Artvi Advocates Announces Exhibit Winners 'Blue Melody' by Antilles student Danielle Ebenholtz, one of two 'Best in Show' winners. The more than 400 people who attended this year’s 2013 Caribbean Colour exhibit at Yacht Haven Grande on Saturday chose Brenda Sylvia’s mixed-media installation, "Too Blue," and Danielle Ebenholtz's mixed-media painting, "Blue Melody," as the “Best in Show” artists. The 2013 Caribbean Colour, 2 Blue 4 U art exhibition was hosted by Artvi Advocates. The event celebrates the diversity, creativity, and quality of work being produced in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the organizers. "Choosing a favorite artwork was no easy task, as there were many wonderful works of art submitted this year, several of which were installations or interactive pieces,” said Priscilla L. Hintz Rivera, co-curator and executive director of ARTVI. Featured in the exhibition were more than 50 works of art and fine art photography from local resident artists from all three islands, as well as more than 30 works of art by students from Charlotte Amalie High School, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, Antilles School, the School of Visual Arts and Careers. 'Starcaster' by Crucian artist Lucian Downes. Ebenholtz is a student at Antilles School. Other exhibition winners included Crucian artist Lucian Downes, who won first place in the two-dimensional category for his mixed media painting "Starcaster," and Ivanna Eudora Kean student artist Raheem Chetram, who took second prize for his mixed media collage, "Shoreline Puzzle." In addition, to the curated exhibit and interactive community art installation, visitors to the exhibit Saturday were able to enjoy guest jazz performer Tim Mayer and the Flambo Combo Junior High Band from Bertha C. Boschulte Middle school, led by music teacher, Calvin Jones. The exhibit will be open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and from June 10 through June 15. The gallery is in the former Havana Nine store in Yacht Haven Grande. 'Too Blue' by Brenda Sylvia, a 'Best in Show' winner. Artvi Advocates is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the arts in order to enhance the cultural, social and economic well-being of the U.S. Virgin Islands through arts education and advocacy. Caribbean Colour was sponsored by Guardian Insurance, Yacht Haven Grande and is funded in part by the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The following is a complete list of winners. Best in Show Adult: "Too Blue" by Brenda Sylvia Best in Show Student: "Blue Melody" by Danielle Ebenholtz Adults Category 1: Two Dimensional: Fine Art Photography, Oil Painting, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastels, Drawings, and Mixed Media Flat. 1st Prize: "Starcaster" by Lucien Downes 2nd: "Natti" by Dymond Nicholls 3rd: "2 Blue Trees" by Brooks Brown Category 2 Three Dimensional: Sculpture, Clay, Found Objects, Collage, Relief and Mixed Media. 1st Prize: "Too Blue" by Brenda Sylvia 2nd: "Bioluminescence" by Lisa Parfitt 3rd: "Material Girl" by Laura Ballard Students Two Dimensional: Fine Art Photography, Oil Painting, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastels, Drawings, and Mixed Media Flat. 1st Prize: "Blue Melody" by Danielle Ebenholtz 2nd : "Shoreline Puzzle" by Raheem Chetram 3rd: "La Mujer del Mar" by Adia Titus

Artvi Advocates hosted the 2011 Caribbean Colour Juried Art Exhibition event, “The Art of Diversity: A Smile Is Beautiful in Every Colour,” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at The Ice Gallery Project at St. Thomas Dairies, across from Udder Delite on Magens Bay Road, St. Thomas. Attendees of this one-night-only exhibition had the opportunity to participate in a collaborative art project throughout the evening, and were also able to cast a vote for their favorite work in the People’s Choice Award category. Featured in the exhibition were be more than 40 works of art from local emerging and mid-career artists, as well as over 30 works of art by students from the Charlotte Amalie High School art department, The Virgin Islands School of Visual Arts and Antilles School, among others. Artist Eric Browne exhibited an audio installation, which was accompanied by a light show by Hooman Pedram.

Over $2,000 in cash prizes were awarded to the exhibition winners. Serving as juror was Carmen T. Ruiz De Fischler Ph.D., founding director of the Puerto Rico Museum of Art and a former executive director of the renowned Ponce Art Museum. Artvi Advocates hopes to use this all-inclusive community art exhibit as a catalyst for creating awareness and promoting the value of our diversity throughout the Virgin Islands. Artvi Advocates is a new grassroots organization of energetic and innovative art advocates who have a keen interest in furthering the cause of arts and cultural advocacy in the U.S.V.I. Its mission is to support and promote the arts in order to enhance the cultural, social and economic well-being of the Virgin Islands through arts education and advocacy.

The second Young @ heART project: The MAD MEN ARTVI pARTy in celebration of Arts & Humanities month

On Saturday, October 23, 2010, Artvi Advocates will present its second Young @ heART project: The MAD MEN ARTVI pARTy in celebration of Arts & Humanities month. It will take place at The Saint Lounge in Red Hook across from Marina Market from 6-9pm. Arts and Humanities Month is a month-long celebration that has become the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. The Young @ heART project is a new initiative designed by Artvi Advocates to connect the young at heart with the arts in the Virgin Islands. The goal of the Young @ heART project is to help inspire greater appreciation for the arts and encourage the long-term commitment to arts philanthropy in the Virgin Islands. It seeks to connect artists, art lovers, patrons and collectors who have a keen interest in furthering their knowledge of the arts and provide consistent financial support for the creation, exhibition, performance and proliferation of arts in the Virgin Islands.

According to Priscilla L. Hintz, founder of Artvi Advocates and co-curator of the event, “The Mad Men theme was inspired by the art work depicted on the television series Mad Men, which portrays parts of society and culture of the 1960’s. This decade was an exciting, revolutionary, and turbulent time that had a major impact on art, our society and culture.”

The event will feature, for one night only, renowned chef and artists, Tony Romano, Cruzan born artist, Luca Gasperi, St. Thomas native David Hill, Puerto Rican painter Ensor Colon and Augustine Holder. In addition, photographers, Drew Alston, Lamont Blake, Steve Rockstein and Marlon Davies will be presenting a compilation of their photography via a projected slide show. All the work featured will be reminiscent or stimulated by the best Abstract Expressionist, Pop Artists, Op Artists, Conceptual and Post-minimalist artists of the 60’s. These art movements were unique and influential artistic expressions that continue to have an impact on artists today. Eric Browne, a Virgin Islands native, will also be creating an inventive musical compilation that will be featured at the event. It will include memorable music of the 1960’s ranging from Frank Sinatra ballads, Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”, traditional Jamaican Ska music that emerged in the early 1960’s, and popular Calypso tunes of the time.

In addition, you will be able to watch the artists exploit the mystique of accident, a Surrealist technique called Exquisite Corpse. “This technique is a collaborative collage of words or images based on an old parlor game, it is played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase or draw an image on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next person for his/her contribution. This will be an engaging, live and interactive piece that the artists will create during the event,” said Kimberly Young, co-curator of the project.

1960’s inspired suits, cocktail dresses & hats are highly encouraged. The first fifty attendees will receive a free Tom Collins cocktail. The event is free and sponsored by Key Art Supplies, St. Thomas Dairies and The Saint Lounge.

Artvi Advocates is a grassroots nonprofit organization of energetic and innovative art advocates who have a keen interest in furthering the cause of arts and cultural advocacy in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its mission is to support and promote the arts in order to enhance the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of the Virgin Islands through arts education and advocacy.

Artvi Advocates

On Saturday, July 24th from 6pm to 9pm at Everyday Clay Studio in Tillett Gardens Artvi Advocates will present its first Young @ heART project, Dream in Green Summer pARTy; a new initiative designed by Artvi Advocates to connect the young at heart with the arts in the Virgin Islands.

The Dream in Green pARTy is a artsy social and educational networking event. The event is a fun and casual meeting of the minds for artists, art lovers and for all of us in the community that are concerned about our environment. Chat with all types of people, explore the various “green” art projects, sip some environmentally friendly wine, and share what fuels your artistic flame.

Green is not just a color, lifestyle or trend. Living green is a way of thinking, doing and being that benefits our environment and territory. The word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, “to grow”. Currently, its’ most common association is tied to its connection to nature and the term “green” has become the color symbol of environmental protection and social justice. Throughout history, artists have responded to the natural environment, whether in detailed studies of plants and animals, lush paintings of the land and sea or by using nature as their medium.

Currently, contemporary artists are directing their creative ingenuity to create a “green” consciousness by advocating about our environmental challenges through their work. The Dream in Green pARTy will feature five such artists who have embraced the “green” theme in a variety of different ways.

Eric Browne, a Virgin Islands native, will debut his audio installation art using an audio program called RECYCLE. His work is an ever evolving rhythmic arrangement of harmonious and interactive melodic blending of sounds. Eranah Laura Davies, creative director of the Shalem Art Space for Peace at Tillett Gardens will present her re-purposed art and installations. Eranah uses diverse materials, found objects and paint to create playful visual relationships. Clay Lindol Jones, founder and director of the nonprofit arts collective, sevenminus7 will feature his organic rock sculptures and Everyday Clay Studio artist, Kimberly Young will be presenting a new series of installations and drawings inspired by The Lorax a children's book, written by Dr. Seuss. It chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler. In addition, fine art photographer, Lamont Blake will make his Virgin Islands debut with a series of “green” inspired illustrative hybrid photographs.

The Dream in Green Summer PARTy is a “Young @ heART" project. The Young @ heART project is a new initiative designed by Artvi Advocates to connect the young at heart with the arts in the Virgin Islands. The goal of Young @ heART is to help inspire greater appreciation for the arts and encourage the long-term commitment to arts philanthropy in the Virgin Islands.

Artvi Advocates is a new grassroots organization of energetic and innovative art advocates who have a keen interest in furthering the cause of arts and cultural advocacy in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its mission is to support and promote the arts in order to enhance the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of the Virgin Islands through arts education and advocacy.

The Art of Albert E. Daniel

St. Thomas Painter and Sculptor
1897 – 1982


“Never had a lesson in my life, some call me a hit and a miss, but I seldom miss. You can go to a thousand schools, they can teach you the technique of art, but expression, you must have it inside, they can’t put expression into you.” -Albert E. Daniel

These words capture Albert Edward Daniel’s vision of himself as an artist. For Daniel, a self-taught artist, it was the ability to project his inner vision on canvas that made the artist. Excellence was entirely the product of the depth and intensity of inspiration. In a society where art was pursued as amusement and entertainment, not as occupation, recording his inner vision was Daniel’s lifelong struggle.

Born on May 16, 1897 to Lucy Ann and Charles Daniel, Albert Daniel attended a private Catholic school. His favorite subjects were art and music. At the age of 14, he was forced to leave school because of his family’s financial difficulties. After school and later on after work Albert drew and painted constantly, copying anything he would find to improve his skills. For him, imitation of the acceptable European styles of the time was only for the purpose of “getting the feel of the paint”. Daniel wanted to be an “original”. A devout Catholic, he prayed for inspiration in his search for a unique style to express his message. In 1937, Albert Daniel married Agnes Brouwer. His wife operated a dry-goods store and was able to support him in his work. By the mid-1940s, the artist decided to dedicate himself full-time to his art.

Acceptance of his painting of a market vendor, entitled “Lady”, for exhibition at the 1939 World’s Fair, confirmed Daniel in his chosen subject matter, the common laborer and market woman. The market vendor, fisherman, dock worker and farm laborer formed the backbone of Virgin Islands society. In portraits of the laborer and the market woman, the artist defined the character of his people as hard-working, God-fearing and content, in their daily occupations along the waterfront and the market place, and in the merry-making of carnival.

By the late 1950s, Daniel had found his own style. His paintings disregarded the laws of perspective, as he depicted his subjects in frontal or profile representations. Through keen observation, he captured the typical mannerism of his people with a liner facility, which
transformed his child-like representations into forms of expressive vitality. Color was the soul of his painting. He used it for both purely decorative and symbolic purposes. [1]

In the 1960s, as commercial tourism began to elbow out the traditional way of life, Daniel turned his creative efforts to a restoration of the past. His “memory paintings” capture the way things had been. Stylistically matured, Daniel manipulated pictorial elements for symbolic and decorative purposes. Perspective lines are used for dramatic purposes or symbolically to indicate a state of contentment and balance or turmoil. Artifacts, such as the Danish colonial flag, the sack of coal, the beast of burden, and the market tray, emblematic of the traditional life style, conjure up the past.
During this period of transition, Daniel turned to social commentary in his paintings and sculptures. The market woman and laborer became the critical observers of the social changes brought about by commercialization, whose observations are emphasized with titles and verses drawn from 19th century poetry and sayings in his native Creole which he affixed to the back of his works. Symbols, the best known of these is the pole or “staff of life”, convey the presence of the Almighty in the lives of his subjects, and other values he felt had been lost.

In the seventies, Daniel tackled the clash of traditional values and contemporary life-styles: the alienation of the young and the generation gap, increased secularization, and other ‘evils’ of materialism threatening to destroy the fabric of society—labor unrest, crime, and anarchy. Towards the end of his life, his art encompassed the broader philosophical implications of the disintegration of the stable society he had known, expressing the agitation and turmoil of the age and man’s inhumanity to man.
Albert Daniel died in 1982. His art chronicles the struggles, joys and sorrows of the inhabitants of St. Thomas, who had been brought as chattel from Africa to these shores. Through his artistic commentary on the life of his people from the vantage point of the poor, Daniel created a continuous historical perspective; from slavery through subsistence living, to the dominance of the tourist economy. Throughout, Daniel captured the strength and identity of his people that were preserved in their history of struggle. Today, Albert Daniel is regarded as a major voice in Virgin Islands cultural history,
bearing out the artist’s prediction: ”When I am dust upon the wind, people will realize what I left behind.”

In the 1950s, Daniel also developed an interest in sculpture and executed pieces mostly in wood.

Madeleine Meehan-"in performance with" Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra

Madeleine Meehan’s MostlyMusicArt, like music, states themes, vibrating from point to counter point, striking chords and stroking innuendos, moving lyrically and emphatically. Noted for her energetic output on paper and canvas, Madeleine’s artwork quickly captures the energy of the performers. She recently exhibited at St. Croix’s Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts during the Frederiksted Jazz Festival.

For the past year, the Virgin Islands painter has been “playing” with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, from the Reichhold stage to ongoing concerts at Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré in San Juan where she is planning an exhibition in conjunction with the orchestra’s 50th anniversary. She “performs” her art during rehearsals and, discreetly, during performances with the symphony.

Often drawn to music as inspiration for her graphic story, Madeleine can frequently be found throughout the Virgin Islands drawing what she hears. From the territory’s diverse musical venues featuring quelbe, steel pan, and jazz, to the London Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, el al, to the most recent liaison with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Madeleine Meehan’s pen and color echo the rhythms and themes of compositions.

“It’s an honor to be invited to sit in on rehearsals and attend performances of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and its new world-class conductor, Maximiano Valdés” says the artist, “I see the painterly process like composing music- colors, tones, and textures”. And like music her work is audible, full of energy and laced in melody.

The Cuban-born visual artist is classically trained in fine art with immediacy and verve. Madeleine’s work has appeared in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions, orchestra and music magazines, and the New York Times with her signature style reflecting the creative energy of musicians, dancers, and performers in concert.

The MostlyMusicArtist grew up drawing in the sand on beaches around Havana and hearing to music with her musician father. She attended the “Fame”-famed High School of Music and Art in New York, earned a BFA from Cornell University, and pursued graduate studies at Columbia, NYU. She is a life member of the Art Students League of New York.

Her major influences come from the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Honoré Daumier, and J.M.W. Turner whose billowing sails in the Battle of Waterloo are treated in line and color, hue and intensity like the forms and figures of Madeleine’s musicians.

When Madeleine is not drawing at a performance or rehearsal, in ultimate synch with the music, you can find her working in her Mafolie studio overlooking the Charlotte Amalie harbor.

Tony Romano: A Man of Many Talents By: Patricia O'Friel

Tony Romano is a kind and unassuming man whose warm smile and welcoming spirit are evident from the moment you meet him. His restaurant, Romano's, is one of the classics of St. Thomas. Tony's artistry as a chef and reputation as a successful restaurateur were established long before his emergence as a fine artist.

Tony was raised in New Jersey in a very interesting and creative Italian family. He started drawing in high school and continued into college. There his interests expanded to focus on music as well. He studied music theory and piano and later taught himself tenor saxophone, flute, and guitar. His interest in art and the development of his eye for fine art were fostered by his uncle, Dr. Nicholas Giarritta, who was an avid collector and became Tony's mentor in many ways. Nicholas was the owner of a fine dining restaurant under whom Tony learned the art of cuisine. Tony worked with his uncle for years perfecting his own abilities as a chef and businessman. He moved to St. Thomas in 1985 with his children, Tony and Nina, and opened Romano's where he established an outstanding dining institution. It has become widely known as a place of elegant cuisine, attentive service, unique art exhibits, and warm ambience, a place where the visual and culinary arts blended and enriched one another.

While Tony's interest in art continued through the years as he built his business and expanded his own collection, his talents as an artist lay essentially dormant, although he did continue to sketch when he could. Then a serious illness brought him close to death in 1999 and left Tony unable to work in the restaurant for a year. He soon picked up a paintbrush and began to paint. From the very beginning he felt a drive and sense of purpose. Tony's near-death experience gave him a renewed appreciation for life and a new discipline and focus as he developed a love for painting. When he eventually returned to his schedule at the restaurant, he changed many long established work and social routines so that he could concentrate on what became a passion for his art. He describes leaving the restaurant and painting at night -- usually until dawn -- while listening to music, often jazz or classical works.

Asked about his style, Tony is quick to respond that he does not want to be labeled and trapped in a particular category. He attempts to be open to new forces and experiences and to take risks in trying new techniques. He is committed to constantly stretching beyond his comfort level. He works primarily in oil, but his subject matter is varied, and his repertoire of styles is evident in even a cursory view of his creations. Oil paintings are joined by encaustic works, highly textured abstracts are featured next to portraits, rich layers of shimmering glaze flank bold strokes of flamboyant color. He balances discipline and freedom. Stunning colors and forms prevail, yet subtler feelings are conveyed as well. Tony is a master of paradox as is evident in a recent sculpture. The bust of a woman with her finger to her lips is called "Sh-h-h," yet the work's bright primary colors and wax rivulets of energy and motion call out and seem to intensify her request for silence.
Tony bristles a bit when someone refers to his art as a "hobby." He says that the idea that he is a restaurant owner with an after hours hobby is erroneous since he approaches his art with a discipline that goes far beyond the breadth and depth of any hobby's scope. Tony's prolific output and remarkable success as a painter attests to his strong commitment to what he passionately pursues and regards as his purpose at this point in his life. In fact, he speaks of feeling a profound sense of "destiny" about his need and desire to paint. The vision of the valley of death has led to incredible and unique visions which Tony expresses with deep vitality and obvious awareness of the precious gift of life. Even in casual conversation, Tony frequently speaks of feeling "blessed."

The paintings Tony has created are vibrant and alive. Some literally jump out of the canvas as hands and faces emerge in layers of oil or encaustic overlaps. Heavily textured oils go beyond impasto techniques and create dramatic and thought provoking visual statements. Others are playful or romantic or even a bit nostalgic as in one painting of a special café in Paris. Tony's musical interest comes through in images of musicians in bold, bright colors.

Tony's love for what he refers to as the "theater of fine cuisine" is nowhere more evident than in paintings where he incorporates his interest in food and wine within his art. One painting protests the use of screw tops instead of corks on fine wine bottles (a recent attempt by some producers to modernize and economize). This painting is a large, bold work in which the intricate designs take precedence over the very real protest nearly hidden within the lines and angles. Other paintings are bright still lifes of fruit and fresh produce. One work presents the orderly design and vivid colors of the restaurant refrigerator filled with the fresh fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients ready to be used in the day's preparation.

Tony Romano is a talented musician, a celebrated purveyor of fine cuisine, and an award winning artist whose work has been exhibited in world class galleries and collected internationally. He has been called a "Renaissance Man" in a recent issue of DESTINATION magazine, and this label is a perfect one for this inspired and inspiring man of the world. Fortunately, he is also a man of these islands whose creativity enriches and celebrates this special place he calls home.