Announcing Caribbean Linked V

Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad, Aruba in collaboration with Fresh Milk, Barbados and ARC Magazine is pleased to announce that the regional artist residency Caribbean Linked V will be taking place at Ateliers ‘89 from August 6th through 28th, 2018. The official opening event will be held on Wednesday, August 8th from 8pm – 12am.

Thanks to generous support from this year’s core sponsors BankGiro Loterij FondsMondriaan FondsThe Tourism Product Enhancement Fund (TPEF), UNOCA and Aruba Bank, as well as number of local sponsors in Aruba, creatives from around the French, Spanish, English and Dutch Caribbean will convene to produce work, meet cultural activists in the Aruban art community, participate in public talks, blog about their experience and present a closing showcase of works during this three week period. The final event will be held on Sunday, August 26th.

Caribbean Linked is a space for building awareness across disparate creative communities of the Caribbean. It has created viable opportunities for young artists, writers, critics and creative activists from over twenty countries to foster new relationships with a larger community, contributing to the holistic development of the creative industries. In addition, it provides the opportunity to link with industry professionals who facilitate access to wider global conversations for the region’s practitioners, while allowing the artists to create work, exchange ideas and broaden cross-cultural understanding.

Participants in Caribbean Linked V (L-R): Sharelly Emanuelson, Velvet Zoe Ramos, Raily Yance, Ada M. Patterson, Miguel Lopez, Irvin Aguilar, Gwladys Gambie, Franz Caba, Alex Martínez Suárez, Kriston Chen, Averia Wright, Marina Reyes Franco

Artists this year include Irvin Aguilar (Mexico/Aruba), Franz Caba (Dominican Republic), Kriston Chen (Trinidad and Tobago), Sharelly Emanuelson (Curaçao), Gwladys Gambie (Martinique), Ada M. Patterson (Barbados), Velvet Zoe Ramos (Aruba), Averia Wright (The Bahamas) and Raily Stiven Yance (Venezuela).

The writer in residence will be art historian and independent curator Marina Reyes Franco (Puerto Rico). Visiting artists who will be lending support to Ateliers ’89 during the residency will be Laura de Vogel (Aruba) and Katherine Kennedy (Barbados). This year’s specially invited curators will be Alex Martínez Suárez, independent curator and general coordinator and museographer at the Museo Fernando Peña Defilló, a private museum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Miguel A. Lopez, co-director and chief curator of TEOR/éTica in San José, Costa Rica.

For more information, call Ateliers ’89 at (+297) 565 4613, email or visit the Caribbean Linked website at, and follow the Caribbean Linked Facebook page for regular updates on the residency!

Announcing Caribbean Linked IV

We are pleased to announce that the regional residency Caribbean Linked IV will be taking place at Ateliers ’89 in Oranjestad, Aruba from August 1 through 23, 2016. Thanks to generous support from the Mondriaan Fund, Stichting DOEN and the Prince Claus Fund, eleven creatives from around the French, Spanish, English and Dutch Caribbean will convene to produce work and mount an exhibition during this three week period.

CL IV Image

This annual residency will again allow the participants to be exposed to the practices of other emerging Caribbean artists, providing an opportunity to strengthen regional connections and cultural understanding. 

Artists this year include Frances Gallardo (Puerto Rico), Travis Geertruida (Curacao), Charlie Godet Thomas (Bermuda), Nowé Harris-Smith (The Bahamas), Dominique Hunter (Guyana), Tessa Mars (Haïti), Oneika Russell (Jamaica), Simon Tatum (The Cayman Islands), Laura de Vogel (Aruba) and visiting master artist Humberto Diaz (Cuba).

The writer in residence will be David Knight Jr. (US Virgin Islands), co-founder of Moko Magazine. Visiting artists who will be lending support to Ateliers ’89 during the residency will be Robin de Vogel (Aruba) and Katherine Kennedy (Barbados). This year’s specially invited curators will be María Elena Ortiz, associate curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and Pablo León de la Barra, curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for the Latin American phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative.

Stay tuned for more information!

Caribbean Linked is an initiative by ARC Magazine, The Fresh Milk Art Platform and Ateliers ’89.

Caribbean Linked II Artist Blogs: Robin de Vogel

Dutch/Aruban artist Robin de Vogel shares her experience during Caribbean Linked II, a residency programme at Ateliers ’89, Aruba.  She describes her need to appropriate and settle into a studio space, accumulating ‘objets trouvés’ as a part of her creative process. As she carved out this space for herself, she also discovered where she  fit in the environments constructed by her fellow resident artists. Through their time together she noticed the closing of a gap between the Caribbean islands, building “a bridge where only creative-exchange is accepted as toll fare.”


Robin de Vogel marking the Ateliers ’89 van

Planting Long-distance Seeds

After the first breakfast with all of us at the table, eating while debating politics and manners of campaigning in the Caribbean, I walked through the blue and yellow halls of the Ateliers in pursuit of a good spot to start working. Sofia had set up shop in the far left corner of the first room, one of the larger and lighter spaces in the building. With some of the space already being semi occupied, I moved some tables around to figure out where I’d want to put down roots for the coming two weeks of our residency. I strategically placed myself facing away from the doorway, as I know myself to be continuously curious and therefore easily distracted by everything around me.

About two months ago, two weeks prior to my graduation show, the time had come to clean up the studio space I had inhabited for the past year. I felt like a snail without its shell after everything was moved around, cleaned up, thrown out or saved by taking it home. All the different materials I’d managed to accumulate during the semester to “one day” be of use and my ever-growing collage on the wall. Pictures, postcards, newspaper clippings, objets trouvés, souvenirs and film stills.

Studio space snapshot 2012

Studio space snapshot 2012

They function as tangible trains of thought being slowed down and captured on the walls around me, as though the content of my brain is lightly hugging me.

Appropriating a studio space as my own is crucial for my sanity. During the first few days of the residency I started a small investigation into the studio spaces of the other resident artists. It was exciting to see each individual formulate their workspace in their own style. My own ideal ‘two-week-working-space’ needed a mascot of some sort, sooner rather than later. I promised myself to make, find, steal or collect one object a day, for a week. It led to a small altar.

A mascot a day keeps the doctor away, Robin de Vogel, 2013

A mascot a day keeps the doctor away, Robin de Vogel, 2013

As the days progressed I began to realise the vast significance a project like Caribbean Linked II carries within the development of Caribbean art today. The project is not only about establishing a direct link between ten young Caribbean artists during their time in Aruba, but it forms a direct bridge between the islands, a bridge where only creative-exchange is accepted as toll fare. Upon asking curator Holly Bynoe why she believes in this project so very much she answered: “We are planting seeds”.

Image by Shirley Rufin

Image by Shirley Rufin

The work I made during the residency spoke about our ‘reach’ as a human being. Our reach can be categorized as something tangible and measurable like a radius or a circumference, but at the same time our reach can be something elusive and invisible. An opinion exchanged about a work in progress can lead to a complete overhaul in someone’s point of view. Hence the reach of that particular dialogue is immeasurable and untold, as is the importance of the seeds planted during Caribbean Linked II. The elements I take home with me from the continuous exchange that took place during those two weeks are undeniable. I have become aware of a much broader range of artistic possibilities within the Caribbean, various residency programs, projects and creative institutes that I am extremely excited about. Getting to know these beautiful human beings from all over the Caribbean and sharing my island with them makes the oceanic barrier feel so much smaller. Ultimately it leads to an amplified sense of connectivity amongst the different islands as well as an increased feeling of personal responsibility to promote and unite in our diversity.

Image by Shirley Rufin

Image by Shirley Rufin

Image by the artist

Image by the artist

About Robin de Vogel:

Robin de Vogel is a Dutch artist raised on the island of Aruba. She participated in photography, drawing, painting and installation art workshops provided by Ateliers ’89. In 2008, she moved back to The Netherlands to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Ceramics Department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. She also engages in various collaborative projects and exhibitions in Europe and the Caribbean. Robin’s work often takes the form of installations that revolve around the sensibility of the viewer. Her pieces aim to serve as a subtle disruption of the daily routine. Currently, Robin is completing her exam year and is preparing to pursue a Master of Fine Arts Degree after the summer.

CARIBBEAN LINKED II is a residency programme and exhibition organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. and funded by the Mondriaan Foundation. The programme took place from August 25th through September 6th, 2013 in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Caribbean Linked II Artist Blogs: Veronica Dorsett

Bahamian artist, Veronica Dorsett writes about her experience during the Caribbean Linked II residency programme at Ateliers ’89, Aruba. Dorsett reflects on moments of anticipation and how her hopes for moving forward in her work were propelled to a new level during the residency. Her intimate connection to the resident artists, the Aruban landscape and culture provoked an awakening in her that she didn’t foresee. Learn more about Caribbean Linked and Dorsett’s awakening here.

Veronica Dorsett in Aruba. Photographs courtesy of Shirley Rufin and Omar Kuwas.

Veronica Dorsett in Aruba. Photographs courtesy of Shirley Rufin and Omar Kuwas.

Dear Aruba…
As we close our eyes at night, the conscious or subconscious hopes of a sweet dream are as defined as the hazy nothingness most of us conjure up. We dabble in thought before drifting off and most times with no real focus on any one thing we create a beautiful myriad of fragmented images. These images then cluster together delving us into a dreamlike state where, if you’re lucky, you’ll find Elvis Lopez, a couple of Arubans with a botched pick-up truck named ‘the Bronco’, 7 strangers, a couple of wine bottles – well, maybe more than a couple – and an empty art gallery begging to be filled. Yup, for me, being in Aruba simply felt like an extended dream that I quite honestly wish lasted just a little bit longer.

As my plane landed on this Happy Little Island, I quickly wrote down a few random thoughts and they were along the lines of the following:

Veronica’s notes.

Veronica’s notes.

I think it’s safe to say that by the end of that note, my dream had begun.

Arriving on the island from a ‘tourists’’ perspective was one thing, but experiencing “Aruba” for what it truly is with the local resident artists (Robin De Vogel, Germille Geerman and Kevin Schuit) was unforgettable. Seeing the raw beauty of the island allowed each of the visiting artists to find direct comparisons to “home”; and yet in the same breath, allowed us to uncover the distinct differences that exists between our islands.

Throughout the residency, as the baby of the group, I found myself very aware of my own personal search for my ‘style’ or my ‘tool’ as a budding artist. This residency became a major stepping stone in my career as I battled through uncertainty and sheer confusion for seven days straight. My lack of focus and frustration with my inability to even ‘create’ a focal point from everything Aruba had to offer brought me to a low where I simply felt defeated. Fortunately, I was able to talk to the other artists around me and draw from them their perspectives and words of advice to help me find my way. The short talks I had with each of them allowed me to accept my “lack of focus” as my “focal point” by taking all these ideas and experiences and combining them into a simple form that I could engage with – a black hole with a few ‘strings attached’. This form allowed me to create an answer to all my questions and combining it with random objects I had found as I walked through Aruba along with magazine cutouts pushed me into a realm of ‘organized clutter’.

Veronica’s work- Focus for Caribbean Linked.

Veronica’s work – Focus for Caribbean Linked.

The studio visits to local artists Ciro Abath, Osaira Muyale and Glenda Heyliger were crucial to my process during as well as after this residency at Atelier89. I keenly remember the sketches and models from Ciro’s studio along with the “all blue everything” sculpture’s at Osaira’s studio; both of which tapped into a sculptural craving I had somehow I forgotten I had. Seeing their work once again forced me to question whether I was using the right ‘tool’ or medium to create my work. And ‘Oh, Glenda’, who could forget Glenda? She definitely impacted me on an emotional level and boosted my confidence as she urged me to not be afraid of releasing my fears and most honest opinions within my work.

Veronica’s Collages from Focus for Caribbean Linked.

Veronica’s Collages from Focus for Caribbean Linked.

The dreamlike state that I continually found myself in was only encouraged by the drama free environment we all shared. It all came together in a magical way where we enjoyed one another’s company and made the most out of each day. Much of the nightlife was quite similar to home for me with one of my favorites being our night at ‘Don Pincho’ where we had either chicken, shrimp or mixed ‘pincho’s’ or what we like to call in the Bahamas “shish kabobs”. After that bellyful, we then danced the night away or at least everyone else danced while Mark King (Barbados) and I were attempting to master the ‘Bachata’ with the help of Omar Kuwas and Shirley Rufin who was our dancing queen of the night!

Veronica installing work for Caribbean Linked II

Veronica installing work for Caribbean Linked II

Another ‘exciting’ memory was made when a random dog charged at me as we were heading to a restaurant for dinner and I ever so “gracefully” (as Rodell Warner from Trinidad put it) leapt into Omar Kuwas’ (Curacao) arms out of complete and utter fear. Thankfully, the dog retreated and no one (except for Omar’s back) was hurt. In light of the moment we were given the nicknames “Shaggy and Scooby” and it became one of those classic moments that were unfortunately not caught on camera!

veronica dorsett6

Resident artists at Don Pincho

I can honestly say that this residency in Aruba has not only catapulted my thinking in a new direction but it has inspired me to share my practice more openly within my own community. For me, the concept alone of linking a group of people who all share a commonality through the Caribbean region and diaspora is an amazing opportunity that should be seized time and time again. The connections we have made will not only insure growth but it will also help create a stronger definitive of that which is ‘Caribbean’.

Boundaries have been broken, spirits have been lifted, a few wine bottles have been popped open and this dream has finally become reality.
To all my follow resident artists, the curators and most affectionately to Elvis Lopez, until next time!


Your Bahamian Sister.
Veronica Vo Dorsett

Ateliers’ 89 director, the extraordinary Elvis Lopez.

Ateliers ’89 director, the extraordinary Elvis Lopez.

About Veronica Dorsett:

Veronica Dorsett was born in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas on November 20th, 1992. Currently living in Nassau, Bahamas as a student of the College of the Bahamas, Dorsett received an associate’s degree in art in the fall of 2012. She is primarily an installation artist but also shares a great interest in sculptural, ceramic and mixed media works. As a recent recipient of the 2012 Popopstudios ICVA Junior Residency Prize, she hopes the opportunity will push her work in a whole new direction as she aims to pursue a BFA in Sculpture in 2013.

CARIBBEAN LINKED II is a residency programme and exhibition organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. and funded by the Mondriaan Foundation. The programme took place from August 25th through September 6th, 2013 in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Caribbean Linked II Artist Blogs: Mark King

Barbadian artist Mark King shares his blog post about the Caribbean Linked II residency programme at Ateliers ’89, Aruba. King describes the experience as ‘an extended lucid dream’, one which all of the artists were reluctant to see end. He found the experience of being thrust into a new environment for an intensive two weeks of making, visiting artist studios and interacting with fresh talent emerging from the region incredibly rewarding, and all of the conditions came together to allow him to experiment with new ways of working and let his creative process evolve.

Sofia Maldonado, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, Robin de Vogel, Shirley Rufin and Mark Kking. Image courtesy of Shirley Rufin.

Sofia Maldonado, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, Robin de Vogel, Shirley Rufin and Mark King. Image courtesy of Shirley Rufin.

I’m finding difficulty putting my Aruba experience into words. On the final day our group had concluded that we were all in an extended lucid dream. A dream that was moments away from being rudely interrupted by an overzealous armrest pirate on the crammed flight back home.

Caribbean Linked ll was an experiment gone right. Throw 10 artists into a beaker, step back, and see what happens. Having Aruba as the setting was a great call. The island is such a cultural melting pot, an ideal space to navigate our processes and promote collaboration.

Breeze blocks. Image courtesy Mark King.

Breeze blocks. Image courtesy Mark King.

I fell in love with the local breezeblocks early into my stay; drawing, photographing, and spinning them. Political party flags and pop up campaign block parties were hard to avoid since it was election season. I drew most of my inspiration from my fellow artists in residence, the architecture, political flags and the sea of interlocking geometric shapes apparent throughout the island.

The added interaction with local established artists was a big bonus. They were so supportive and generous with their time and feedback. I was fortunate enough to be guided by master sculptor Ciro Abath in my pursuit to sculpt my version of the local breeze blocks. Although I was unable to finish the sculpture the experience working in a new medium was immensely rewarding. I have Robin de Vogel to thank as well for taking me through the process step by step.

I ended up exhibiting two pieces created using media I had not made work in prior to Aruba. #1 is a collage constructed of psychedelic origami paper and stickers , and Draai Mi consists of a concrete breeze block, 23.75 karat gold leaf, and electrical tape.

Caribbean Linked ll was about bringing together emerging artists from the across the region to make magic. All of the artist blog posts express that sentiment. We are a solid group. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this art camp for grown ups. Where else could you get free dance (merci Shirley) and Papiamento lessons that include rounds of Balashi and Old Parr*?

The program was designed in a way that promoted a go-with-the-flow vibe we all had to adapt to. It allowed me to take things slowly and to have my current process (post Fresh Milk residency) evolve. Back in Barbados, sitting at my desk, I look up at my wall and what do I see, gaffer taped to it? The seed for the inspiration behind #1 staring right back at me. Funny how things unexpectedly link back sometimes.

Big thank you to Elvis Lopez, Annalee Davis, and Holly Bynoe for inviting me to be a part of this amazing residency.

Masha Danki, Aruba.


About Mark King:

Mark King is a Barbadian visual artist primarily working with photography. In 2011, he participated in a screen printing artist in residency at the FransMasereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium. In the same year he was selected by the Lucie Foundation for their apprenticeship program. During the summer of 2012, Mark served as artist in residence at Alice Yard  in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Mark most recently was Fresh Milk’s artist in residence from March – April 2013 in Saint George, Barbados.

Mark has called Barbados, The Bahamas, Brussels, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. home. His international perspective greatly informs his process. His work deals with themes relating to the individual’s stereotypical role in society. Satire is an integral part of his artwork.

CARIBBEAN LINKED II is a residency programme and exhibition organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. and funded by the Mondriaan Foundation. The programme took place from August 25th through September 6th, 2013 in Oranjestad, Aruba.