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.

Tilting Axis: Game-Changing Regional Art Conference on Sustainability in Caribbean Visual Arts held in Barbados

Participants of the Tilting Axis 2015 conference. All photographs by Sammy Davis.

Participants of the Tilting Axis 2015 conference. All photographs by Sammy Davis.

The visual arts conference, ‘Tilting Axis: Within and Beyond the Caribbean – Shifting Models of Sustainability and Connectivity‘, was held in Barbados on February 27-28, 2015 and was dedicated to forging infrastructure between several independent art organisations and museums operating across the Caribbean, U.S., E.U., and China. The conference is a game-changing development for sustainable economic development in regional visual art.

The two-day conference brought together the diverse leaders of these visual art development organisations to negotiate strategic regional and international alliances for the formalisation and further development of infrastructure, production and markets for Caribbean art.

The conference was organized by The Fresh Milk Art Platform, Inc., where the event was held, in collaboration with ARC Magazine, Res Artis and the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Tilting Axis was supported by the Arts and Sport Promotion Fund Committee (Barbados), the Davidoff Art Initiative, the British Council and the Prince Claus Fund.

Among the more than thirty invited participants were Annalee Davis, Founding Director of The Fresh Milk Art Platform (Barbados); Holly Bynoe, Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of ARC Magazine (St. Vincent & the Grenadines); Tobias Ostrander, Chief Curator, and Maria Elena Ortiz, Assistant Curator, of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (USA); Mario A. Caro, President of Res Artis (Amsterdam); David Codling, Director Arts, Americas, British Council (Colombia); Natalie Urquhart, Director of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands; Amanda Coulson, Director of art fair VOLTA NY and Director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas; Deborah Anzinger, Artist and Director of Kingston-based visual art initiative NLS (Jamaica); Nicholas Laughlin, Co-founder of Trinidad and Tobago-based backyard space, Alice Yard; David Bade and Tirzo Martha, Co-directors of Instituto Buena Bista (Curaçao); Elvis López, Director of Ateliers ‘89 (Aruba); Remco De Blaaij, Curator at the Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow); Max Slaven and Ellie Royle, Co-Directors of the David Dale Gallery & Studios (Glasgow); Jessica Carden, Co-founder of Mother Tongue (Glasgow); Solange Farkas, Director of Videobrasil (Brazil); N’Goné Fall, Independent Curator and Co-Founder of GawLab (Senegal); Raquel Paiewonsky, Co-founder of the artist collective Quintapata (Dominican Republic); Kira Simon-Kennedy, Co-founder China Residencies (USA/China); Malaika Brooks-Smith Lowe, Co-founder and Director of Groundation Grenada, Marsha Pearce, Senior Editor of ARC Magazine (Trinidad); Caryl* Ivrisse Crochemar, Director of 14°N 61°W (Martinique). And from Barbados participants included Janice Whittle, curator of Queens Park Gallery and representative of the National Cultural Foundation; Therese Hadchity, Art Historian; Joscelyn Gardner, Artist; Llanor Alleyne, Artist and Writer; Katherine Kennedy, Artist and Directors’ Assistant at ARC and Fresh Milk; Versia Harris, Artist and Fresh Milk volunteer; Sammy Davis, Fresh Milk volunteer and Tonika Sealy, Independent Cultural Producer.

L-R: Mario A. Caro (President of Res Artis), Annalee Davis (Founding Director of Fresh Milk), Tobias Ostrander (Chief Curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami) and Holly Bynoe (Co-founder & Editor-in-chief of ARC Magazine).

L-R: Mario A. Caro (President of Res Artis), Annalee Davis (Founding Director of Fresh Milk), Tobias Ostrander (Chief Curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami) and Holly Bynoe (Co-founder & Editor-in-chief of ARC Magazine).

According to co-organisers Holly Bynoe and Annalee Davis, the conference seeks to create opportunities for visual artists living in the Caribbean and provide professional and economic development in the region through formal collaborations between key art organisations and foundations across the Caribbean and beyond. The conference also aims to build and redefine relationships around cultural exchange between the Global North and the Global South.

“It is not just about contemporary art. One of the tasks we have undertaken at the Pérez Art Museum Miami is the building of Caribbean art histories in the consciousness of the American public. We see the Pérez Art Museum as strategically placed to undertake this,” stated Tobias Ostrander.

From the conference, a strategic action plan for continued collaboration was developed after a reflection on the two-day discussion.

“In creating markets for contemporary art in the Caribbean, we are developing the ecosystem and all the underlying components that drive that market: The environment for artists to make great work; art writers, researchers and funders to help make that work accessible to the public; international museums and galleries to show the work; advisors and dealers to get the work placed in collections. Shared programming, exchanges, and educational initiatives developed between the institutions present addressed these key components,” stated Deborah Anzinger.

Tilting Axis 2015

Tilting Axis 2015

One of the mandates issued to the participants of the Tilting Axis conference is to tighten strategic networks in their home countries. The organisers of the conference also expect to expand the invited participant list for the next meeting which will take place in 2016.

Annalee Davis stated in her welcome address that “Many of us working in the region have been speaking with one another, in some cases for many years, but today is the first time that artist-led initiatives have come together from the Dutch, Spanish, French and English territories to meet physically in the Caribbean. It is critical that this gathering is taking place on Caribbean soil, and that we consider the visual arts sector from within the archipelago as a counterpoint to the many decisions that have been and are often made about the region externally.”

Mario A. Caro expressed his enthusiasm for the collaborations to be developed between members of Res Artis, a worldwide network of art residencies, and organizations in the Caribbean. “It is clear that the cultural sector in the Caribbean is undergoing exciting and, at times, dynamic changes, and many of these have to do with relationships being established with new partners around the globe. The increase in the mobility of artists through art residencies, both into and out of the region, is one critical factor.”

Holly Bynoe echoed positivism: “The meeting of professionals who are actively engaging and challenging collaborative strategies acknowledges the changes rippling across the Caribbean, and reaffirms the critical value of innovative emerging networks. As more eyes are turning to look at this space, we need to be cognisant of what they are seeing, and consider how and what we want them to experience. Tilting Axis aspires to become a conduit; supporting the professionalisation of artists and formalising engagements, leading to greater visibility and accessibility of contemporary Caribbean art.”

Tilting Axis 2015

Tilting Axis 2015

Tilting Axis: Within and Beyond the Caribbean – Shifting Models of Sustainability and Connectivity

The two-day conference ‘Tilting Axis: Within and Beyond the Caribbean – Shifting Models of Sustainability and Connectivity’ will be held at The Fresh Milk Art Platform, Barbados on February 27-28, 2015. This meeting aims to promote greater conversations and engagement between artists and professionals working within artist-led initiatives across the wider Caribbean region, build and redefine historical relationships with those in the North, and establish open dialogue with active networks emerging in the Global South.

Organized by Fresh Milk, ARC Inc., Res Artis and Pérez Art Museum Miami, Tilting Axis sees the founders/directors of several of the region’s artist-led initiatives coming together to engage in face to face conversations, along with a number of professionals from outside the region interested in working with Caribbean based initiatives.

The objectives of the two-day engagement are to:

● Create opportunities for more integration, awareness, and collaborations to take place across the Caribbean and between international foundations, cultural organizations, and practitioners;
● Enable local, regional, and international artist networks to reflect on lessons learned and share best practices, methodologies, and ideas;
● Develop an action plan for continued collaboration and for moving the Caribbean out of a peripheral position in the global art conversation.

Directing Organizations: ARC Inc., and Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc.
Associate Partners: Res Artis and Pérez Art Museum Miami
Supporting Partners: Arts and Sport Promotion Fund Committee (Barbados), the Davidoff Art Initiative, the British Council and the Prince Claus Fund.

Participants:

Annalee Davis – Founder/Director, The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. (Barbados)
Holly Bynoe – Co-founder/Director, ARC Inc. (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)
Mario Caro – President, Res Artis (The Netherlands)
Tobias Ostrander – Chief Curator, Pérez Art Museum Miami (USA)
Solange Farkas – Director, Videobrasil (Brazil)
N’Goné Fall – Co-founder/Director, GawLab (Senegal)
Katherine Kennedy – Assistant to Directors, The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. & ARC Inc. (Barbados)
Versia Harris – Visual Artist/Volunteer, The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. (Barbados)
Sammy Davis – Videographer/Volunteer, The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. (Barbados)
Deborah Anzinger – Executive Director, New Local Space -NLS (Jamaica)
Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe – Co-founder/Director, Groundation Grenada (Grenada)
Caryl Ivrisse-Crochemar – Director, 14Nº61ºW (Martinique)
Nicholas Laughlin – Co-founder, Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago)
Marsha Pearce – Senior Editor, ARC Inc. (Trinidad & Tobago)
Amanda Coulson – Director, The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (The Bahamas)
David Bade – Co-founder, Instituto Buena Bista – IBB (Curaçao)
Tirzo Martha – Co-founder, Instituto Buena Bista – IBB (Curaçao)
Elvis Lopez – Director, Ateliers ‘89 (Aruba)
Natalie Urquhart – Director, The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (Cayman Islands)
Raquel Paiewonsky – Artist and Co-Founder, Quintapata (Dominican Republic)
Kira Simon-Kennedy – Program Manager/Co-founder, China Residencies (New York City)
Maria Elena Ortiz – Associate Curator, Pérez Art Museum Miami (USA)
David Codling – Director Arts, Americas, British Council (Colombia)
Remco de Blaaij – Curator, Centre for Contemporary Arts (Scotland)
Jessica Carden – Curator, Mother Tongue (United Kingdom)
Max Slaven – Co-Director, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow (Scotland)
Ellie Royle – Co-Director, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow (Scotland)
Janice Whittle – Curator, The National Cultural Foundation (Barbados)
Joscelyn Gardner – Visual Artist (Barbados)
Therese Hadchity – Art Historian (Barbados)
Llanor Alleyne – Visual artist (Barbados)
Tonika Sealy – Independent Cultural Producer (Barbados)

Image credit: Mark King, Untitled Grid Fields, paint on concrete, 2015. Photo by Llanor Alleyne

FRESH MILK XIV

FM XIV Flyer 2

FRESH MILK is pleased to invite you to our first public event of 2014, FRESH MILK XIV, which will be held on Thursday, March 20th 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc., St. George, Barbados. See our About page for directions.

The Value of Artist Residencies

FRESH MILK XIV welcomes Nick Whittle, Mark King and Versia Harris to give artist talks, all of whom took part in a number of artist residencies locally, regionally and internationally last year at Fresh Milk, the Instituto Buena Bista (Curacao), Alice Yard (Trinidad), Ateliers ’89 (Aruba) and the Vermont Studio Center (USA). The artists will share the work they created while in residence and talk about the overarching impact of these experiences on their practice, framing residencies as free spaces for artistic growth, experimentation and cultural mobility and exchange. We are also excited to announce at this event, the chosen recipient of the Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Residency 2014 selected from our recent open call. This Barbadian artist will be awarded a one-month residency on the platform and a $1,000.00 stipend towards artistic production.

A New Regional Museum

We are very pleased to feature visiting Chief Curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Tobias Ostrander, who will speak to the new Miami museum’s design and program with the Barbadian audience. He will discuss from a curatorial perspective the opening exhibitions and projects currently on view, and the museum’s current research and programming related to the Caribbean, including the upcoming presentation of the exhibition “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World.” Tobias will also discuss his interests in developing future collaborations with art institutions across the Caribbean region as part of his thinking on a “Strategic Regionalism” which seeks to create increased dialogue between the Southern United States, Caribbean basin and Central and South America.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP on Facebook here.

About the Presenters

Nick

Nick Whittle:

Nick Whittle is a Barbadian/British artist. His work is that of a diarist: regardless of scale or medium his practice explores geographical and historical encounters. Through a stream of consciousness process, he reveals feelings of alienation and connectedness. Much of his work is inspired by what was once described as “an ongoing interest in the narrow strip of land between high and low water.” His practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses sculpture, poetry, video, installation, painting and printmaking. He has recently concluded a residency program at the Instituto Buena Bista in Curaçao.

markus king

Mark King:

Mark King is a multidisciplinary Barbadian visual artist who explores archetypes and social norms. Interested in notions of topography and megalography, Mark makes coded, often satirical work, that highlight social phenomena. The son of a former diplomat, Mark has called several places home. Growing up in The Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, and the United States has left Mark with a unique perspective that directly influences his artistic practice.

Mark holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. In 2011 the Lucie Foundation handpicked Mark for their apprenticeship program. During the same year he participated in a screen-printing residency at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium. In 2012 he took part in an artist residency at Alice Yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad. In 2013, he participated in two residencies; Fresh Milk in Saint George, Barbados, and most recently Ateliers ’89 in Aruba for the Mondriaan Foundation’s Caribbean Linked ll. Last year he released his first monograph Plastic through MOSSLESS publishing at The Newsstand in New York. Plastic has gone on to The 2013 New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, The 8Ball Zine Fair, the 2013 I Never Read Art Book Fair in Basel, Switzerland, and The 2014 LA Art Book Fair in the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

versia black and white

Versia Harris:

Versia Harris is a Barbadian artist living and working in Weston, St. James. She graduated from the Barbados Community College with a BFA in the Studio Art programme in 2012, with an award from The Leslie’s Legacy Foundation. She participated in her first local residency with Projects and Space in 2011. Within the past year she has completed four residencies, beginning with a local residency at Fresh Milk, followed by her first international residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and two regional residencies at the Instituto Buena Bista, Curacao and Alice Yard, Trinidad in late 2013. In her work, Versia tackles perceptions of fantasy in contrast to the reality of her original character. She uses Adobe Photoshop to manipulate her pen drawings to create the animations.

tobias head

Tobias Ostrander:

Tobias Ostrander has served as Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Miami Art Museum since 2011 (now the Pérez Art Museum Miami), where he oversees the program for the institution’s new Herzog and De Mueron designed building, which opened in December 2013. Prior to working in Miami, from 2009 to 2011 he was the director of El Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City. From 2001 to July of 2009 he served as the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. During his eight years at the Museo Tamayo, Ostrander developed an extensive program of international exhibitions. Prior to his work in Mexico City Ostrander was the Associate Curator for inSITE2000/01 in San Diego and Tijuana. He served as an assistant curator on the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo. He has a Masters in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

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.”

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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.