Announcing Selected Artists from the First Fresh Milk/Healing Arts Initiative Open Call!

The Fresh Milk Art PlatformFuture Centre TrustEnviron Ltd (Adopt A Stop Barbados) and The Healing Arts Initiative in partnership with CULTURUNNERS as part of the World Health Organization are pleased to announce the Barbadian artists, selected by jury members across each participating entity, who will design new works to be incorporated into one rain shelter and two benches for installation on the Barbados Trailway Project.

Anna Gibson will provide artwork for the rain shelter, while Dion Gibson and Anya Greaves will provide artwork for the benches. Their works will be installed in May/June of this year. Congratulations to the artists, and stay tuned to see their completed pieces!

Learn more about the artists and see previews of their proposed artworks below.


About Anna Gibson:

I’m a Barbadian contemporary artist who explores multiple mediums, crafting images of body manipulation through realism and expressionism. I have been practicing for over 5 years completing my Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts (2017). I have been able to participate in some local (Barbados) group exhibitions at The Punch Creative Arena, UN women ‘1in3 Art Exhibition’ at the UN House Barbados, ‘Young Artist’ at The Barbados Arts Council Art Gallery and more.

My artwork is routed in exploring women’s’ bodies and their relationship between our cultural, racial, and social environment. Focusing on insecurities, my artwork explores and exposes the vulnerabilities women have about their differences to each other, and how they seek to mentally and physically mask or morph their bodies, in an obsessive process of evolving, using various beautification methods to achieve acceptance.

Excerpt from her proposal for the rain shelter:

In response to this project’s agenda of valuing our natural environment and taking mental comfort in its properties, I decided to depict an interactive space between us and nature. Due to the pandemic, we have been restricted and confined in various ways, especially with the constant presence of the mask, which feels like it has become a big indicator of the surreal timeline we are living right now. Using the mask as an analogy of inhaling and exhaling, I focused on creating imagery with movement and lightness to ease the mental suffocation that the mask represents.


About Dion Gibson:

Dion Gibson is a Barbados born visual artist and graphic designer. He began his artistic venture in 1990, using a range of media from watercolours and pastels to acrylics, and since acquiring a Bachelors in Graphic Design, has begun a new journey into Digital Art rendering. Digital media exploration has gradually begun to affect & challenge his fine-art practice.

Acknowledged as having a way of capturing ‘the dramatic’ especially in his use of composition, Dion delights in the Surreal and is passionate about bringing dreams and visions to life. His concepts can be unconventional at times, carrying a futuristic value and a satisfying attention to detail. He will often times request a black canvas to get his work started.

Some of the artists that inspire him are Kervin Andre, Stanley Greaves, Timothy Parker and Salvador Dali.

Dion believes that art is a medium that has the capacity to challenge how we see the world and invariably affect how we relate , how we engage and how we live. Part of the role of art is to help others see what is possible. He is looking forward to widening his scope in the area of ‘Art as Activism.

Excerpt from his proposal for the bench:

[This artwork] tries to offer  solutions to Mental Health issues while taking a look at the effects of Covid, La Soufriere Volcano and Hurricane Elsa. It tries to communicate the unique emotions of each natural activity by drawing the connections towards men in society. In so doing, it draws the line between poorly managed or unresolved emotions in men, mental health and suicide … The tears seen on each man’s cheek are important, because society generally does not allow men to cCry” which results in unhealthy pent up of emotions. Here we are letting men know that “it is okay to cry” (…allow your tears to be washed away by the sea.) 


About Anya Greaves:

Anya is a 19-year old Barbadian visual artist, expressionist and hobbyist. Her eyes are the windows to her resplendent and complex imagination; her hands, her instruments. From the lively and colourful world around her, she draws her inspiration, and from it she emanates her vibrant and unique perspective.

Anya has an innate artistic gift, and from the moment she gripped a crayon, her creativity was
communicated through her strokes. With influence from her parents, she was exposed to and enamored with the sundry textures and mediums of arts and crafts. Throughout primary and secondary school, she had a drive to refine her skills and took to drawing, painting and mixed media. In secondary school, she formed a mentoring relationship with her art teacher; criticism and love. From it she attained a grade 1 at CXC Visual Arts.

She uses art as her gateway into another dimension and flourishes in the joy of creating whenever she can. Her focal point is in “Making your dreams reality.”

Excerpt from her proposal for the bench:

Recent events in world history, particularly on my small island of Barbados, have shaken us. Throughout my life, the thought of a pandemic has never dawned on me. Initially, the virus’s emergence in China seemed far away, and I never dreamed it might travel over the ocean to Barbadian shores …  We desire stability as we emerge from the mental coop that [the pandemic, La Souffriere volcano and Hurricane Elsa] forced us into, and the proposed concept seeks to demonstrate this. It depicts a contrast between the past: the historic train line, and the present: the Barbados Trail-Way project initiative in St. George Valley, Barbados’s south central area.


ABOUT THE Project PARTNERS:

CULTURUNNERS produces cross-cultural campaigns, exhibitions and journeys, promoting peace-building & sustainable development through art. Launching at MIT in 2014, CULTURUNNERS’ first project was a multi-year artists’ road-trip broadcasting between the United States and the Middle East. It has since grown to encompass large-scale cultural exchange and diplomacy projects, an artist-led media platform, artists’ spaces and partnerships with institutions around the world.


Fresh Milk is an artist-led, non-profit organisation founded in 2011 and based in Barbados. It is a platform which supports excellence in the visual arts through residencies and programmes that provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for development, fostering a thriving art community.

Fresh Milk offers professional support to artists from the Caribbean and further afield and seeks to stimulate critical thinking in contemporary visual art. Its goal is to nurture artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for growth, excellence and success.


 

The Future Centre Trust is a non-governmental organisation focused on raising awareness of environmental impacts to Barbados and the planet with a vision to be “a catalyst for sustainable living today and tomorrow”.  It is the main executing entity for the Barbados Trailway Project – a paved bicycle and pedestrian path located primarily on right-of-way lands of the former Barbados Railway.

This network of multi-purpose walking, hiking, running and cycling trails will provide year round recreational access for both locals and visitors, considerably expanding much needed public green space on the island.


For the past 25 years, Adopt A Stop has provided regional and international companies with a unique opportunity to display their products and services on bus shelters and benches in Barbados. The concept for Adopt A Stop was created by Barbadian Barney Gibbs while studying at Cambridge University. The project was then introduced to the island in 1993 as a socially-conscious way to provide a much-needed amenity. The priority was tropical designs constructed with local materials, placed at prime locations to give maximum impact.

The traveling public has embraced the project. The medium provides popular seating and shade for users; while increasing traffic rates mean drivers and passengers are frequently stopped in front of sponsor’s signage.

Fresh Milk/Healing Arts Initiative: Call for Artworks #1

The Fresh Milk Art Platform, Future Centre Trust, Environ Ltd (Adopt A Stop Barbados) and The Healing Arts Initiative in partnership with CULTURUNNERS as part of the World Health Organization are pleased to welcome proposals by Barbadian-based contemporary artists for the design of new works to be incorporated into one rain shelter and two benches for installation on the Barbados Trailway Project.

IMPORTANT DATES for PHASE 1:

Open Call Announcement: January 25th, 2022
Submission of Proposal Deadline: March 19th, 2022
Jury Review of Proposals: March 22nd – April 2nd, 2022
Artists Informed: April 6th, 2022
Public announcement of results: April 12th, 2022
Production of new works: April 12th – May 28th, 2022
Submission of completed works: May 28th, 2022
Production and installation of works: May 31st – June 25th, 2022


ABOUT THE PROJECT:

This project recognises the role of the arts sector in addressing the growing mental health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, followed and further impacted by the La Soufriere volcanic eruption and Category 1 Hurricane Elsa.

The pandemic and occurrence of natural disasters have reminded us of the value of green spaces and the natural environment to enhance our physical, mental and spiritual wellness. It is well known that people, and children in particular, recover better and flourish in the outdoors. While Barbados is blessed with many beaches where locals can recreate, there isn’t enough variety of safe outdoor recreational activities promoting active mobility for young people and families.

The Future Centre Trust has been working for some time to repurpose the historic train line located in the south-central part of the island in the St. George Valley.

With the support of the Healing Arts Initiative, Fresh Milk is pleased to be collaborating with the Future Centre Trust and Environ Ltd (Adopt A Stop Barbados) to work with local artists and to strategically install these artistic interventions on the trailway as a linear outdoor exhibition opportunity, giving artists a chance to contribute to this dynamic and highly anticipated public project.


Healing Arts launched in 2020 under the auspices of the World Health organization as part of The Future is Unwritten, a global initiative calling for urgent cooperation between the Arts Sector and United Nations Agencies in order to amplify and accelerate implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the most ambitious and comprehensive global development plan in human history. With leading UN Agencies describing the recent pandemic as nature’s first ‘warning shot’ to civilizations playing with fire, global cultural action that contributes to the envisioning and shaping of a more resilient, healthy and sustainable future is now more urgent than ever.

Established as part of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary Programme (UN75) and Decade of Action, Healing Arts 2020-2030 is produced in 2022 by CULTURUNNERS and Arts & Health @ NYU under the secretariat of the World Health Organization’s Arts and Health Program.


SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

●  Must be work from artists living and working in Barbados;
●  Must be new work produced for this commission;
●  Rain shelter signs dimensions will be 4’ x 6’, landscape orientation with a ¾” bleed;
●  Bench sign dimensions will be 21” x 72,” landscape orientation with a ¾” bleed;
●  Artists can apply for both projects but may only be awarded one commission.


How to Apply:

●  Application forms must be submitted through the Google forms portal here;
●  Proposals must be formatted and uploaded to the form as ONE PDF including:

A description of the proposed work specifically responding to the call (500 words max);
2-3 concept sketches/work samples (embedded in the PDF);
A bio (200 words max);
A portfolio of 5 previous works (fully captioned).

●  Submissions should be titled as follows:
Surname_First Name_Healing_Shelter OR
Surname_First Name_Healing_Bench

Submissions that do not conform to this requirement will not be reviewed. Each separate project proposal must be submitted as a new application form.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL!

If selected, final artworks must be submitted as files via WeTransfer, following the below guidelines:


SELECTION PROCESS:

The selection process will be led by Fresh Milk in collaboration with representatives from the three partner entities who will contribute to the review and selection process through a roundtable conversation to select works which align with the project overviews and the mission of the Healing Arts Initiative stated above. A total of three artists will be selected from this open call (one artist for the rain shelter, and two artists for the benches).


WHAT THE PROJECT OFFERS:

●  The selected artist for the shelter will receive an artist fee of $2,000.00 USD;
●  The two selected artists for the benches will each receive an artist fee of $1,000.00 USD;
●  Artists’ work will be showcased and promoted on all partner’s websites;
●  Artists’ work will be permanently installed on the Trailway and become property of the Trailway project;
●  The artists’ profile will be permanently housed on the Fresh Milk and partner websites, and their work will be widely promoted throughout Fresh Milk and partner’s networks.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: MARCH 19TH 2022


About the Partners:

CULTURUNNERS produces cross-cultural campaigns, exhibitions and journeys, promoting peace-building & sustainable development through art. Launching at MIT in 2014, CULTURUNNERS’ first project was a multi-year artists’ road-trip broadcasting between the United States and the Middle East. It has since grown to encompass large-scale cultural exchange and diplomacy projects, an artist-led media platform, artists’ spaces and partnerships with institutions around the world.


Fresh Milk is an artist-led, non-profit organisation founded in 2011 and based in Barbados. It is a platform which supports excellence in the visual arts through residencies and programmes that provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for development, fostering a thriving art community.

Fresh Milk offers professional support to artists from the Caribbean and further afield and seeks to stimulate critical thinking in contemporary visual art. Its goal is to nurture artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for growth, excellence and success.


The Future Centre Trust is a non-governmental organisation focused on raising awareness of environmental impacts to Barbados and the planet with a vision to be “a catalyst for sustainable living today and tomorrow”.  It is the main executing entity for the Barbados Trailway Project – a paved bicycle and pedestrian path located primarily on right-of-way lands of the former Barbados Railway.

This network of multi-purpose walking, hiking, running and cycling trails will provide year round recreational access for both locals and visitors, considerably expanding much needed public green space on the island.


For the past 25 years, Adopt A Stop has provided regional and international companies with a unique opportunity to display their products and services on bus shelters and benches in Barbados. The concept for Adopt A Stop was created by Barbadian Barney Gibbs while studying at Cambridge University. The project was then introduced to the island in 1993 as a socially-conscious way to provide a much-needed amenity. The priority was tropical designs constructed with local materials, placed at prime locations to give maximum impact.

The traveling public has embraced the project. The medium provides popular seating and shade for users; while increasing traffic rates mean drivers and passengers are frequently stopped in front of sponsor’s signage.