Announcing the Jury for the CATAPULT Stay Home Artist Residency & Lockdown Virtual Salon

We are excited to announce the six jury members who are reviewing the submissions received from Caribbean-based artists across the English, Spanish, French and Dutch speaking territories to be considered for the CATAPULT Stay Home Artist Residency and Lockdown Virtual Salon prorammes!

The invited jury members are Clara Reyes (Sint Maarten), David Knight Jr. (US Virgin Islands), Edward Bowen (Trinidad & Tobago), Giscard Bouchotte (Haiti), Loretta Collins Klobah (Puerto Rico) and Sara Hermann (Dominican Republic).

In collaboration with the Fresh Milk Team, these 6 arts and culture professionals will be selecting 24 artists, creatives or cultural practitioners to be granted an 8-week long Stay Home Artist Residency opportunity, and 32 to take part in one-hour live conversations about their practices for the Lockdown Virtual Salons.

Learn more about the CATAPULT programme and the jury members below!

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About Clara Reyes

Clara E. Reyes, born on Curaçao, and raised on the island of St. Maarten, has always immersed herself in the world of art and culture. Ms. Reyes holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography from State University of New York at Brockport, as well as a diploma in Dance Theatre Production from the Edna Manley College for Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. She was a former student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, and a dance teacher, choreographer and performing artist with Committed Artist in South Africa.

Ms. Reyes’ career includes being head of Department of Creative Artistic Formation at the St. Maarten Academy; part-time lecturer of humanities at the University of St. Maarten; part-time dance instructor at University of Rochester; former teacher at The Charlotte Brookson Academy for the Performance Arts St. Maarten; and co-founder and former director at the National Institute of Arts in St. Maarten. She is the current Head of Department of Culture within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport of St. Maarten.

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About David Knight Jr.

David Knight Jr. is a writer, editor and curator from the U.S. Virgin Islands. He is a founding editor of the literary journal Moko, which publishes fiction, poetry, essays and visual art that reflect a Caribbean heritage or experience. His writing has appeared in The Caribbean Review of Books, ARC magazine, and Caribbean Beat among other places. Exhibitions he has co-curated include My Islands Do Not Make a Nation in Havana, Cuba and An Ocean of Dignified Dust on St. Thomas. He was the writer in residence at the Caribbean Linked Programme in Aruba in 2016, and in 2017 was invited to give the presentation Strange Dreams in the Afterglow: Contemporary Art in the U.S. Virgin Islands at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Along with his wife, Priscilla Hintz Rivera Knight, David is the co-owner and creative director of Bajo El Sol Gallery on St. John.

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About Edward Bowen

Visual artist and educator Edward Bowen (born 1963, Trinidad & Tobago) attended Croydon College of Design and Technology, earning his Higher National Diploma in Fine Art and Printmaking with a Distinction in Painting. Upon his return to Trinidad in 1985, Bowen set up his studio and has been operating as a practicing artist ever since. He has exhibited consistently in both solo and group shows locally at galleries such as Gallery 1234, Aquarella, Horizons, Y Art Gallery and many others, and has taken part in esteemed international exhibitions including Karibische Kunst Heute – Documenta Kassel, Germany; the 1994 Santo Domingo Biennale; and the 25TH Anniversary of the Sao Paulo Biennale. In 1987, he formed the Language of Vision Environment with fellow artist/designer Steve Ouditt, linking with the UWI School of Continuing Studies to host classes in art and design. This initiative lasted for two years, and included other courses taught by local artists. In 2014, Bowen opened Sans Souci Estate Retreat and Guest House, offering artists’ retreats, residency opportunities and studio spaces.

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About Giscard Bouchotte

Giscard Bouchotte, born in Haïti, has been working to build a sustained reflection on the power of chaos through his critical texts, exhibitions and artistic actions. Where politics fail, artistic action serves as a tool generating civic creativity. During the annual “Nuit Blanche” of Port-au-Prince, for which he is the curatorial director, he invites international and local artists to transform the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince half-destroyed by the 2010 earthquake into a playground. For the past ten years, he has curated several exhibitions as an independent curator, notably “Haiti Kingdom of the World” (Paris, 2010) which was subsequently transformed into the first Haitian Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale (Venice, 2011) in the Fondazione Querini Stampalia. Bouchotte’s other multidisciplinary events include: the traveling exhibition “Périféeriques”, the annual “Nuit Blanche (Sleepless-night) of Port-au-Prince”, and “(In)visibilité Ostentatoire” at the Fondation Clément, Martinique in 2017. His research focusses on the future of traditions, revisited by contemporary artists in the context of globalization.

Photo credit: Julian Salinas

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About Loretta Collins Klobah

Loretta Collins Klobah, an award-winning poet, has co-edited and translated the bilingual anthology of Caribbean woman poets The Sea Needs No Ornament/ El mar no necesita ornamento (2020) and published the poetry collections Ricantations (2018) and The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman (2011) with Peepal Tree Press. She has received a PEN award in Translation, the OCM Bocas Prize in Caribbean Literature in the category of poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and an award from The Academy of American Poets. She lives in San Juan, where she is a professor of Caribbean literature and creative writing at the University of Puerto Rico.

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About Sara Hermann

Sara Hermann (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1969) earned her BA-MA Art History from University of Havana, Havana, Cuba. (1991). Since 2005, she worked as Specialist of Visual Arts at Centro León in Santiago, Dominican Republic, where she is presently also the Chief Curator. She was Director of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Dominican Republic from 2000-2004, and serves as a member of the International Art Advisory Council of Caribbean Arts Initiative. Hermann is also the founder of Curando Caribe, a programme for pedagogy, contemporary arts and curatorial practice established in 2014. As a curator, she conceptualizes and curates exhibitions of contemporary art by artists working from the Caribbean, Central, Latin America and internationally, and her current research interests include the margins of visual arts (both social and territorial) and the role of education, translation and mediation in the public display of the visual.


CATAPULT | A Caribbean Arts Grant is a COVID-19 relief programme conceptualised by Kingston Creative (Jamaica) and Fresh Milk (Barbados) and funded by the American Friends of Jamaica | The AFJ (USA). Designed as a capacity building initiative it will directly provide financial support to over 1,000 Caribbean artists, cultural practitioners and creative entrepreneurs impacted by the pandemic and working in the themes of culture, human rights, gender, LGBTQIA+, and climate justice.

 

CATAPULT – New Grant Funds for Caribbean Artists

American Friends of Jamaica, Kingston Creative and The Fresh Milk Art Platform partner on $320,000 US programme

In light of the severe impact that COVID-19 is having on creative people and the arts sector, a fund of US$320,000 from the Open Society Foundations has been granted to the American Friends of Jamaica, in collaboration with Kingston Creative and The Fresh Milk Art Platform, in support of artists, creatives and cultural practitioners across the Caribbean region. This grant acknowledges the current global pandemic, a crisis disproportionately impacting the creative sector in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), many of which lack the resources to provide adequate support to those working in this vital sector.

Caron Chung, Executive Director AFJ stated, “Many are facing threats to their basic existence today and uncertainty for the future as we are contending with unprecedented challenges.  This is a time when we need to work together to offer some semblance of stability to the Arts.  Collaboration is at the core of the mission of the AFJ and we are pleased to facilitate the Catapult project.”

CATAPULT | A Caribbean Arts Grant will target participants living and working across the Dutch, English, French, and Spanish speaking regions. This five-month comprehensive arts programme includes funding online creative events, art writing, digital skills training, residencies and virtual discursive salons.

CATAPULT is particularly interested in working with arts and cultural practitioners who are exploring the broad critical themes of Culture, Human Rights, Gender, LGBTQIA+ and Climate Justice from Caribbean perspectives. The team especially welcomes applications from those who do not have permanent employment at this time.

Kingston Creative’s Co-Founder and Executive Director Andrea Dempster-Chung commented, “It has been very exciting to develop this project. It is aligned with our mission to support creative people and is also our first opportunity to work across the region. COVID-19 has had a very serious impact on artists within Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean and this grant will provide the critical financial support, visibility and capacity-building that creatives need to navigate the future.”

CATAPULT will increase the capacity of Caribbean-based artists to navigate the digital space and learn new ways to connect with diverse global audiences.  It will also promote the visibility of cultural practitioners by expanding the pool of online content from the region, enabling artists to engage wider audiences while increasing the potential to earn beyond their borders.

The collaboration will support the following projects:

(i) Caribbean Artist Showcase, (ii) Caribbean Creative Online, (iii) Digital Creative Training, (iv) Consultancy Vouchers, (v) Lockdown Virtual Salon and (vi) Stay Home Artist Residency.

Fresh Milk’s Founding Director Annalee Davis expressed enthusiasm regarding the partnership. “Fresh Milk is pleased to have the opportunity to partner on this critical project nurturing Caribbean artists. With little support available at the state level for so many cultural practitioners working across this vulnerable region, having an opportunity to facilitate Stay At Home Residencies and Virtual Salons means that more artists can safely remain in their studios and do what they do best-make art!”


About the Partners:

American Friends of Jamaica | The AFJ has a near 40 year history of funding charitable organizations in Jamaica in the fields of Education, Healthcare and Economic Development. A registered 501 c 3 nonprofit headquartered in New York City, AFJ relies on individual and corporate contributions made by donors who believe in our work and will advocate on our behalf. Part of the AFJ’s mission is to facilitate donor directed contributions which enables donors to support registered charitable organizations aligned with their own goals for philanthropy.


Kingston Creative is a registered non-profit organization founded in February 2017. Its mission is to enable creatives to succeed so that they can create economic and social value, gain access to global markets and have a positive impact on their community.

 


Fresh Milk is an organisation whose aim is to nurture, empower and connect Caribbean artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide global opportunities for growth, excellence and success. Fresh Milk supports excellence in the visual arts through residencies and programmes that provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for development and foster a thriving art community.