“Art of Carnival” – an exhibition exploring the cultural expressions of Caribbean Carnival, featuring the works of Weldon Ryan, an award-winning Trinidadian artist will open on Nov. 11 with a reception from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. at The Dwyer Cultural Center and Diaspora Now Inc., a 6500 sq ft facility at 309 West 123 St., Ruby Dee Place, Harlem, New York.
The exhibition, curated by Anderson M. Pilgrim of Barbados and New York City from Dec. 29, 2023, will coincide with The Harlem Arts Stroll on Nov.11. Weekly viewing hours are Wednesdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. by appointment. The public is welcome to meet the curator and artist, during these hours.
According to a release from Anderson Pilgrim, Weldon Ryan, the artist, draws inspiration from his homeland’s culture and traditions. For nearly 30 years, he has been painting carnival scenes, depicting the colorful celebration of Caribbean culture.
“Weldon regularly attends carnival events in cities such as Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, and Brooklyn to capture the vibrancy and essence of these events with his unique style. He then transforms the images he captures onto canvas, creating masterpieces that showcase the beauty and joy of the carnival,” said Pilgrim.
“Every year, he exhibits his new paintings during carnivals in these cities, with the aim of exposing both the fine art world and the carnival audience to his artful expressions of Caribbean culture.”
The release said, Weldon’s paintings feature people of all ages and genders, dressed in elaborate costumes or simply enjoying the festivities. His realistic style captures the essence of the carnival and its people, portraying the freedom, sensuality, and unconstrained pleasure of self-expression.
“I think carnival is the most special celebration that we as Caribbean people partake in,” Weldon explains. “It’s our way of expressing joy in the face of adversity, showcasing our resilience through music, art, cuisine, economics, and spirituality. I focus on this specific niche uniquely centered on the world of Caribbean Carnival and its practice.”
Weldon’s art has gained recognition and appreciation from people around the world. His paintings have been featured in various galleries and exhibitions, and he has received numerous awards and accolades for his work. For Weldon, painting is not just a profession but a passion. He hopes that his art will inspire and encourage others to embrace their culture with pride and celebrate it.
Anderson Pilgrim is a noted curator and is President of Diaspora Now Inc., an artist management and exhibition production company. He is also the executive director of the Caribbean Fine Art Fair Barbados (CaFA), the Caribbean’s only fine art fair held within the region.
The Dwyer Cultural Center (DCC) opened in 2009, is dedicated to supporting Harlem artists and arts organizations throughout New York City and beyond. It is a part of International Communications Association (ICA) a non-profit 501(c)3 and NYS Cultural and Educational organization founded in 1985. Live programming and exhibitions at the Center are presented with independent producers and curators; community groups; and collaborations with other local and regional institutions.
Credit goes to Dr. Ademola Olugebefola and Vincent Davis / DCC co-directors, and Harold A. Thomas / associate senior curator.