Caribbean Linked, one giant leap for art in Aruba

As part of its ongoing program, Atelier ‘89 invited a number of regional artists to live and work here over a period of two weeks, and last Saturday, their internship in Aruba concluded with a happening on the main street and an exhibition, unfolding on the creative ground of Aruba’s Academia di Bellas Artes, Atelier ’89.

Under the direction of the tireless Elvis Lopez, this multi-tiered event took off, and miraculously accomplished something, prompting me again to ask: How does he do it?!

The final happening on the main street was especially fun. The brass-band occupied the upper deck of the tram, and traveled down the tracks while playing Carnival music. It stopped at the area between the Aruba Trading Company and Mango, where we all enjoyed flutes of Champagne and some wild dancing. Thank you, Arion Wine Company.

Every day should be like that on the main street. We should have a brass band traveling up and down that street every day.

So, what made Caribbean Linked so special this time, you’re asking?

The MinEdu was present, and promised to incorporate art in school curriculum. He promised the same exact thing on the previous evening at the ANA expo opening.

And that is huge.

Elvis has been trying for years to get an endorsement that art is important and a cultural do-or-die, and here it was, I heard it with my own ears.


What also changed was the level of support Caribbean Liked received. This time around, the winds of change delivered a greater number of partners and I will go thru the list because I personally want to tell them that we appreciate whatever big or small donation they spared to make sure the muses continue to sing on the island and that humanities, all aspects of human society and culture, are sustained.

Thank you, Partners: Fresh Milk magazine, for new, rare, unconventional, and the well received in Fashion, Art, Music, and Design; ARC – Art recognition culture, a contemporary magazine for Caribbean Visual Art & Culture, Mondrian Fund, the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund, Bank Giro Loterij Fonds, Aruba Tourism Authority, DOW, Elite, Setar, UNOCA, Garage Centraal & Aruba Band.

Also, about FIFTY smaller sponsors.  

The expo featured works by regional and local artists and was curated by visiting experts.

I appreciated the Tourists Melting into the sidewalk in big blotches of plastic, a funny collaborative work by Franz Caba and Kristen Chen.

The spectacular La Linea En la Memoria, mural painting by Irvin Aguilar, and the Rancho stilt walkers!

More public recognition, a government endorsement: That’s one small step for Elvis, and one giant leap for art in Aruba.

Share on:

August 29, 2018
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster