
international, national, and local institutions.
Sadikisha Sandra Collier – USA
Ms. Sadikisha Saundra Collier is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn N.Y. Sadikisha is a multi-media artist, but is primarily known and recognized as a Master printmaker. Her work ranges from prints, painting, collage, computer graphics, and stained glass. She also expresses herself through video editing and fashion design. Sadikisha has a Master in Education from Cambridge College in Boston, Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Museum and Gallery management Certificate from California College of Arts and Crafts. Collier’s work is in the collection of the late Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes, The Honorable David Dinkins, The Honorable Councilman Al Vann, Whitney Houston, Carver Bank, Thelonious Monk Jr., Valerie Bell-Bey, and a host of others. Sadikisha has exhibited with such notable artists as Jacob Lawrence, Tom Feelings, Otto Neals, Bob Blackburn, Ernest Crichlow, Ann Tanksley, Ted Gunn, Vincent Smith, Varnette Honeywood and many others. President of the oldest African American art fair in NY, Fulton Art Fair 2011-2014 Her work has been sold at Sotheby’s auction house. Collier is a Producer at BCAT Cable network and her artwork has been featured on the hit show “New York Undercover.”
Shenna Vaughn – USA
Shenna Vaughn’s intuitive abstract paintings tell subconscious narratives of the deep stories of the soul. Shenna’s use of warm colors sets the stage for the expression of the personal thoughts that all must confront. Shenna was born and raised in Queens, New York. She attended FIT and received her Bachelor’s degree from Hunter College. Her work has been included in national group exhibitions at Skylight Gallery (January 2014), Prizm Art Fair (December 2013), Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (December 2013) Rush Arts Gallery (November 2013), The Baobab Cultural Center(August 2013), Art Prize (September 2013) Gallery Guichard (August 2013) African American Museum of Dallas Texas (April, 2013), Jamaica Performing Arts Center (February 2013), Rush Arts Gallery (October 2012), The WAH Center (October 2012), Gallery Guichard (August & May 2012) and Miami Scope Art Basel (December 2011) as well as international group exhibitions at Agora Gallery (February 2011) and Caelum Gallery (July 2010). She has had solo shows at Jamaica Performing Arts Center (February 2014), Le Grand Dakar (January 2011) and Cape Liberty Gallery (July 2008).
TAFA – Ghana
TAFA is an award-winning painter whose work is exhibited and collected internationally. His style is characterized by a richly vivid palette and heavily textured surface. He obtained a BFA degree from the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. He currently lives in Harlem, New York. TAFA was named 2010 Sport Artist of the Year by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives. TAFA’s paintings have been celebrated and exhibited in galleries, educational and cultural institutions in the US, Japan, Europe, and Africa. His work may be found in numerous permanent public and private collections, including the Superior Court, Washington, D.C, Barclays Bank, Sparrow Hospital, Michigan, Shell Co, Ghana’s National Museum, Carver Federal Bank and former New York City Mayor, David N. Dinkins, Bryant Gumbel and former US President Bill Clinton. “Myth, worship and ritual is what attracts me, the arena as a landscape or the athlete or player as portraiture is not what inspires me. Sport as a metaphor for life and faith fascinates me - our collective allegiance and dedication to the gods and deities of the game, the mass psychology and identification, almost prehistoric and primal. It is the mythic power of the stadium, the arena, which has become the new basilica and pyramid, synagogue and temple.” says TAFA. This myth and almost religious relevance is also captured in his paintings of marches and protestors.