UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

03/31/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/01/2023 00:12

In Haiti, Le Centre d’Art inspires Caribbean artists to work together

Since 1944, Le Centre d'Art (the Art Center) has been located in Haiti's capital - Port-au-Prince. It was established to promote Haitian artistic creation and almost 80 years later it still honours its name as a center of art for the country. Though it was destroyed during Haiti's major earthquake in 2010, Le Centre D'art has rebuilt itself and has risen to overcome local and global challenges to continue showcasing the work of Haitian artists.

Between 2019 and 2022, Le Centre d'Art received funding from the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) to facilitate the development and dissemination of contemporary Caribbean art. .

IFCD funds enabled the organization to encourage artistic exchanges throughout the region, to promote networking and opportunities for regional artists, and to increase the creation and dissemination of Caribbean art, especially women's art, in the global marketplace.

During this time, Le Centre d'Art successfully established partnerships with creative and cultural institutions in five countries of the Caribbean (Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago) to bolster their artistic network.

The project further supported training sessions for artists, including seminars on curation, cultural mediation, and critical writing, led by Yolanda Wood, a professor and prominent art critic in the region.

One young artist and master's student in Marketing, Cynthia Zamor, attended some of the trainings. Reflecting on a seminar dedicated to the critique of artwork, she testifies:

Yves Osner Dorvill/Le Centre d'Art 2022
It was something extraordinary. Ms. Wood, with patience and finesse, helped us go deep into the rooms, digging, searching, inspiring us. I am amazed at what we were able to do in five weeks.
Cynthia Zamor

The IFCD funding also helped the project to strengthen the technical and artistic capacities of a new generation of contemporary Caribbean artists. A total of five Haitian artists were awarded an art residency in partnering countries, while five Caribbean artists were offered arts residencies in Haiti. Artists were able to learn from one another and could produce new work.

During this month of residence, I worked obsessively on the shape of the egg, staying with women of different ages… from different backgrounds… and my main subject became a little girl holding a young hen in her arms. She walks from one painting to another in the eyes of her grandmothers. Changes and rebirths occur at all ages. I also wanted to explore the multiple origins of this child and thus celebrate the crossroads of Caribbean culture.
Said Pascale Monnin, a participating artist.

The project finale was a major exhibition of Caribbean women artists called "Archipelago" at Maison Dufort in June 2022, which received a huge turnout from both local and regional communities.

Valérie Baeriswyl - exhibition in Port au Prince, June 2022
They are amazing artists. All the artists in the exhibition, with very different artistic voices. It was a very interesting experience because even though they are very different, they have so much in common. The pieces they produced during their residencies have strongly related themes… very similar. And I think that's what makes the exhibition!
Expressed Veerle Poupeye, a commissioner of the exhibition.

To learn more, check Le Centre d'Art's mini documentary on the exhibition of Caribbean women artists here.

The project "Implementing a network for the development and dissemination of Caribbean art" carried out by Le Centre d'Art in Haiti is one of 140 projects funded by the IFCD since 2010. The IFCD works by empowering the civil society actors and public sectors to drive sustainable economic growth in the cultural and creative industries, with priority given to Africa and Small Island Developing States, as well as projects that focus on gender and youth.