Expression for LOVE OF THE ARTS happens on Curaçao!
For the past ten days, artist from different disciplines descended upon Curacao for the bi-annual Plein Air Festival. Attracting artists from countries like Surinam, Trinidad, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States, the resident artists not only blend their paints on the canvas, but they also blend in with the local culture and people. Artists were welcomed into the homes of local families who offered them accommodations and friendship while they were here, and so there were not only great works created in Curacao over the past two weeks, but new friendships were also cultivated as well.
Plein Air Curacao’s mission is to paint Curacao, and that is just what the visiting artists did. From the countryside of Banda Abau to the colourful downtown of Willemstad, artists painted the iconic buildings and beaches people have come to love.
Fabulous Artist Kristin Hosbein had her easel set up at the Ostrich Farm and painted beautiful landscapes while a group of thriving young artist joined a workshop using different mediums in their art-full approach. Art connoisseur Marilyn Schanze created the opportunity and accompanied many visiting artist to the different locations where they exposed their talents.
Some artist even painted underwater, capturing the gorgeous reef and vibrant ocean life. At the end of each day, artists had the opportunity to show their work at the gallery. There, many artist sold their paintings.
In addition to painting Curacao, some of the artists were invited to give workshops at local schools and participate as instructors for the youth and adult courses. Lessons in water-colour, pastels and charcoal offered some budding artists the opportunity to learn from professionals. Very talented artist, Patricia Barr Clarke was demonstrating aquarelle techniques and many future artist gathered to watch, learn and practice. She pleasantly gave them tips and encouraged them to find their own style.
The final day of the festival included a competition, youth activities, prizes and farewells. In the four hours the artists were given to paint for the competition, I enjoyed a leisure stroll through the streets of Punda. Taking in the sounds of the city- the silver horn being blown by a local jazz musician, the rhythmic creaking of the pontoon bridge, and the melancholic songs coming from the 16th Century synagogue, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty all around me.
The blending of the old and new- the sights and sounds. All of it make Curaçao a haven for the plein air artists. It was no surprise their inspiration was abundant and their desires to return authentic. We hope to see you back for the Plein Air festival in Curacao, 2017!
Written by Kate Smith Ribeiro
Photos by Sheila Botton