Arts of Haiti News and Events [ More news items ]

Arts of Haiti coming to an end

October 26, 2018
Arts of Haiti website will come to an end on 30 November. Meanwhile we would like to announce that works on this site as well as a selection of others from Cap Haitian artists will be on view at Community School of Arts and Music, The Commons, Ithaca, New York from Friday 2 November through Friday, 30 November. As on the website, works are to be sold to benefit the two non-sectarian schools in Haiti.

New Book on Haitian art and religions

August 22, 2016
Haitian artists live at a crossroads where trade, politics and religions from all over the world have contended for attention. Columbus landed there in December of 1492 planting the Spanish cross beside crown on Taino territory. From 1665 to the end of the eighteenth century ship loads of Africans arrived. Deprived of liberty and of all worldly goods, those who became the ancestors of nearly all the present day population of Haiti brought with them a profound sense of the earth as a lively, inspirited place embedded in a transcendent continuity. The African heritage of today’s Haitian artists is robust as well as copious in its own right, thus able to integrate religious beliefs and practices of sojourners in the country. Listening to the artists discuss their works and looking at these works attentively reveals some of the richness of their inspired art. This new book, based on several years of research and interviews explores that treasure. Arts and Religions of Haiti; How the Sun Illuminates under Cover of Darkness, is available from Ian Randle Publishers https://www.ianrandlepublishers.com/arts-and-religions-of-haiti.html ISBN: 978-976-637-730-4

A Newcomer to ARTSHAITI

April 26, 2010
Edouard St. Luc, one of Bertelus Myrbel's associates in Cap Haitien, did an earthquake painting, offered for sale to raise reconstruction funds. We look forward to seeing more work from him soon. We will post his bio soon.

Funds to Gawou Ginou Foundation

April 26, 2010
Contributions from ARTSHAITI and several other donor organizations are enabling the town of Mirabalais and the C-CLAK school and community center to respond to a massive influx of refugees from Port-au-Prince. As soon as buses began to operate out of Port-au-Prince everyone who could pay for a ticket headed away from the disaster. According to estimates received form the Director of the Gawou Ginou Foundation, the population of Mirabalais doubled within the first days after the earthquake. It is now probably three times its original size. Buildings there sustained very light damage, thus the local government continues in full operation and residents are able to take people into their homes at least temporarily. School classrooms are overflowing but teachers are coping. It is greatly hoped that international aid to the countryside where so many have fled will soon be forthcoming. Investment to build the necessary infrastructure and promote the rural development expected to restore economic viability to the countryside and reduce overcrowding in the metropolitan districts will make a significant difference Meanwhile Mirabalais is putting all donations for schools to immediate use. Children are learning, and artists are active. We hope to have some works from Mirabalais artists on the site soon.

New Works from Bertelus Myrbel

April 26, 2010
Bertelus Myrbel was finishing a new set of history paintings and two religious works when the Earthquake hit. He was fortunate to be in Cap Haitien miles from the epicenter but he, like everyone else lost many relatives and friends. He set aside his history project and created two paintings to convey the turmoil and destruction. It was the best way he could work through the sorrow. As with many artists and musicians, he offers these works now, along with the history paintings to be sold to raise funds for the reconstruction efforts.

A new donation foundation for Arts Haiti

February 19, 2010

Arts Haiti is pleased to announce that under the auspices of Gawou Ginou Foundation we can now allocate tax deductible funds directly to the Centre Léocardi et Alaxandre Kenskoff (C-CLAK) in Mirabalais, Haiti. Only lightly touched by the recent earthquake, this town a few miles north east of Port-au-Prince is now receiving thousands of refugees from the devastated city with heavy demands now placed on the small medical clinic, schools, housing and the local government.

Mirabalais resident Gerdes Fleurant , Professor Emeritus of Wellesley College in Massachusetts and director of the Foundation notes,

"As we brace for the long range human, physical, psychological, and spiritual recovery, the Gawou Ginou Foundation whose mission is to educate a new generation of concerned and conscientized citizens so they may be empowered to go out to help others, appeals to you to stand with us in solidarity in these dire times. For no nation, let alone a country like Haiti whose woes are grounded in a history of slavery, colonialism, oppression, and utter disregard for humanity, can face on its own a disaster of such gigantic proportions. We are therefore convinced that, beyond our immediate intervention to save lives, heal the physical and psychological wounds, and bury the dead, we must plan for a long campaign of civic, universal, and cultural literacy. This is one of the surest ways to usher Haiti out of its morass, and to enable the country to respond to the needs of its people."

Our immediate goals are the following:

1. To make room to welcome additional students, as schools in Port-au-Prince are literally non functional.

2. To open a canteen to serve our pupils one hot meal a day. We have now 150 pupils, and our school building should be able to accommodate altogether about 250 persons, including teachers and support personnel.

3. We need to continue and expand our programming in cultural literacy focusing on the arts, music, dance, theatre, and long term emotional healing.

To learn more about Gawou Ginou Foundation (named for the grandfather of Toussaint Louverture) go to http://www.gawouginoufoundation.org. Proceeds from the sale of works at Arts Haiti go to Gawou Ginou Foundation, a (501c3) organization. You will receive a letter from the Foundation noting the tax deductible portion of your purchase.

And from the Haitian Poet, René Depestre:

“Now we must bring new values to light, and that is the task of writers and artists, so we can re-found Haiti. And not only its infrastructures, but a re-founding in the spiritual sense.” - http://repeatingislands.com/2010/02/08/rene-depestre-on-haiti%e2%80%99s-earthquake-endless-tragedy/

ArtsHaiti donates profits to help rebuild earthquake destroyed institutions and programs

January 26, 2010
Artists and directors of ArtsHaiti are happy to announce that Cap Haitien was far north of the 12 January earthquake and L’École L’Amitie is intact and free of any injuries. The children continue to show outstanding progress.

Streams of wounded arrive daily in Cap Haitien and Milot hospitals and everyone mourns the loss of relatives and friends in Port-au-Prince, Petit Goave and Jacmel. We have seen that all the colleges and universities in the capital collapsed with severe loss of lives of students, faculty and staff and that there is scarcely a school that is now usable for classes to resume. Several art collections and the famous Sainte Trinité murals are shattered or heavily damaged. Art schools and studios are in ruins. Surviving artists and educators are hard at work helping to distribute water and food and are trying to protect works of art and other national treasures so they can be restored once human emergency needs are met.

Knowing that education and creative expression are essential to the survival of a people and a nation, for this year of 2010 we will allocate all profits from sales to the rebuilding of educational and arts institutions in the earthquake region.

We hope you will consider owning a small piece of Haiti in order to contribute to the massive efforts of restoration that begin now.

New Garraway book has Myrbel cover

May 15, 2008
ree of Liberty, Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic WorldFor the cover of her latest book, "Tree of Liberty, Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World" (New World,2008) Doris Garraway selected  "Toussaint Writing the Constitution " by Bertelus Myrbel, featured in his section of the Gallery. Garraway's book follows some of the multiple consequences of the only slave revolution that resulted in the establishment of a nation in modern times.  She thus brings to the attention of a wide readership of scholars aspects of a period of history that is still a part of everyday conversation in Haiti. Especially is that conversation lively in and around Cap Haitien, where many of the heroes lived, and where many of the important battles that resulted in freedom took place. 

Garraway's book is available from amazon.com.

Arts of Haiti Salutes Haitian Heritage

May 3, 2008
 Haitian heritage is unusual in many respects, including its many ancestral roots in Africa, the influences from France and other European countries during the colonial era, it's double linguistic history of French and Kreyol continuing into the present, and an artistic heritage drawing creatively from many sources to produce paintings and sculptures of multiple styles, but always truly Haitian. The high point of Haitian heritage is the special gift to the world when for the first time in history slaves waged a successful battle against  master swho thought thay could own other human beings.  The First Black Republic, which continues to exist in the face of all difficulties after more than 200 years, is the great treasure of Haitian heritage. 

Haitian Art featured in Caribbean Literature Book

April 28, 2007
Caribbean Literature and the Environment 

Arts Haiti Director LeGrace Benson discusses Haitian landscape paintings in a chapter of Caribbean Literature and the Environment, by Elizabeth M. Deloughry, Renée K. Gosson and George Handley. 
http://www.upress.virginia.edu/books/deloughrey_toc.html  The chapter, “A Long Bilingual Conversation Concerning Paradise Lost; Landscapes in Haitian Art,” details the environmental changes taking place since Columbus landed on the island in December of 1492, with the unsuccessful search for gold and the enormously successful French colonial production of sugar.  Despite a loss of over 90% of its original forest cover, Haitians continue to implement plans to restore and recuperate. Meanwhile, the artists find the remaining places of great beauty, painting with hope for their cherished land. Some of these works are featured on this website.  The Wilson Bigaud masterpiece of the "Haitian Renaissance" era, now in the Musee d' Art Haitien of College St. Pierre in Port-au-Prince, is featured on the cover of the paperback version of  the book. In addition to chapters by the three authors there are included  writings of Jana Evans Baziel, Heidi Bojsen, Cyril Debydeen, Edouard Glissant, Wilson Harris, Trenton Hickman, Isabel Hoving, Shona N. Jackson, Jamaica Kinkaid, Hena Maes-Jelinek, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Ineke Phaf-Rheinberger, Eric Prieto, Helen Tiffin, Natasha Tinsley, and Derek Walcott.   


Literary Work Features Myrbel Painting

September 28, 2005

Cover art by Bertelus Myrbel

Marie-Agnès Sourieau and Kathleen M. Balutansky feature Bertelus Myrbel’s L’Union fait la Force (Unity Makes Strength) on the cover of their book, Ecrire en Pays assiégé: Haiti: Writing Under Seige. The bilingual book features Haitian writers and is a tribute to "…a people telling their stories under siege."

L’Union fait la Force (Unity Makes Strength) is available for purchase here.

Cape Haitian paintings open at Florida Cultural Center

May 18, 2005
Viewers chatting about one of the paintings.Whether history or contemporary views, the paintings in each section s arise from a storytelling tradition. Visitor's will almost immediately see that one theme flows into the other, and that all of them present a story about the world as experienced in and around Cap Haïtien. History and the future are parts of the present. The great events of the past are imbued with transcendent spirit, so too are celebrations, the problems that beset the present, and the hopes for the future of Haïti Cherie.

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