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Your support for women artists is needed

Your support for women artists is needed
Camille Saunders Musser

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by Camille Saunders Musser

Now showing at the Youlou Art Centre is the art exhibit titled “Vincy Women Artists Now 2020”. This show is special and should not be missed.

The public is strongly encouraged to see the show. Truly, it is a testament to the persistence of women. Indeed it is a fact, women artists are strong, and powerful, they are a special breed. They possess that extra quality of determination, and passion, this incredible drive to be creative no matter what.

Today women are told to seize the opportunity to pursue their dreams. They work and have professions, but for women choosing to be an artist comes with a price. It is a difficult and treacherous career path for women to navigate. It has been thus through the ages. Today women artists continue to strive to gain a foothold in the art world.

We know women are faced with many societal obligations, they must fight hard for time and energy to be creative, they sacrifice much to make art despite the fact the arts are not greatly valued in most societies.

Women face the tasks of being the main caretakers of children, the home and sometimes elderly parents, obligations which take away their time and energy.

The Youlou Art Centre acknowledges this dilemma women artists face. Bearing this in mind, the Centre has deliberately made a conscious effort to focus on giving women artists an opportunity to show their work.

The wish is to get the” Vincy” society on board with this effort. Supporting and encouraging women artists is the thing to do. Youlou Art Centre is inviting you to visit the show. Come and admire the work of our local women artists.

There is still time, the show ends November 20.

In the current show there are 11 women artists.

They are Lila Roo, Eniya Kagbala, Amanda Frederick, Sharleen Branch, Zen Punnett, Leeandra Thompson, Daviana Basilio, Joy Celestine, Maureen Fauren, Kendra McNichol, and Ada Williams.

The artist Joy Celestine one of the artists in the show was interviewed for this article.

During the interview, she revealed that through difficult times in life, her art making has sustained her, and for that she is very grateful.

She said she realized from an early age, she loved making things with her hands and doing artistic projects. While at the Community College she studied art with Vonnie Roudette, who encouraged and nurtured her art making. She said she received a solid art education foundation from Roudette, who instilled in her students the importance of reading and doing research to produce art.

Roudette was a great influence on her students, she got them involved in farming with Lawrence “Captain” Guy in Vermont and taught them to make murals.

These days Joy is the mother of two young boys and also looks after a stepson. She continues to make art at night when the children are asleep. She is able to make some money by making props for special events such as Birthdays, Weddings, and special events. Her dream is to be an art teacher to help people express themselves. She plans to continue making paintings to leave a legacy of her work for her children.

In this show Joy has four paintings. They express her thoughts and concerns about current issues facing the world. She is concerned about the violence in the world, the abuse of people and animals, social justice, the pandemic and the environment.

Major themes which grip the world today.

She said she does not have a platform from which to speak out about these concerns but through her art she can express her thoughts and feelings about the current issues.

The artist Ada Williams who lives in Bequia was also interviewed for this article.

Ada Williams: She was born in Aruba and moved to Bequia when she was a little girl. At 79 she leads a very active life.

Her paintings are inspired from watching and responding to the world around her. She draws inspiration from the breadfruit tree in her yard, colorful flowers, houses and daily activities in her neck of the woods. She said painting and making things make her happy, and keeps her energy good. She usually shares what she makes with the rest of the world from her house in the harbor of Port Elizabeth, Bequia. There, her beautiful garden and art works are there to greet you right as you step off the ferry.

She keeps herself active in her garden planting peas and lettuce. She makes preserves, such as tamarind jam, mango chutney, marmalade and coconut oil. She also has a sewing machine and likes to sew.

She admitted she taught herself to paint. She told the story of one day painting in her yard, when a tourist passed by and saw her and offered to buy her paints and brushes. Ada has benefited from these gifts. It makes her happy to be able to use her hands and make something beautiful.

Youlou Art Centre extends an invitation to women artists, who are interested in participating in upcoming shows, to call the Centre and register.

The contact information at the Centre :Tel. 1 784 457 4493Email: [email protected] The Centre is reaching out to schools and various organizations to come and visit the show.