The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc., in collaboration with Casa Tomada of Sao Paulo, Brazil present fresh casa which will take place in Sao Paulo from September 14th – 21st 2013. The project has three goals. Firstly, two young Barbadian artists, Shanika Grimes and Katherine Kennedy will participate in a mentoring programme hosted by Casa Tomada and focussing on the professionalization of artists, which will see the presentation of their art work as the focus of their one week intensive residency experience.
Grimes and Kennedy will be mentored by Brazilian arts professionals including professors, curators and critics, who are regularly engaged with Sao Paulo based creatives who focus on Performance Art, Sculpture and Installation. In addition, the young Barbadian artists will interact with Brazilian artists currently working out of Casa Tomada. At the end of the week, the Barbadian artists will make an oral presentation about their practice to a local Brazilian audience.
Secondly, Barbadian artist Evan Avery will design a graphic to be installed as an adhesive decal into Casa Tomada’s ‘A Casa Recebe’ – a street facing window which presents works by visual artists working in Brazil and internationally.
Thirdly, in a programme designed collaboratively by Fresh Milk and Casa Tomada for senior officials at the NCF, the artists will visit contemporary art spaces and meetcritics, gallerists and curators, allowing both the officials and the artists to gain an understanding of the contemporary art space in Sao Paulo. For example, they will attend the opening of ‘30 x bienal- Transformations in Brazilian art from the 1st to the 30th edition’ at Parque Ibirapuera, the home of the Sao Paulo Bienal. Visits to contemporary commercial galleries, informal artist led initiatives, as well as museums, will form part of the dynamic programme.
Finally, a tour of Videobrasil will be coordinated for NCF delegates and the young artists. Videobrasil was present at the recently hosted e-Create symposium in Barbados last April. They are dedicated to the fostering, dissemination and mapping of contemporary art, as well as the public cultural promotion and exchange between artists, curators and researchers. Videobrasil devotes special attention to the production of the geopolitical South and supports an active network of international corporations which now include working with Barbadian entities to open up opportunities for Caribbean creatives.
Delegates from the NCF include the Chief Cultural Officer, Mrs Andrea Wells, Corporate Communications Specialist Ms Simone Codrington and Senior Business Development Officer, Ms Alison Sealy-Smith. fresh casa is funded by the Art and Sport Promotion Fund, Ministry of Finance, Barbados.
About Shanika Grimes:
Shanika Grimes completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Barbados Community college in 2012, while juggling the birth of her now two year old son. She displayed a proficiency in the arts from a very young age despite the pull of the business oriented society in which she lives. Shanika works in a variety of two dimensional formats and has more recently extended her practice to the realm of performance art, which is documented and presented through video or photography. She has acquired several gold and silver awards and a nomination for the Prime Minister’s award at Barbados’ national fine arts competition NIFCA. She focuses on an examination of self, which she uses as a catalyst for a barrage of ideas including, but not limited to, gender, culture and relationships.
In January 2013, she took part in a residency at Alice Yard, Trinidad, where she was paired with Trinidadian performance artist Michelle Isava and produced work individually and collaboratively.
About Katherine Kennedy:
Katherine Kennedy is an artist and writer. She graduated from Lancaster University, UK with a degree in Creative Arts; her combined major of Fine Art and Creative Writing helped develop her keen interests in both visual and literary pursuits. She has won multiple awards for her artwork and writing in her home Barbados, and has exhibited internationally in London. Since returning home, she has remained immersed in creativity, completing a local artist residency, contributing to ARC Magazine by writing for their online forum and assisting the Editor-In-Chief, and working with the Fresh Milk Art Platform as Assistant to Director. Her visual practice is heavily tied to a sense of place, and often deals with interplay between found organic and inorganic objects, used as a way of asserting cultural identity in different environments.
Katherine travelled to the Instituto Buena Bista (IBB), Curaçao in November 2012 to take part in a two week collaborative project between the IBB and Fresh Milk, and undertook a residency at The Vermont Studio Center in May 2013.
About Evan Avery:
Evan Avery is a young, Barbadian artist and a 2012 graduate of the Barbados Community College, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. His primary medium is acrylic paint; working with flat, bright colours, he creates compositions with his original characters ‘the Miniis’, which he uses to represent himself or others, as well as events or things of significance in his life. He says there is “no right or wrong way” to read his work, as he wants the viewer to exercise their own imagination in their interpretation: “The best part about being given an image without a story is in making your own. I create the work for me; it’s up to you to make it yours.”
Evan hopes to create a business, transferring his characters and ideas onto clothing and other objects as a means to share the ‘Miniis’ with people all over the world. “Miniis make people smile, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.”
About Casa Tomada
Created in October 2009, Casa Tomada is an independent spaced dedicated to practice, investigation and reflections of artistic nature. The project emerged from the desire to build a space that was a convergence point among the various fields in arts, discussing the hybridism of languages in the contemporary artistic processes. Focused in all the process of production and not just the final artistic product, Casa Tomada encourages the debate of young contemporary art, not only stimulating the development of artistic and theoretical work motivated by the shared experience, but acting as a catalyst space of experiences of connection among artists, art thinkers and other independent initiatives. Casa Tomada’s projects include:
Open Studio: Semester program for young artists and researchers (art criticism, curatorship and art history focus). The program proposes interchange among artists and art thinkers, stimulating one another in their own art production.
The House Hosts: A program that stimulates the interchange of independent art spaces and promotes the broadcasting of artistic publications. It has the objective enhance the relationship networks of these artistic centers with independent ones.
Portfolio’s Cycle: Annual program in which young artists and researchers currently performing in Sao Paulo are invited to present their portfolios taking advantage of the informal infrastructure of Casa Tomada for an open discussion.
About Fresh Milk
The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. is a Caribbean non-profit, artist-led, inter-disciplinary organization that supports creatives and promotes wise social, economic, and environmental stewardship through creative engagement with society and by cultivating excellence in the arts. The idea for Fresh Milk developed over years of conversations with other practicing artists around the need for artistic engagement amongst contemporary practitioners living and working in Barbados, with an expressed need to strengthen links with the region and the diaspora. Fresh Milk bridges the divides between creative disciplines, generations of creatives, and works across all linguistic territories in the region – functioning as a cultural lab, constantly redefining itself. The platform transforms into a gathering space for contemporary creatives who are thirsty to debate ideas and share works through local and international residencies, lectures, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, projects etc.
About the NCF
The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament in 1983. Its mandate is to oversee the cultural landscape of Barbados.
Mission: To fuel the development of culture through training, research and the creation of opportunities in cultural industries.
The Role of the NCF: The NCF’s two major roles are: developmental and commercial. In its developmental role, the Foundation uses culture as a tool for national development, fostering and supporting the various art forms and new cultural products. In its commercial role, the Foundation is responsible for the promotion, production and hosting of cultural festivals and associated events.