"Here Comes the Sun: Peering over the Fence into Caribbean Culture"

The Strand Center for the Arts is thrilled to host "Here Comes the Sun: Peering over the Fence into Caribbean Culture," a Caribbean Artists Exhibition in the Main Gallery in March 2018. This forthcoming exhibit is guest curated by Donna Mason and features artwork from several Caribbean artists, including Dominican painters Darius Earl Etienne, Gharan Burton, Schadrach Burton, and Carla Armour, as well as Dominican/Ethiopian painter Petros Meaza Z, painter Oneka Small from Barbados, and painter Glen Martin from Trinidad. It will take place in The Strand Center Main Gallery on Friday, March 2 and a free reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 PM that night.

The artists brought together for this show have a wonderful diversity of styles with an equally diverse assortment of media and approaches to creating art. For instance, Darius Earl Etienne is the most recognized and influential of Dominican Artists. Born in Roseau Dominica, on February 24, 1957, he experimented, painted in different painting styles and exhibited annually before attending The Jamaica School of Art in 1982 graduating in 1986. He is best known for his smoke technique and the use of traditional dance and dancers. The works are influenced by ancestral, cultural, spiritual, social, physical, economical and other aspects of his environment. Over the years he has continued to experiment with recycled materials, various mediums, layering and splashes of color that are deeply appealing. His most recent works utilizes coconut gauze and pre Colombian rock carvings. Earl enjoys the physical process and his creativity comes from the heart and not fashion. He avoids creating by styles or fads and does not inhibit his true feelings at the expense of the gatekeepers, critics, nor what galleries want or sell. He has exhibited extensively within the Caribbean region and is collected widely both in the region and internationally.

Another artist, Carla Armour, is a visual artist who lives and works in the British seaside city of Brighton & Hove. After graduating from Parsons School of Design (NYC) in the 80’s she returned to her Caribbean Island, Dominica delivering her message through abstract symbolism in mixed media paintings, fashion, Conceptual and Installation art, poetry and spoken word performances. Carla is known for her Lifelines series; employing tribal symbols and prehistoric glyph images and markings. Within a multimedia approach to paintings, performance and installations, her current works in the ‘Resonance’ and ‘Finding Sanctity’ series, explore colour, colour relationships and effects, the use of ritual elements, incorporation of the concept of ‘the’ sacred spaces and abstracted objects to embed messages into her paintings and installations pieces. Carla’s work is in private and public collections across the world. She has participated in shows and exhibitions over the years in the Caribbean, US, Europe & Namibia, some of which included the International Art Project ‘Women of the World, a Global Collection of Art’, submissions and readings for Literary Festivals, an International Artist Exchange, ‘Carambolage’ with 8 artists from Austria and Dominica, a solo exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia and recently participated in the UK based project ‘Wheel ‘n Come Again’, a dynamic Film & Arts program managed by Legacy Film UK for which exhibitions and events venues included Onca Gallery, Hastings Arts Forum and a 2 day program at Fabrica, Brighton in December 2016. She also exhibited and performed at the Caribbean FineArt Fair in Barbados in March 2017.

In reference to the exhibition, David Monette, gallery director at The Strand Center for the Arts stated, “The collection of incredibly talented artists and their work assembled for this show is truly amazing. Take Oneka Small as an example, her work has gained medals in NIFCA and a ‘Best in show’ and ‘Incentive award’ at theCrop Over exhibition. Her work is in numerous private collections in Barbados, USA, UK, and Canada. It’s pretty incredible that we have an artist of her caliber here in Plattsburgh. And she’s only one!”

This unique exhibit will be on view in The Strand CenterMainGalleryat 23 Brinkerhoff Street in Plattsburgh fromMarch 2toMarch 30, 2018.The exhibition opening is Friday, March 2from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.This event is free to the public and refreshments will be served. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 5pm and Saturday from 10 am to 2pm. For more information on these exhibits, upcoming events, concerts, or classes happening at The Strand Center for the Arts, please call 518-563-1604 or visit strandcenter.org.