Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the following upcoming events that will take place from February 23 – March 5 in at CMCA in St. Croix. Former Crucian resident, Kendal Henry from New York City will be making his second visit to St. Croix to follow up on a public artwork which was initiated a year ago. This project may focus on a theme of “Common Ground” and may reference the history and cultural use of the towns of Frederiksted and Christiansted. The project will be site specific and will be created during his ten-day residency. Artists and non-artists wishing to participate or just learn more about Public Art are invited to attend. It is Mr. Henry’s intention is to meet Virgin Islands artists and get to know their work. This Blog has been set up for this purpose.

Common Ground public art project and this residency is being sponsored by Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Virgin Island Artists who wish to post to the blog should request an invitation from Kendal at

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Art Students Bring the Past Back to Life

Claynelle Gordon, 15, (front) and Shakir Smith, 16, restore the mural at the Caribbean Center Museum of the Arts in Frederiksted.
 By John Baur — February 27, 2011 - St. Croix Source

They did more than refurbish an old painting. The dozen students working in Frederiksted Saturday afternoon were reviving a bit of Crucian culture and shining up the island's image.
You night have passed it dozens of times and hardly noticed it as you walked down King Street in Frederiksted, a fading mural with dim colors, paint flaking.
Well, not anymore.
Now the colors are so vibrant they practically jump off the wall at you, the street scene vivid and alive. Kids play, women shop and talk, clouds mount up in the distance as a sailboat plies the sea in the background. It's a St. Croix that used to be, captured in the memories of those who painted the scene more than three decades ago.
The transformation of the old mural on the wall outside the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts is courtesy of St. Croix Central High School's National Art Honor Society. Under the direction of their teachers, Niarus Benjamin Walker and Kristin Duncan, about a dozen students came together to bring life back to the mural painted 36 years ago by other students, now long grown up. And while today's young artists hope their work lasts as long, they had an impact even before they'd finished.
Tourists off the cruise ship docked nearby stopped to admire their work and take pictures. One was so impressed she gave Benjamn a cash donation for the program.
"This is phenomenal," said Nancy Maher of Frederick, Md., who made the donation. "I'm very glad to see these kids doing this. ... This is a fine reflection on your island."

The mural was originally painted in 1975, long before the building became an art museum. Students from the Claude O. Markoe Elementary School, which in that time was a first through eighth grade school, did the mural as a school project under the direction of Trudi Gilliam and Sandy Zierdt. It was touched up once in 1998.
Jason Rames, who happened by the work Saturday, was a student at Markoe then, and while he wasn't part of the painting project, he said several friends were.
Rames was driving down King Street and saw the activity, and had to pull over, get out and double back to watch.
"This is really great," he said.
The mural long predates the museum, which opened in 2003. At the time the mural was painted, Rames remembered, the building was vacant and the wall "was just a wall."
Refurbishing the mural is a community service project for the art students. Saturday was actually the third afternoon spent working on the mural, Duncan said. The students had washed it down and put a sealant on it. Saturday at 1 p.m. they started scraping it with wire brushes to knock off any further loose paint and to scratch up the surface so new paint would adhere to it.
Then they got to work with the brushes. First they had to mix the paints to get exactly the right shades of color. Then carefully, consulting often with their teachers, they tried to recreate the scene exactly as it had been painted 36 years ago.
By 4 p.m. the change was startling, and the colors once again popped as they must have back in the 1970s.
"It feels great to be reviving something like this," said Claynelle Gordon, a 15-year-old sophomore at Central High. She was especially pleased with the reaction. "You're doing something and the adults are actually with us."
Benjamin said the project is part of Youth Art Month, and is sponsored by the V.I. Council of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Saturday at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts

Daphne teaches a rug making class to some young girls. The craft is all but lost. We'll make an instructional video later in the week and post it on youtube.

Local art teaches supervise students in restoring a mural that was first created in the 70's - years before any of them was even born.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Opening Reception

Candia Atwater and the Caribbean Museum Center for the arts put together a great reception to launch the artist in residence workshop.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I always like starting a workshop with a presentation about public art. It helps us all begin from the same starting point and have a point of reference for initial conversations. I also find that these presentations can inspire us to think outside the box and increase our public art vocabulary. This opening presentation will lead the discussions on how public art practices can help improve our community and ourselves.

Please join me - it will be fun!

Common Ground Part 2

As you may know Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts is gearing up for the second edition of the Common Ground project, which will be led again this year by Kendal Henry of NY who will be in residence at CMCA from Feb. 22 to March 5th - he will be available from Feb. 23 through March 4th to conduct workshops and meet with individuals and groups interested in the Common Ground project which intends to spur revitalization of F'sted and outlying areas while also identifying the historic and social importance of these areas through a consensus of participants.

Here is the Press Release on the project but i am writing now to let you know about the reception on Thursday, February 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at CMCA that i hope you will be able to attend - also many of you belong to groups - Our Town, architects, Rotary, etc. who may wish to have Kendal speak with them or meet with him on a one to one basis. You may call CMCA - 772-2622 to schedule a time to meet with Kendal or for information on workshop times. You may call me - (Common Ground Project Director) at 693-8069.

Kindly let me know if you have questions or wish to schedule anything - Thanks  - looking forward to seeing you this Thursday at the reception - all the best, Janet

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Looking to get away for a bit and hone your artist skills in the process? Check out Residency Unlimited. If an artist residency is out there it's on here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Edwin Austin Abbey Mural Workshop Fellowship

Edwin Austin Abbey Mural Workshop Fellowship

The Abbey Mural Workshop is a unique opportunity for selected artists to learn how to successfully compete for public art mural commissions. The emphasis is on two-dimensional work that grows out of the mural tradition. Participants will meet professionals working in the public art field through workshop lectures, demonstrations, and critiques. The workshop culminates in a month-long exhibition of the final mural designs at the National Academy. Past artists have gone on to secure commissions and install public art projects across the country.

The Workshop is taught by Grace Graupe-Pillard, who has been working with the Academy for the last several years. Grace is an experienced and enthusiastic artist with a breadth of public art experience in New York City and New Jersey.

Past lecturers include Will Barnet, Richard Haas, Joyce Kozloff, Ellen Lanyon, and Dorothea Rockburne, to name a few.

Participants will receive a one-time stipend of $1200.

The workshop will begin July 6 and end July 30, 2010. It is an intensive workshop—classes are held from 9:00am to 5:00pm every weekday. Participants are responsible for their own housing, transportation, materials, and related expenses.

Click here to apply:

If you have any further questions after reviewing the application page, please contact Claire Bergeal at or 212.369.4880 x 206

The 2009 Recipients of The Edwin Austin Abbey Mural Workshop Fellowship:


Led by Grace Graupe-Pillard, the 2009 Abbey Mural Workshop includes critiques and lectures provided by several noted artists, architects, art historians and public art administrators including Stephen Antonakos, Louise Dunn, R.M. Fischer, Andrew Ginzel, Richard Haas, Dean Hartung, Kendal Henry, Keir Johnston, Joyce Kozloff, Ellen Lanyon, John Post Lee, Jennifer McGregor, Tom Moran, Bernard Olshan, Kelly Pajek, Alberto Quinones, and Dorothea Rockburne.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Common Ground on Google Maps

View Common Ground: St. Croix, USVI in a larger map

We came up with a way for people outside St. Croix to see the the information on the plaques and for the public to add their own virtual plaques. This will allow people in China and Australia and other parts of the world to read what makes St. Croix, St.Croix.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



Question: How do U.S. census racial/housing demographics compare with unconscious choices by a cross-section of St. Croix’s people?

Project: Cruzians selected ceramic skin-toned
talismans to represent themselves; then placed them
upon a symbolic landscape. Hatfield completed with
hand-made landscape-toned tiles.

Results: Participants filled hilltops with all colors;
where actually, wealthy Caucasians dwell. In general,
people see themselves as more mixed & unified; less divided
than the U.S. government designations.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Public Art Opportunity

Special Project: Jersey Barrier Design Request for Proposal

NYCDOT, in partnership with the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit (CAU) and New York Cares, a local not-for-profit organization, that mobilizes New Yorkers in volunteer service, is launching an initiative to improve the appearance of jersey barriers at specific locations throughout the Boroughs.

NYCDOT invites artists and designers to submit designs to be painted directly onto a number of selected barriers on-site or in storage. With the addition of colorful and creative designs, the once ordinary and functional barriers will become a welcome surprise for passersby. Download the Request for Proposals (pdf).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Look for The Placques Around The Island


After leaving St. Croix 25 years ago, I've always wondered what it would be like to go back. I had no family there and I'd lost contact with most of the friends I'd made in school, so didn't expect much of a reception. So therefore, I want to thank you all for making my return home so special and memorable. Thank you Barbara and Celeste, Carolyn and Jordon and Helen and Charlene. Thank you Lisa, Monica and Cynthia. Thank you Cindy. Thank you Edgar. Thank you Yemaya. Thank you Dr. Hall and Cleo and Thank you Ms. Francis. Thank you Mike and thank your daughter who's name escapes me. Thank you Kristen and Phyllis and Gwen. Thank you Danica and your 6th Grade girls. Thank you La Vaughn and Thank you Esh - see you in NYC. A special Thank you to Daphne and Diane who made sure I was comfortable. And I cannot thank Janet enough for being so persistent and making sure I made it back to St. Croix. And my biggest Thanks goes to Candia and the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts without whom I would not have gotten the opportunity to return to St. Croix.

I encourage all of you to support the CMC. Become members, attend the shows and patronize the gift shop. Let the Museum Center know that you appreciate these exchanges.

And lastly if I forgot you- Thank you!

Most Sincerely,

At Country Day School

Thanks to Monica Marin and Cynthia Hatfield, I was able to talk to a range of students at Country Day School

La Vaughn Belle's Class at UVI

Thank you La Vaughn and class for the thought provoking discussions.

The Art Class at Good Hope

The View from the classroom

I want to thank Phyllis Biddle for inviting me to her class to share some of my work with her students. Keep up the good work guys.

Saturday, January 23, 2010



dis waitin ain payin my bills..only once 'ebry 'our..geez man!
wha happen if dey late..!? huh? dat de ain dey problem..dey don care
lawng as dey geh de pay chek!
always sum roun ah roun tory.."ah stop foh gas""eh break don back ah road"
tall boss Vex wid me when i late foh wok.--have a meetin wid ebrybodi an gon call me out!! meson--shuups!
dey drop off who dey want..whe pah de want-- (aIn ge no stop ova de soh)
buh gon mek me walk up de hill with my bundle(--an eh geh space to sTop whe pah i want to go)
judgement man!!!!!!!!! ah tiRed complain.
so get it together people--justice for everyone or no peAce for anyoNe.

Empress da 4th


The Power Rangers may let down little kids in the T.V. But the V I Power Rangers lets down no man, woman, or child! Blue, Purple, Magenta, Orange, Green, Yellow, and Platinum. The Rangers of SCEC is here for all of you, weather you can tell or not.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I Eat Man-Go and Wait on No Man

East to west
West to east, and back again
"Beg no ride cause' I have a choice as a woman", I queen
A queen with a destiny of her own, a destined soul this queen
A choice made on the go
I eat man, GO!
On the road a choice is made as I go
I sometimes eat a few man,


C. Ebenezer Nisbett dba Esh Vanterpool



In tandem they spin to a non-stop beat

Rubber wheels races against the black tar heat

Sixteen’s, twenty fours, and thirty twos poses as frames

While rewound memories mimic the playful yesteryear

Colorful shirttails frolic with the wind ahead

The skies of blues and whites are my laughter


As we scream and rejoice at this,


C.Ebenezer Nisbett dba Esh Vanterpool



At 6:30 am one Sunday morning, leaving Mt. Victory, I was stopped by this magnificent tree.
Compelled to see her in her glory...I got out of my car and looked up in total amazement.
She the communicated that she knew me from a long time ago when I used to walk the rainforest on Saturday in the summer picking up mangoes!

Charlene Springer