Cayman Compass shares ‘Artist attends Caribbean Linked program’

Charles Duncan reports for the Cayman Compass newspaper on the participation of Caymanian artist Simon Tatum in the Caribbean Linked IV residency programme, which took place at Ateliers ’89 in Aruba between August 1-23, 2016.

Read an excerpt from the article below, and view the full piece on the Cayman Compass website here:

‘Boat Builder’ by Simon Tatum

‘Boat Builder’ by Simon Tatum

20160111-simon-tatum-at-ngci-read-onlyBodden Town’s Simon Tatum recently had the opportunity to attend the fourth Caribbean Linked artist residency program in Aruba.

Mr. Tatum, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Drawing at the University of Missouri, was the first Caymanian artist to participate in the regional residency project for young and emerging Caribbean artists, which took place from Aug. 1 to Aug. 23.

Mr. Tatum’s work focuses primarily on Caymanian history and uses appropriated photographs from the Cayman Islands National Archives. His work also draws upon themes of colonial history, migration, and the exploration of personal identity within the context of a Caribbean cultural background.

“My intention is to communicate to the Caymanian people the condition of our history and how easily it can be manipulated by outside sources,” he said.

“My work promotes information literacy to further stimulate a creative society.”

Since beginning his studies, Mr. Tatum has had his work shown in local galleries in Missouri, and has taken part in several group exhibitions since 2014. In 2014 he was one of 23 artists featured in the exhibition “tIDal shift – Explorations of Identity” in Contemporary Caymanian Art at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. It was during this exhibition that gallery director Natalie Urquhart introduced Simon’s work to Caribbean Linked executives.

Caribbean Linked is organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. It is aimed at building awareness across disparate creative communities by bringing together emerging artists from Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanic and Dutch Antillean Caribbean islands. This year 10 artists and one master artist took part.

The residency acts as the foundation of a community of artists from all over the Caribbean and provides a space for artists, creative activists, writers and critics to build relationships and connections across the creative industries, while developing a stronger portfolio and participating in global conversations.

“It is wonderful to see a young Caymanian artist chosen for such an exciting opportunity,” said Ms. Urquhart.

“Residencies, like Caribbean Linked, not only offer artists time to work, but place artists in new communal contexts with new peers and mentors from all over the world. These factors create an environment where artists can make substantial jumps in their work in a short amount of time. The National Gallery is very proud to support Simon and watch him continue to achieve great things.”

Read the full article here.

ARTVIEWs Aruba shares a review of the Caribbean Linked IV Exhibition

ARTVIEWs Aruba shares an overview of the Caribbean Linked IV Exhibition by Stan Kuiperi, featuring work from our recent set of regional resident artists at Ateliers ’89, Aruba.

Read an excerpt of the piece below, and view the full article on ARTVIEWs Aruba here:

A few CLIV participants walked through the Peace Labyrinth after visiting the nearby Alto Vista Chapel.

A few CLIV participants walked through the Peace Labyrinth after visiting the nearby Alto Vista Chapel. Photo by Dominique Hunter.

Caribbean Linked IV 2016. Part 1, Building the Bridge

CARIBBEAN LINKED is a residency program & exhibition organized by Ateliers ’89 Foundation (Aruba, 1989), in collaboration with Fresh Milk Art Platform (Barbados, 2012) and ARC Magazine (2011). These three founding organizations select Caribbean artists to participate in a 3-week project, during which the participants live in arranged accommodations, work in designated art studio spaces, go on local tours, present their work to others, and create a final exhibition for the local public.

The founders describe their main goal as follows: “The driving force behind Caribbean Linked is the desire to connect the Caribbean region through the arts and to dissolve boundaries between the islands, whether they be linguistic, geographical or cultural. By highlighting what binds us rather than what separates us, this program aims to plant the seeds of long term relationships that will strengthen and promote the growth of a healthy, unified cultural ecosystem in the Caribbean”.

From a historical perspective it’s important to note that, in this exact same sense, this project follows other earlier local and regional initiatives such as the CaribNet for the performing arts, co-founded during the 1997 Aruba International Dance Festival created by Aruban dance performer, choreographer and educator Wilma Kuiperi-Jansen. These organizations brought, among the cream of the crop from all over the world, many professional Caribbean dance companies, teachers, critics and lecturers to the Aruban stage. In a similar way the Aruba Theatre Festival promoted regional participation during many, many years, and both events successfully put Aruba on the cultural world map.

Although discontinued for lack of governmental visionary and sustainable cultural policies, these past cultural events must be credited with the current acceptance and development of contemporary art forms on Aruba. Today, in the footsteps of the still unequalled Carib Art Project (Unesco, 1993) the spirit of a continued effort to build the Caribbean cultural bridge has imbued the visual arts and projects such as Caribbean Linked, using a different artistic language and targeting different creatives.

This fourth edition of Caribbean Linked brings together relatively young visual artists (averaging 20 to 30 years of age) from 13 Caribbean countries. Artviews has attended some of their presentations, but the main focus of this review is on the final art exhibition inaugurated on Sunday August 21st at Ateliers ’89. The review is based mainly on the visual/technical merits and the titles of the works as they are presented in the exhibition, without being influenced by lengthy theoretical explanations by the authors of the works. Artviews’ point of departure is to present a means of dealing with works of art from a non-insider viewer perspective. Biographical information is based on the official Caribbean Linked site texts and artist’s websites. Almost all of the works in the show have conceptual, found-object, installation and multidisciplinary art roots. For the background on this development, see Artviews’ Writing as Art: Avantia Damberg and the Aruba Residency article.

Read the full article here.

Caribbean Linked IV featured on TeleAruba

Thanks so much to the television crew at Telearuba for stopping by Ateliers ’89 today to speak with some of the coordinators and residents of the exciting Caribbean Linked IV programme!

Be sure to come out on Sunday, August 21, 2016 for the opening reception for the Caribbean Linked IV Exhibition, starting 7pm at Ateliers ’89.

Caribbean Linked is organized by Ateliers ’89, ARC Magazine and The Fresh Milk Art Platform with the ongoing support of Mondriaan Fonds and Stichting DOEN, as well as a number of other generous sponsors this year.

Robin de Vogel speaks about Caribbean Linked IV in the BonDia Aruba Newspaper

One of the artists working to coordinate this year’s Caribbean Linked IV residency, Robin de Vogel, speaks about the Caribbean Linked experience in the August 15, 2016 edition of the BonDia Aruba newspaper.

Take a look at a PDF of the full article which appeared in print in BonDia Aruba here, and to see the final exhibition of works by this year’s participants, come out to Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad, Aruba on Sunday, August 21 at 7pm!

BonDia PDF

Puerto Rico Art News shares Frances Gallardo’s participation in Caribbean Linked IV

Bilingual art blog & magazine Puerto Rico Art News shares the announcement of the upcoming exhibition opening for Caribbean Linked IV on August 21, 2016, 7pm at Ateliers ’89 in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Puerto Rican artist Frances Gallardo will be one of the twelve fantastic creatives contributing to the exhibition this year!

Read the full article on Puerto Rico Art News here!


Caribbean Linked IV Exhibition Opening

Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad, Aruba, is pleased to invite you to the exciting events surrounding the regional residency Caribbean Linked IV, which is taking place August 1 through 23, 2016. This innovative programme sees twelve creatives from around the French, Spanish, English and Dutch Caribbean convening to produce new work and mount an exhibition, which will open at Ateliers ’89 on Sunday, August 21, 2016 with a free public reception starting at 7pm.

RSVP to the exhibition opening on Facebook here.

Caribbean Linked IV Exhibition Flyer
Artists this year include Frances Gallardo (Puerto Rico), Travis Geertruida (Curacao), Charlie Godet Thomas (Bermuda, supported by The Bermuda Arts Council), Nowé Harris-Smith (The Bahamas, supported by The Charitable Art Foundation of the Bahamas), Dominique Hunter (Guyana),  Tessa Mars(Haïti), Oneika Russell (Jamaica), Shanice Smith (Trinidad, supported by Alice Yard), Simon Tatum (The Cayman Islands, supported by the NGCI), Laura de Vogel (Aruba) and and visiting master artist Humberto Diaz (Cuba). This year’s writer-in-residence is David Knight Jr. (US Virgin Islands), co-founder of Moko Magazine.

Specially invited curators include 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.

The participants in Caribbean Linked IV.

The participants in Caribbean Linked IV.

Caribbean Linked is an initiative by Ateliers ’89, ARC Magazine and The Fresh Milk Art Platform, generously supported by our core sponsors Mondriaan Fonds and Stichting DOEN as well as a number of local sponsors in Aruba.

For more information, call Ateliers ’89 at (+297) 565 4613, email or visit the Caribbean Linked website at, and follow the Caribbean Linked Facebook page for regular updates on the residency!

The Guyana Chronicle shares ‘Notes from Caribbean Linked IV…’

Guyanese artist Dominique Hunter writes for the Guyana Chronicle about the beginning of her experience in the Caribbean Linked IV artist residency programme, taking place at Ateliers ’89 in Aruba. Despite a difficult start due to challenges with intra-Caribbean travel, Dominique reflects on the wealth of visual and creative influences she has been surrounded by and continues to absorb while on the island. ‎

See more from Dominique below, and read the article on the Guyana Chronicle here:

CL IV Image_720

– A lesson on patience and other things

A maddening combination of way-too-loud and overlapping conversations, fussy children, and overall circus-like confusion steadily chipped away at the tolerance I thought I had for dealing with airport woes. As I type this (on Monday August 1), I’m struggling to pull my thoughts together into something even remotely coherent. Chaos, both internal and external, would be an understatement.

The excitement that initially filled my stomach with wonderful but slightly violent butterflies was soon threatened by frustration. Almost three hours after I got to Timehri for a 4 a.m. check in on a 6 a.m. flight, everyone was told that the flight was delayed until 6:45 a.m. A second delay followed shortly after and the reason was chalked up to us missing our boarding time, although we were waiting unattended until about 30 minutes before the final call.

Eventually, through the whisperings of upset passengers, we heard the pilot needed his rest. This was completely understandable but there was no airline staff member anywhere to make this announcement. In fact, our only flight updates came from a monitor mounted on the wall, while our lounge-mates traveling with the other airlines had the luxury of an actual person updating them about the delays and diversions. What a treat!

A few CLIV participants walked through the Peace Labyrinth after visiting the nearby Alto Vista Chapel.

A few CLIV participants walked through the Peace Labyrinth after visiting the nearby Alto Vista Chapel.

There I was thinking that although I was scheduled to land in Aruba at 10:00 a.m., I would’ve cleared customs and immigration by noon, the latest. This would’ve given me more than enough time to get settled in and mingle with the other participants of the fourth installation of Caribbean Linked (CLIV). I had it all planned out in my head, a clear idea of how the day would go.

Evidently, I needed a reminder that the world doesn’t quite work that way. I took that as a cue to relax, release any preconceived ideas of how things would go and be open to the spontaneity of the next three weeks. And so I clung to that mantra for the remainder of our 16-hour delay.

Fast-forward two days later and I’m still struggling to catch my breath. But I take comfort in the fact that I’m probably not the only one in this residency going through the days in a zombie-like trance. So much has happened in such a short space of time that I’m not even sure my brain has fully processed everything as yet.

After landing in Aruba at 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday, I was immediately struck by the architecture of the buildings on the island. There was no question in my mind that these were people who took pride in design elements and principles. Vivid colours were everywhere. And although it was obvious that they weren’t afraid of trying what others might refer to as “unusual” colour combinations, they weren’t the least bit tacky. Everything was just effortlessly beautiful.

That same night I met independent artist Robin de Vogel, the vibrant and fun-loving powerhouse who would be shouldering a significant amount of the administrative tasks during this residency. She, along with her sister and CLIV participant, Laura de Vogel, drove in the dead of night for what must have felt like the millionth time that day, to pick me up from the airport.

Although we were communicating online weeks prior, we had never physically met before that night. But that didn’t matter to the person I saw running towards me with outstretched arms. It felt like a warm and much-needed reunion after the day I had. Immediately, it was clear to me that there were no strangers here. This was reinforced yet again when their mom, Edith de Vogel-Mensonides, welcomed me into their beautiful home to spend the night before I moved across to Ateliers ‘89.

Artists Travis Geertruida (left) and Oneika Russell (right) danced through exhaustion of the previous hours (Photo credit: Nowé H. Harris-Smith)

Artists Travis Geertruida (left) and Oneika Russell (right) danced through exhaustion of the previous hours (Photo credit: Nowé H. Harris-Smith)

What followed next seemed like a haze of memories each melting into the other in strange and psychedelic ways. In addition to feeling as though I was a day behind the entire world after my airport dilemma, it became impossible at times to the place certain events that had happened with the correct days. Eventually I stopped trying. I was just extremely grateful to be present and in the moment with such an amazing group of creatives.

Whether it was an island tour that stretched on for hours or a trip to the Aloe Farm with a host who was genuinely and refreshingly passionate about his work, there was an incredible energy we all felt and shared. For me, being here reiterated the value of initiatives like Caribbean Linked in a region that is desperately lacking the infrastructure to support cultural exchange between regional territories.

More importantly, the organizers recognized the need for this and have been actively working, gathering resources and building networks so that we may all benefit from this collective experience.

Caribbean Linked IV Artist Travis Geertruida featured in Amigoe Newspaper

One of this year’s participants in Caribbean Linked IV, Curacaon artist Travis Geertruida, was featured in the Dutch Caribbean newspaper Amigoe in an article which appeared in the Saturday, August 6, 2016 edition of the paper.

Read the article in Dutch below, and to read the piece on the Amigoe website, subscribe for free here.


WILLEMSTAD / ORANJESTAD — Eerstejaarsstudent van Instituto Buena Bista (IBB), Travis Geertruida, doet momenteel mee aan het Caribbean Linked Residency programma. Volgens het kunstopleidingsinstituut heeft Travis zich het afgelopen jaar bewezen als een toegewijde en gemotiveerde student. Zijn creativiteit en drive om te creëren is een voorbeeld geweest voor al zijn medestudenten.

Ook heeft de jonge kunstenaar laten zien dat hij beschikt over de kwaliteit en de inhoud die nodig zijn als je de ambitie hebt om je brood te verdienen met kunst. Daarom werd hij door zijn IBB-docenten voorgedragen om deel te nemen aan deze editie van Caribbean Linked.

Caribbean Linked is het residency programma bij Ateliers ’89 op Aruba, dat georganiseerd wordt door Ateliers ’89, ARC en het Fresh Milk kunstplatform. Het heeft tot doel opkomende kunstenaars van het Caribisch Gebied kennis te laten maken met andere jonge opkomende artiesten zodat er nieuwe regionale samenwerkingsverbanden en cultureel begrip tot stand komen. Het programma wordt dit jaar voor de vierde keer georganiseerd. De overige kunstenaars die dit jaar meedoen zijn: Frances Gallardo (Puerto Rico), Charlie Godet Thomas (Bermuda), Nowé Harris-Smith (The Bahamas), Dominique Hunter (Guyana), Tessa Mars (Haïti), Oneika Russell (Jamaica), Shanice Smith (Trinidad), Simon Tatum (The Cayman Islands), Laura de Vogel (Aruba) en Humberto Diaz (Cuba).

Caribbean Linked IV in AWEMainta, Diario and BonDia Aruba Newspapers

Local Aruban newspapers AWEMainta, Diario and BonDia Aruba share an article on Caribbean Linked IV in their Thursday, August 4, 2016 editions!

Take a look at the full article on AWEMainta here, Diario Aruba here and BonDia Aruba here, celebrating the artists and creatives from 12 Caribbean islands that have come together for this year’s residency & exhibition programme at