Museum’s artist in residence offering workshops

October 8, 2005 by admin
Filed under: Entertainment and Sport, Events 

ST. CROIX – The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted is hosting its first artist in residence this month – a key program that organizers say will help make the new museum a center for art education and artist collaboration in the Caribbean.

Noted Curaçao artist Tony Monsanto began hosting workshops and lectures at several St. Croix schools this week.

Monsanto, 59, said this is his first visit to St. Croix, and after about a week he is already inspired by the diversity and natural beauty of the island. He said the green hills are a stark contrast to Curaçao, which is mostly desert.

“What makes Caribbean art so unique is the mixture of so many cultures and backgrounds,” he said. “It’s a beautiful island and I am honored to be the first of many more artists to come.”

Monsanto was born on Curaçao in 1946, and his family moved to Netherlands when he was 9 years old. He studied art at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam and graduated as an architect from the University of Delft, Netherlands. Monsanto has been a full-time artist since 1992, but he has been painting for more than 40 years.

His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions in the Caribbean, United States and Europe. The most recent exhibition was at the Chelsea Galleria in Miami, Fla., in January.

On Thursday, Monsanto spoke with about 20 art students about art history at the St. Croix Educational Complex.

“He really is doing a great service going out in the schools,” museum director Norma Krieger said. “The students are the ones who need the help the most.”

Monsanto is also teaching painting and drawing workshops for artists in the community. Krieger said the goal of the lectures and workshops is to provide a creative learning experience and to foster an understanding of the rich cultural and artistic traditions of the Caribbean. She said the program is also a “getaway” for artists and gives them an opportunity to share ideas and experience a new environment.

“It is a great opportunity to develop artistic skills,” Krieger said. “This broad cultural exchange provides interactive educational encouragement to youth, adults and artists.”

Monsanto will present 15 new paintings during an opening reception and exhibition Oct. 14 at the Caribbean Museum Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Oct. 15, all artists in the community are invited to bring their work for an artist critique by Monsanto from 2 to 5 p.m. at the museum. A lecture will follow at 6:30 and an artist salon from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

To pre-register for art workshops or for more information, call the Caribbean Museum Center at 772-2622.

- Contact Aesha Duval at 774-8772 ext 453 or send e-mail to aduval@dailynews.vi.

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