50 days ago, Orevwa Grenada, an art exhibition opened at the Grenada National Museum to promote Andrea and myself and our upcoming trip to Haiti. This morning, I am outside enjoying the last sunrise seen from Montagne Noir, as the camp wraps up, and participants prepare to leave for the airport at various times today. It is best to leave early to avoid the inevitable traffic, one of the many ‘marvels’ of Haiti we both have discovered, and uncovered.
Last night was the official opening of the final exhibition of the 2014 edition of the Promart Haiti art camp. It was a great turnout, and the Town Hall was packed with artists, sponsors, supporters and well-wishers. This year, we were the only two Caribbean participants at the Haiti camp, and we lost count of the number of catalogues we were asked to autograph… who knew? Team Grenada, celebrities in Haiti.
Before the start of the camp, we were fortunate to spend 4 days in downtown Petion Ville with our colleague Jean Renel Pierre Louis (Prensnelo), and were able to witness the evolution of day into night into day, and catches glimpses of everyday happenings we would normally not be privy to. This was a luxury that many of the visiting artists did not have, apart from the occasional foray as a break from painting.
To paraphrase artist-architect Erik Johnson of the Caribbean Art project (Cap), who spoke at the opening of Orevwa Grenada 50 days ago, apart from a global cultural exchange, we feel that this exposure, plus the assimilation of different techniques and skills from the wide network of Promart Haiti’s artists, will help us overcome Grenada’s geographical isolation.
After supper, several of us adjourned downstairs to the Shango space, which had been converted from an atelier to a gallery space, dedicated to a temporary exhibition of artwork by Prensnelo, who celebrated his 20 years of being an artist in Haiti.
Soon, Andrea will return to her lectures in art at TAMCC I am sure, full of enthusiasm and new perspectives, after participating in what has turned out to be an immersive cultural and visual art residency. I remain a while longer, to take in more of what influences the art of Haiti.