Announcing Selected Artists for Digital Public Arts Projects!

The Fresh Milk Art Platform, with support from the Cultural Industries Development Fund of the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados, shares the results of our open call for Barbadian visual artists whose works will be on display for three exciting public art projects. Congratulations to Joshua Clarke, Mohita Shenoy and Chris Welch, whose artworks will be exhibited on the Fresh Milk ArtBoard, a mural at St. George’s Primary School and a Fresh Stops Bus Shelter respectively!

Their works will be installed during the month of May, so stay tuned for updates, messages from the artists and images of the completed works!

Learn more about the artists and their proposed artworks below.


About Joshua Clarke:

Joshua Clarke is a graduate of the Barbados Community College with a BFA in Graphic Design. He has worked in game development as a character, environment and concept artist (Le Loupgarou), as sequential artist on graphic novels (Power in the Blood GreenBook Comics 2020) was a semifinalist in the Kingstoon Pitch Competition (Junkyard Dragon 2019) and is the winner of the first Black Celebration in the Future art contest (2020) and CATAPULT SHAR Awardee (2020). A childhood spent reading has given him a lifelong love of storytelling and an inability to put the pencil down has drawn him inexorably to his career in illustration and concept art. A student of culture and history he attempts to capture that same joy and wonder of the stories that inspire him while ensuring representation of the fullness of Blackness in his work. His work shows a particular focus on Afrofuturism and Afrofantasy as he seeks to claim space for diasporic Afro Caribbean identity in the stories that shape our collective imagination.

Excerpt from ArtBoard Proposal:

“…In my work I try to create visuals that strike people on an entertaining level, but nevertheless resonate deeper as they take the time to look closer. The two works I’d seek to incorporate would be the Nelson’s History piece that tracks his personal story from young sailor to figure of heroism and horror in duality in the English Caribbean, and the Statue Fallen piece that draws on space opera & science fiction imagery to see the scar of Nelson’s idolatry rent asunder from the figure representing the island of Barbados. My hope would be to have a piece that arrests the viewer as something simultaneously otherworldly but relentlessly Caribbean, pulling the dynamic color from the painting and the complex linework from the illustrative piece for a pop poster mashup that takes my two artistic directions and combines them in a way that can be communicated on such a large scale.”


About Mohita Shenoy:

My name is Mohita Shenoy, born and raised in Barbados. I’ve loved drawing for literally as
long as I can remember. This love is what drove me to study art up to CAPE level in
secondary school. However, my experience in digital art is almost entirely self-taught. I
ended up pursuing digital art since then, selling my artwork (as posters, t-shirts, keychains,
stickers) at AnimeKon Expo from 2016 – 2018, and then doing commission work as a
graphic designer from then onwards. In 2020, I decided to upgrade my skills by taking online
classes in Photoshop.

Excerpt from Mural Proposal:

“…St George Primary School takes pride in its students, whether it be in their feats on the athletics field or on the dance floor. Being a school, of course, academics play a role as well. Therefore, I chose these three fields to portray my idea.

In the first concept sketch, I drew three students, a boy, and two girls, alongside a lion, lion cub and lioness, respectively. Since lions are the mascots of the school, I had the idea that the lions being portrayed are a sort of symbol, a spirit of the school that goes wherever the students go in life. The boy is shown to be reading (academics). The lion alongside him patiently allows him to lean against him, supporting him in his studies. The girl in the middle is playing soccer (sports), the lion cub at her side runs with her, again a symbol of moral support. The girl on the right is dancing (the arts). The lioness accompanying her winds around her, as if it wants to dance in support too.”


About Chris Welch:

Chris Welch is a photographer and new media artist, his style is characterized by vibrant and energetic imagery. Working with code he creates generative art and interactive installations, which explore the intersection of art and technology, artificial intelligence and the aesthetic potential of computational systems.

His work has been shown at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA), LightboxNYC, Village Gallery at the Crane, Grove Gallery Limegrove and the Gallery of Caribbean Art. His clients and credits include US Soccer, Brian “de Action Man” Talma, Caribbean Development Bank, Sandals Barbados, Innovate Barbados and the National Transformation Initiative.

Excerpt from Bus Shelter Proposal:

“…AI Chattel is a model that dreams of Bajan architecture, connecting the past, present and future of these unique structures. AI Chattel bridges the gaps between art, technology, culture and architecture. Machine Learning (ML) is the study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience. It is seen as a subset of artificial intelligence. ML algorithms build a mathematical model based on sample data, known as “training data”, in order to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to do so.

I used an image dataset of 2500 chattel house images from around the island to train a Style GAN 2 (Generative Adversarial Network) model. The objective of this project is to show an important and yet mostly forgotten characteristic about architecture; architecture is alive, lives among us and is capable of stimulating our senses.”


This project is made possible in part by the Cultural Industries Development Fund of the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados

Open Call: Digital Public Art Projects

The Fresh Milk Art Platform, with support from the Cultural Industries Development Fund of the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados, shares an open call for Barbadian visual artists to submit digital pieces* for consideration for three exciting public art projects:

(i) the Fresh Milk ArtBoard;
(ii) a Fresh Stops bus stop bench and shelter at St. George’s Primary school and;
(iii) a mural at St. George’s Primary school.

One artist will be selected for each project, and each successful applicant will receive a fee of $1,100.00 BBD!

For the purposes of this call, “digital” work can also include drawing, painting and other two dimensional media, once the artworks can be photographed or scanned at a high enough resolution to be printed at good quality at the sizes outlined for each project.

Submissions for all three projects will be reviewed by the Fresh Milk Team and an independent jury member. The application requirements are as follows:

 

(i) The Fresh Milk ArtBoard

  • Artists must be Barbadian and Barbados-based;
  • 2-3 concept sketches/work samples must be sent as digital files (JPG, PNG, PDF, TIF or PSD);
  • The concept sketches/work samples and a Word document/PDF containing a statement about the proposed work (no more than 350 words), a bio (no more than 250 words) and contact information (full name, preferred artist name, phone number, WhatsApp contact, address, social media handles and website if applicable) should be sent to freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com. This can also be done via WeTransfer;
  • If chosen, the final digital artwork must be very high resolution, and able to be printed clearly at the size 90” w x 90” h.

(ii) A Fresh Stops Bus Shelter

  • Artists must be Barbadian and Barbados-based;
  • 2-3 concept sketches/work samples for three pieces of work (one for the back of the bench and the other 2 for the two sides of shelter’s side panel) must be sent as digital files (JPG, PNG, PDF, TIF or PSD);
  • The concept sketches/work samples and a Word document/PDF containing a statement about the proposed work (no more than 350 words), a bio (no more than 250 words) and contact information (full name, preferred artist name, phone number, WhatsApp contact, address, social media handles and website if applicable) should be sent to
  • freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com. This can also be done via WeTransfer;
  • If chosen, the final digital artworks must be very high resolution, and able to be printed clearly at 82” w x 24” h (back of bench) and 24” w x 48” h (shelter side panel). Wherever possible, supply the original Illustrator or Photoshop file. Please view the dimensions guide for the shelter here for clarity.

(iii) Digital Mural at St. George Primary School

  • Artists must be Barbadian and Barbados-based;
  • 2-3 concept sketches/work samples must be sent as digital files (JPG, PNG, PDF, TIF or PSD);
  • The setting of the artwork at a public primary school should be considered in the design of the work. The St. George Primary School students referred to themselves as “lions”, reflecting their enviable position as national athletic champions as well as their excellence in Latin and ballroom dancing. Proposals reflecting the school’s continual striving for excellence will be welcomed;
  • The concept sketches/work samples and a Word document/PDF containing a statement about the proposed work (no more than 350 words), a bio (no more than 250 words) and contact information (full name, preferred artist name, phone number, WhatsApp contact, address, social media handles and website if applicable) should be sent to
  • freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com. This can also be done via WeTransfer;
  • If chosen, the final digital artwork must be very high resolution, and able to be printed clearly at the size 96” w x 30” h.

Selected artists will receive their $1,100.00 BBD fee in two instalments, a 40% deposit on selection and 60% on installation of the work. Once selected, all three artists will be asked to submit supporting images of their work and process, as well as a brief video message (no more than 90 seconds) which will be included in promotional material to be shared on the Fresh Milk and NCF website and social media platforms. 


Deadline for all submissions: April 16th, 2021

Successful applicants will be notified by April 26th, 2021, and the completed artwork must be submitted by May 15th, 2021 for printing and installation.


This project is made possible in part by the Cultural Industries Development Fund of the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados

Levi King’s Emerging Directors Residency – Week 5 Blog Post

Fresh Milk shares the fifth and final blog post by Barbadian actor & director Levi King, who recently completed the Emerging Directors Residency Programme held in collaboration with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF). Levi’s final blog reflects on the process as a whole; what he has learned, who he has worked with and how he has grown as a director, from writing his initial application to seeing the work come to life during the small showcase held at the close of the residency. Thanks to Levi, his mentor Sonia Williams and his actors Kim Weekes, Dy Browne, Melissa Hunte and Asha Elcock for their stellar work! Read more below:

Trust the process

To be honest, I struggled to write this blog. Not because it is the final blog for the residency process and I’m overwhelmed with emotions and separation anxiety and stuff (cause I’m not, I’ll miss it and the wonderful people who took this journey with me, but I’m not). Nah, I struggled because I knew what I wanted to express but I didn’t know what to say.

I wanted to speak about how my process of learning began even before I set foot in the Fresh Milk residency space. How I had to learn a way to write a proposal, just to apply (I really needed to spend time with making proposals). Fortunately the proposal was accepted and I was chosen.

I wanted to speak about how choosing the work was a difficult choice, then I chose a piece that brought with it its own learning curve. I chose a piece that I felt I was able to use the space most creatively with. I chose a piece that had a story and themes I felt we need to explore in Caribbean media (childhood prostitution, poverty and cycles of abuse). I chose a piece with heavy subject matter. I had to do some cutting and editing which took more time than I anticipated.

I wanted to speak about the books I read which really gave me an insight into some techniques and styles which relate to directing and some acting.

I wanted to speak about how I chose most of the cast before I even applied (they don’t know that though, I chose them before I even asked). I was fortunate they said yes.

I wanted to speak about how I had trouble setting a rehearsal schedule because even though I knew the actors were right for the process, all our times constantly clashed. I had cast one man and three women. One man was unable to continue after the first rehearsal. I had to wait a week to recast. I recast. He played the part great.

I wanted to speak about how I spoke with my mentor. and from the beginning, she was upfront about her concerns and her support. Sonia Williams was fully supportive and fully honest throughout the process. Sometimes even just a simple suggestion, question or non-verbal expression was all I needed to know that I may have other choices to pick from that may be better.

I wanted to speak about how my rehearsal process kept evolving with each rehearsal and each conversation with Sonia.

I wanted to say that I was at times unsure I was making the right choices. That I had fluctuating confidence in my ability to deliver what I wanted to deliver. Not because I wasn’t able, but because I faced several personal challenges during the residency.

That there were challenges that arose at points, not my personal challenges this time, that in my mind threatened to halt the process.

That Janelle Mitchell was great at navigating those challenges with me.

That Katherine Kennedy was also great at navigating those challenges with me.

That actors Kim Weekes, Dy Browne, Melissa Hunte and Asha Elcock and my mentor Sonia were all great at navigating those challenges with me.

That at one point, I felt it may have been best to stop because I was becoming too stressed about what I thought was my inability to finish in the face of the challenges (yes, me, stressed).

That I learned so much more than just how to cut a script and find the story, how to work with actors with this kind of material and how to handle production meetings.

That I was grateful every day i was able to work on this.

That the feedback given was invaluable and deeply appreciated.

That I can be a little more forward in my approach as opposed to laid back, and I still need to work on how I communicate my vision to people who aren’t myself and actors.

That I was glad everything worked out in the end.

I struggled because there is lots I could talk about. There was so much that went through my mind during this process. The biggest lessons I learned weren’t academic, they were personal and professional. The reaffirmation of my love for directing was priceless to me. Being able to learn from a director that I respect and whose work I admire, was great. Even though I had struggles throughout, I was happy.

The biggest lesson I learned, or re-learned was simple…Trust the process.

Till next time

Your friendly neighbourhood rastaman.

___________________

ncf mark rgb2This project is a collaborative initiative, funded by the NCF Barbados

Levi King’s Emerging Director Residency – Week 4 Blog Post

Fresh Milk shares the fourth blog post by Barbadian actor & director Levi King, the current participant in the Emerging Director Residency Programme held in collaboration with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF). Levi’s fourth week was all about facing challenges, and learning to adapt in order to overcome these. It was also a reminder that, in any project or production, clearing these hurdles is a group effort, and it is important to have a support network (both personal & professional) to call on and collaborate with to reach your goals. Read more below:

Weaknesses, Challenges & Adaptability

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin

I had plans. Like, nuff nuff plans (nuff means a lot, to whomever may be reading this blog but is unaware of the particulars of Bajan syntax). I had plans for how I was going to approach this residency. I had plans for how I was going to arrange the time, and even gave some thought to how I was going to handle any contingencies… I was still not fully prepared. One thing that makes a difference in any situation, is one’s ability to adapt to challenges.

In light of the plans I had for myself and this residency, circumstances had different plans for me. As is usual with anything requiring more than one person, where one or more of the people already have daily commitments, scheduling was hard. Admittedly, this is one weakness I have; I can organise my own time, but not other people’s. Still, I had to make it work. I had to recast an actor two weeks before we were supposed to show. Another had a situation with work that made their participation seem unlikely at the time if I wasn’t able to work out a different date. At the time that occurred, I was already too close to the date to recast as the character played by this actor is central. I had just one rehearsal, and halfway through my mentor arrived and gave me copious amounts of notes and things to think about and change. Needless to say, anxiety grabbed me from behind and put me in a full nelson hold *arms flail helplessly*. There were other challenges as well, but we don’t have enough time this episode to cover them all.

“In the face of challenges, you are met first by your weaknesses.”- Levi King

So I saw just my weaknesses, focusing on planning in the wrong areas, needing a different approach to my rehearsal process ( I was doing what I knew instead of challenging myself to really experiment because I was afraid of not having enough time). I froze for a bit when the challenges with time and recasting came. I actually thought for a minute that I may have had to cancel the showing because it would not have been ready. I had, for a few days, a crippling fear of failing. I felt overwhelmed a bit by the challenges, but challenges come with every endeavour in life (life, we gotta talk bout this, can it not be easy sometimes? Everything does gotta find a point to stress ya out at?). Many of my concerns were handled after meeting with Katherine Kennedy (Fresh Milk) and Janelle Mitchell (NCF) and discussing the challenges that I had. We came to arrangements.

Cool.

So.

Most crises averted, I still have work to do though.

“In the face of challenges, you are next met by opportunity.”- Levi King

Fortunately for me, I was able to call on people I know to assist (that’s all I did for the whole process lol). With the actor that had to leave the project, I was able to call on another actor I know to come fill in the position. My mentor Sonia has this way of working, where she makes you confront yourself and overcome the issue facing you in an encouraging atmosphere. This was instrumental, since all she had to do was mention what she was concerned about, for me to look at it differently. My S/O, Luci, also a professional theatre practitioner, was able to offer invaluable observations when she was at the first rehearsal.

I had to look at each challenge as an opportunity. The recasting, an opportunity for new collaboration. The rescheduling of performance, an opportunity to explore handling challenges with corporate bodies. The scheduling issues with actors, an opportunity to collaborate with the cast in solving the problems we were facing together, instead of dealing with it alone. Lil depression, an opportunity to instill some of the discipline required to succeed in life.

With each opportunity, you strengthen your adaptability. In theatre, as much as the responsibility for how the show works is on the director, it is still a team effort. As much as the director has to adapt, so do cast and crew (and they really did cause my next rehearsal was hype). The NCF and Fresh Milk adapted to the challenges and worked with the team to make everything easier. It feels like the team and I may yet make it through. So I look to the next week, which is my last in the residency, with determination. I have shaken off most of the feeling of being overwhelmed, but I am still keeping some because you know what people say about growth happening when you’re uncomfortable. I remain grateful for the challenges, because they make me stronger. In a world of corn flakes, I am still learning to be porridge when I feel like warmed over tap water.

“Mi will move mountains with less than faith
Mi nuh frighten fi food, make the restaurant wait
Porridge badder than cornflakes…”- Hold It, Vybz Kartel

___________________

ncf mark rgb2This project is a collaborative initiative, funded by the NCF Barbados

Levi King’s Emerging Director Residency – Week 3 Blog Post

Fresh Milk shares the third blog post by Barbadian actor & director Levi King, the current participant in the Emerging Director Residency Programme held in collaboration with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF). The third week came with its own set of obstacles to overcome, in terms of casting choices, remaining on schedule and evaluating strengths and weaknesses; but Levi has risen to the challenge, keeping in mind that a residency is best experienced as a space for growth and problem solving rather than a point of pressure. Read more below:

Third week curses

So, I heard one time that productions are sometimes plagued in the third week (that is, productions with a four week rehearsal time). This means that in the third week it looks like things are about to fall apart, much like the mid-point of a screenplay.

NARRATOR (O.S.)
Will they be able to do it? Can they overcome the obstacle?

Well this third week was challenging. On good advice from my mentor, I had to recast a part in the production. Finding someone was a challenge, but I finally was able to get someone to agree to be part of the production, which comes with its own challenges. How will I fit all these schedules into a workable rehearsal schedule. I have no idea. Then I start to worry about whether I’ll be able to get the actors to work well together, will I be able to get them to the places the material will take them to and bring them back? Questions, questions, questions, problems, problems, problems.

Anxiety.

I hadn’t spent much time at Fresh Milk due to other challenges, but also because I only have so many hours and can’t spend all of them just reading.

So I have my actors, I am confident in their abilities, I am hopeful about mine, I still have challenges with scheduling (to be honest this is one of my weaker points that I need to work on, I am good at organising myself and my vision, but need help with production management and stage management).

NARRATOR (O.S.)
Will he be able to rise to the challenge?

Challenge… accepted? If there is one thing this residency has made me confront, it is some of my weaknesses, and I know one residency isn’t what I need to fix every issue I have as an aspiring director. It also has made me realise two important things, this third week slump:

  1. I began to focus on all the problems I was having and went from a state of merely whelmed, to slightly overwhelmed.
  2. I forgot one of the most basic pieces of advice I give to everyone else in my life. Focus more on solutions (not politically affiliated), especially in the middle of the problems.

I had to remember to be solution minded. Couldn’t get the situation to go mostly how I wanted it, so why not just roll with the tides and be glad for the fact that there is momentum until I can figure out how to make that momentum faster (Shout out to Luci for working through a slight issue I had today, shout out to Rosette on that convo this morning for giving me that strong reminder).

So I’m still in the process of figuring it out, granted this is what it’s all about. It’s taking it to questions, questions, questions, solutions, solutions, solutions.

Still anxiety though.

Till next time folks.

NARRATOR (O.S.)
Tune in next week for…

LEVI
Big man, who is you and why you all up in my blog?!

NARRATOR (O.S.)
anotherblogfromLeviabouttheresidency.
(runs away)

Third week blessings.

___________________

ncf mark rgb2This project is a collaborative initiative, funded by the NCF Barbados