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Celebrate the Caribbean!

Celebrate the Caribbean

Celebrate the Caribbean

Celebrate the Caribbean!

By Marie Carrie

The City of Miramar is hosting it’s first Caribbean Canvases and Frames Art Exhibit at the Miramar Cultural Center from June 4-July 12. The exhibit opened with a cocktail reception on June 4. In attendance were featured artists, community members and political leaders.

The exhibit is the brainchild of Miramar Vice Mayor Alexandra Davis. According to Ms. Davis over the years the art-work of various cultures has been featured throughout the gallery, with the exception of one. “Why is everyone else’s artwork on display but ours?”

She enlisted the help of curator Neil Hall to make her vision a reality: An art exhibit featuring Caribbean artists on the main floor of the Miramar Gallery.

Mr. Hall has extensive experience creating shows that dazzle and enlighten. According to Mr. Hall, the goal of this exhibit is simple, “It really is about appreciating this incredible talent that we in the Caribbean possess.”

The artwork on display showcases talent from throughout the island community. Styles range from the simple to the complex. Photography, mixed media, sculptures and paintings all have a place in making this exhibit one of a kind.

Artistic promoter Jimmy Moise has several artists with pieces on display. One such artist, Carl Craig, beautifully captures the essence of life in his native country Haiti. One painting depicts several women dancing down the street during Carnival. The colors are so vibrant that the figures almost leap off the canvas.

In another painting, a young man balances a plastic container of rocks on his head as his feet tread through polluted river water. Adding to the poignancy of the piece is the man’s missing arm. According to Craig, this element of the painting was added after the earthquake tragedy in 2010.

“As soon as I finished it (the painting) the earthquake struck Haiti. So what I did. I cut off the arm cuz it had an arm before. I cut the arm off to show that even when we have one arm cut off we are very resilient.”

Mr. Craig came to the States when he was 15 during a time when many were fleeing Haiti for economic or political reasons. He spent 16 years as a professional in the financial markets before leaving his vocation to pursue his passion full time.

While many don’t normally think of photography as art, one glimpse at the work of David Muir would turn anyone into a believer. Mr. Muir grew up in Jamaica and returns often to capture the images seared into his memory from childhood.

One particular photograph so aptly captures the emotions of an elderly man picking fruit from an acai tree, that the viewer feels pulled into the scene. David describes his ability to capture this moment as such: “I am actually sort of stealing a part of his daily motion.”

When discussing his artwork as whole, David goes on to say, “It is really about showcasing the Jamaican culture in photography.” Currently he has a book that does just that entitled Pieces of Jamaica.

Another artist D. Gene Tinne uses mixed media with oil on stained maple wood to create a thought provoking piece entitled “New World.” Mr. Tinne began doing art seriously and on a full time basis 30 years ago. He is known for his public art. He has been commissioned by cities, such as Richmond Heights in Miami, to create artwork and paintings for public facilities such as parks, cemeteries and even firehouses.

Mr. Tinne has this advice to share with young and aspiring artists: “Don’t give up your dream. Take it seriously.” He goes on to say, “One of the things that we don’t do right in our society is we regard art as play time. We don’t really give our young people the sense that this is as important as mathematics and everything else.”

Well the City of Miramar is showing everyone that art is very important and the artistic contributions of the Caribbean are to be celebrated and enjoyed. To this end, be sure to visit the exhibit from now till July 12 at the Miramar Cultural Center, 2400 Civic Center Place.


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