It was smaller this year, but size doesn’t matter in this case, because it was a memorable #ArtFair2019.
I showed up with visiting friends from Canada on opening night. Some of the artwork was still wrapped, waiting to be hung.
True to its promise #ArtFair2019, delivered Art, Culture & Movement, and was dedicated to Elvis Tromp, celebrating 50 years as an artist.
At the end of the three days in November, our outdoor gallery in San Nicolas boasted about 60 murals. Ten were added just now, but the night we were there I wasn’t quite sure where they were.
Book me on a return trip to see them.
The godmother of culture was at the entrance, at the ticket sale booth, Alice van Romondt, we should thank her for her ties with Dutch cultural foundations, where she manages to drum up funding each year. She also curated the excellent art exhibitions, with three galleries, set up in the main street’s abandoned stores; we went through just one and a half that night.
The folkloric dances on the street drew us out, then hunger drove us to dinner.
One night is not enough.
I saw some excellent work by artist Ad Rekkers, painting black & white portraits on stones, fantastic iguanas by Anita Hugen, detailed, folkloric work by Miriam del’Isla, charming collages by Diana Hopman Betjes, a large evocative canvas by Mo Mohamed, fantastic realism by Nigel Mathews, mixed media with bold palm fiber fabric by Miriam Gielen, and tropical flair with Sharina Gumbs. There was a rich display of local arts & crafts at Cosecha.
The street vending artisan booths were fewer in numbers, I hear the $100 fee scared some of them off, opting to stay away. From among those we visited Cara Elexia with Ayron Kock made an impression. The young man finishes fedoras to help us express ourselves, under the motto: At Cara Elexia we believe that everyone should wear their story.
Art Sano Foundation featured the biggest booth and most artwork, all produced as a social enterprise by a vulnerable segment of our community, those in rehab, or homeless, in prison or under guardianship. The program, under the direction of artist Claudia Ruiz Vasquez @artesanofoundation, creates local souvenirs, based on the island’s natural and cultural heritage.
I also bought delicious home-baked cookies from master-baker Willeke Kok and got delicious mini Dutch Pancakes from Premal van Pofferdorie, Echte Hollandse Poffertjes, that relocated on the occasion from the DoItCenter, to SN.
Best of all dinner, and drinks, at the Indian Pop Up by Renaissance, Dhaba. The restaurant set up shop in an abandoned main street structure, dramatically lit, with an inviting décor by Fernando Mansur.
When we arrived Friday evening at main street SN, it wasn’t busy yet, but it was hopping when we left, Organizer Tito Bolivar, he was the one still hanging stuff up, seemed pleased with his handiwork.
Our art fair is organized by a foundation, a private-sector nonprofit, and as such will always struggle to sustain itself.