Vesuhely Americaan is a visual artist and creative writer born and based in Curacao. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Arts Utrecht (HKU) in the Netherlands. She is also the founder of Carrying Narratives, a collective of young writers in Curacao. Creative writing is an essential part of her practice. She often uses writing in her videos, performances, and installations. She participated in Wintertuin Curacao Festival 2020. There she shared her unique approach to poetry in combination with visual arts. She is an alumna of Instituto Buena Bista (IBB). She has also worked at IBB and participated in IBB projects like All You Can Art at Kunsthal Rotterdam. The main theme in her practice is identity, both as a collective and as an individual. There is a constant search for identity and a need to rediscover it and create a new identity. The basis of her research is colonial history. This is a subject she always encounters while trying to understand our concept of identity, and our behavior as a collective.
« One’s journey, one’s escape, one’s exile are according to me a stream of accidents where Man drifts away in search of evidence. »
I was born on the island of Saint-Martin. Today, I live and work on the island. Painting, sculpture and photography are the main mediums with which I challenge myself. They permit me to reflect and express my creative drive towards boundless potential, where I constantly search, question and (re)discover various characteristics of those 3 mediums in hopes to find balance and alignment throughout the parallel paths between reality and imagination.
I aim to grow as a visual Artist by challenging myself every step of the way with those mediums while upgrading my process through the lenses of my era: VIRTUAL REALITY. I am always keen to savour, visually speaking, the essence of the term ‘MeltingPot’. My main focus is centered around pictorialism: where matter, texture, color and layers are brought to life through mix media concepts.
I explore works in series as if they were digital sketches, where I question endlessly the notion of lines within compositions. How each line can be referred as a frontier, a limit or a boundary and what does it take to break free or over step it? The Caribbean is my cradle and my culture, the source of my creativity and the initial point of view of my work.
Taisha is a Barbadian multidisciplinary artist working in performance, sculpture, body adornment, and installation. Her work seeks to promote solidarity with the land and investigate the liminality of life in the Caribbean after colonialism and into the Anthropocene. Taisha invents ‘devices’ and explores performances for self-ˇhealing and facilitation of social dialogue about climate justice while proposing methods for rebirth, reclamation, and reimagining the value of Caribbean people and communities.
Taisha received her BFA from Pratt Institute in 2018 and currently works in Barbados collaborating with biochemists, farmers and medical practitioners to pool knowledge and resources and shed light on social issues.
Romelinda Maldonado was born in Aruba in 1984, and as a little kid, she was fascinated with exploring and creating things with her hands and getting lost in the moment, but it was until she was away from home to study psychology that she rediscovered her passion. In 2013 she started selling her creations and established her brand name KALA , which also became her artist name. She draws inspiration from nature, people, culture, personal experiences and all the connections in between and makes art using different materials and techniques but what she loves most is working with colors and natural materials that she collects from the wilderness often giving her work a tropical vibe.
Justin Reinir Croes
Recently graduated and acquiring his Bachelor in Fine Art at the academy of St. Joost School of Art & Design in ‘s Hertogenbosch, Justin Reinir Croes also won the Jheronimus Atelierprijs 2022 which is an award that is giving annually to the most ambitious graduate of the academy.
Justin is an Aruban artist that is based in The Netherlands, his work is inspired by the human condition, nature, the culture of Aruba and its indigenous roots. He works with various kinds of mediums like painting, drawing, sculpting, animating, writing, performing and more.
His work aims to strengthen himself in this perplexing reality through his art and as a result reconnect with his 2-spirited indigenous self, decolonize, heal and to inspire others to be themselves.
John Reno Jackson
John Reno Jackson is an emerging contemporary Caymanian – American painter. He partook in
foundational courses in both painting and drawing from the London Art Academy in 2015. Since then he has continued his exploration with painting media through a series of works made in Grand Cayman. Jackson has exhibited work with a group showcase titled “Homecoming” (2019) at The Space in Grand Cayman and has also been part of a residency program in 2020 at PADA Studios, Lisbon, Portugal. Jackson has pieces that belong to the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands permanent collection. He currently works and lives in Grand Cayman and is a full-time painter.
Sarabel Santos-Negrón is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and museum professional. Her work is informed by the experience and memory of the social-environmental and political-economic aspects reflected in the landscape of the Island of Puerto Rico. Using drawing and its expanded field as a starting point, she explores ways of referring to social values, natural resources, organic forms and atmospheric phenomena pertinent to her birth place. The work is created with found materials such as high-consumption industrial supplies, paper, sound, photographs, and mixed media, among others.
Santos-Negrón earned an MFA in Studio Art from Maryland Institute College or Art, Baltimore, United States (2019); an MAE in Museum Studies from Caribbean University, Puerto Rico (2012); a BFA in Painting and Art History from the University of Puerto Rico (2007); Art History studies from Fundación Ortega y Gasset, Toledo, Spain (2006).
Her work has been exhibited in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kentucky, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, London, México, and Puerto Rico. She has participated in residency and research programs such as St. Mary’s Artist House Residency in Maryland (2018) and the Herbarium of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan (2013 & 2014). She has developed a self-residency called Residencia del Río, an ongoing research project in El Paseo del Río Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She has received art awards from the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Office of Youth Affairs, Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples de Puerto Rico, and Pfizer Pharmaceutical Companies. In 2016, Maryland Institute College of Art awarded her a merit scholarship for graduate studies.
Sarabel recently received the Borimix 2019 Award for the social currency project Valor y Cambio. She has worked as a visual arts professor, independent curator for special projects and is currently the director of the Museo de Arte de Bayamón in Puerto Rico.
Samuel Sarmiento was born in Venezuela in 1987. In 2010 he carries out a Master’s degree in Artistic Production at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. He has participated in various exhibitions, individually as well as collectively in Venezuela, Aruba, Germany, Spain, Panama, Argentina and China. He lives and work in Aruba.
Béliza Troupé graduated from a Master of Research in Plastic Arts, with honours, at the Université Mi- chel de Montaigne in Bordeaux in 2012. In 2012, she exhibited at the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux during a colloquium entitled «Contrainte et création». In 2017, the artist took part in the collective exhibition «Cartographie de la jeune création en Guadeloupe» at the Pavillon de la Ville in Pointe-à-Pitre, as part of the Festival Bleu Outremer. In the wake of this, she exhibited at the 2018 «Cri de femme» Festival. In June 2019, she was invited to the Pool Art Fair with Artistik Rézo Caraïbes. She was featured in the Beaux-Arts Magazine special edition in August 2019, and completed an artist residency in Cameroon at Bandjoun Station in response to the call for proposals by the association Arc Prod (Guadeloupe). On this occasion, she exhibited alongside Samuel Gelas at the TCHA’ LA’ exhibition in Bandjoun Station (Cameroon). In January 2020, her works were published in the 25th academic journal of «Recherches en Esthétique» of the Centre d’études et de recherches d’esthétique et en arts plastiques. At the end of February 2020, Béliza was selected from the call for projects «Living one more day» by the H Gallery in Paris. The artist questions in particular the limits of the body, the relationship between the human and the plant through drawing and mixed techniques on textiles.
Writer in Residence
Ethan Knowles is a writer and photographer from The Bahamas. His areas of interest include environmentalism, tourism, queer studies and the (post)colonial Caribbean. He has studied in both the US and Italy, and recently completed an undergraduate degree in film from The American University in Rome. Ethan will soon continue to pursue his education by entering a Masters programme at The University of the West Indies in the fall of 2022. In his free time he likes to bake bread and tutor Italian.
CURATOR in Residence
Sofía Olascoaga’s practice is focused on the intersections of art and education, through the exploration of encounters, think tanks, and public programs along with artists, theorists, curators, and educators, and with a wide range of institutional and independent interlocutors.
Olascoaga was co-curator of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo Incerteza Viva; Academic Curator at MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo – UNAM) in Mexico City, 2014; research curatorial fellow at Independent Curators International, 2011; and Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program, 2010. She received her BFA with honors from La Esmeralda National School of Fine Arts. In 2012, she was workshop clinics director at the International Symposium of Contemporary Art Theory and, from 2007 to 2010, head of education and public programs at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, both in Mexico City. Sofia is a member of Another Roadmap for Arts Education, of Red de Conceptualismos del Sur, and has contributed to specific events with the network Arts Collaboratory.
Her long-term research project, Between Utopia and Disenchantment (Entre utopía y desencanto), focuses on the collective memory and genealogies stemming from intentional community models developed in Mexico in past decades, addressing the ideas posed by Ivan Illich and its influential role in the practice of many Mexican and international thinkers.
She is currently member of Sistema Nacional de Creadores Artísticos, 2019-2022 in Mexico, in Experimental Practices (2019-22) to develop the project The Nurturer: Cooking to Learn (La Nutridora: Una cocina para aprender).