Barbadian Anderson M. Pilgrim, curator and president of Diaspora Now Inc., an artist management and exhibition production company, in an exclusive interview with Caribbean Life, on Feb. 1, said he is excited to present the 14th installment of the CaFA Fair in Barbados, noting that this year will feature artists from the Francophone Caribbean, as well as a diaspora element from the Americas and Africa.
“Each year we strive to have a little different focus, or we would feature emerging artists from one part of the Caribbean. This year we have a small exhibition within the fair named ArtPhoria, curated by an all-female team, representative during Women’s History Month, said Pilgrim who discussed the March 6 – 10 fair scheduled to be held at the prestigious Pelican Village Craft Center in Bridgetown.
“Two of the artists being featured are from the University of the West Indies visual arts program. They will also be exhibiting the works of three female contemporary Barbadian artists, presented by the Barbadian curatorial, team he said, noting, “we have a strong representation, with exhibitors Krystal Ann Art Gallery from Guadeloupe, and Martinique’s Collab Studio. They represent artists who are well known in the art world, and who have participated in art fairs in Europe.”
“The fair seeks to represent Caribbean contemporary visual arts. We have over 45 artists represented with over 100 pieces being exhibited, such as painting, sculpting, printmaking, and mixed media. Whatever is the focus of a connoisseur of art we will have it represented, said Pilgrim.
The executive director of the Caribbean Fine Art Fair Barbados (CaFA), the Caribbean’s only fine art fair held within the region, reiterated that his team is excited, and thankful that they survived the Covid Pandemic, and in so doing, built Caribbean Global, an online platform, which continues, and where viewers would be able to see what’s happening at the fair if they are unable to travel to Barbados. They can log on to www.caribbean.gobal and see artists represented, and purchase artwork, he shared.
“We represent the entire Caribbean, all the language groups. Many are prominent contemporary artists of color who trace their roots to the Caribbean, even though they are representing Europe or the United States.
Caribbean art is in the ascendency, this is the time, especially for our own people to take note of what’s happening. People should look at the younger emerging artist today and take the opportunity to support them because their work is undervalued when you look at the contemporary art market in general.
“When you compare it with similar movements in counterparty African, and African American art, I think within the next five to 10 years the value of the work of these artists will increase experientially. There are a lot of artists across the Caribbean, doing exciting things, and international galleries are paying attention. Many of them are being represented by galleries outside of the region, which was unheard of 20 years ago,” said Pilgrim.
He said art lovers have already booked their flights to attend the fair, and he hopes that industry professionals as well, because the fair is the place to discover emerging artists.
Other Caribbean artists include Meg Maguire, Ademola Olugebefola, and Afreekan Southwell of the US Virgin Islands; Carla Armour, Hilroy Fingal, Aaron Hamilton, Michael Lees, and Margeaux Larocque of Dominica, Diogenes Ballester, Ludwig Medina, Carlos Santiago, Rachel Smith Sepulveda, Christian Soto of Puerto Rico, Moses Ros from the Dominican Republic; Patricia Brintle, Charles Jean-Pierre and Gina Samson of Haiti; Bernard S. Hoyes and Barbara Russell from Jamaica; Cher Antoinette Corbin, Chris Cumberbatch, Ras Ilix Heartman, Lisame, Steve Reid, Ann Rudder, and Malique Shorey of Barbados.
Additionally, Guyanese artists Richlin Burnett-Ryan and Elodie Cage-Smith, Tau Battice from St. Kitts & Nevis, Maxanne Rock from St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Weldon Ryan and Tavernelle Wells representing Trinidad & Tobago will be exhibiting their creations in person.
Diaspora Dialogue XI will feature US artists Khuumba Ama, Philip “Muzi” Branch, Lisa Dubois, and S. Ross Browne. Josh Kidd will represent the UK, while ZENC artists Alberto Opoku of Ghana and Manian from Senegal will join Nigerian artist Oyebimpe Babs-Fashola from the continent of Africa.
Spoken word and Caribbean fashion will be the highlights of the Fair on Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8 with a mix of Barbadian and international performers, designers, and Cosmoda Runway.
A panel discussion around topics of international interest for the Caribbean, Black and global art communities. Workshops by painter S. Ross Browne and printmaker Moses Ros will be the main features on Saturday, March 9, as well as a film presentation by Guadeloupe’s Chantelea Commin, followed by a discussion between Chantelea and Jean Francois Bocle from Martinique, said Pilgrim.
CaFA Fair that was founded in 2021 and has established itself as the premier art event in the Caribbean, will also present discussions on Sunday, March 10, and include “Artists for Change: Supporting Climate Change Awareness in the Caribbean” with the spotlight on initiatives to address the current environmental, social, and economic impact of climate change in a most vulnerable part of the world.
Martinique’s Jean Francois Bocle will perform a text on colonization and soil exploitation, while Jocelyn Akwaba Matignon will discuss the link between archeology and art creation – how the Native American influences Caribbean life and art.
Pilgrim expressed, “Special thanks to Export Barbados for the opportunity to exhibit at the historic Pelican Village Craft Center, with support from the Division of Culture and the National Cultural Foundation in Barbados,” he said.