Sept. 18, 2002 – Da Da Wine Down aficionados are in for a double treat this month — there will be two Friday night art and wine-tasting events at Cafe Amici, this week and next.
"Natural art" works of St. Thomas coconut sculptor Felix will be on display this Friday, and paintings by four artists featured at the Camille Pissarro Gallery will be on exhibit on Sept. 27.
At both events, West Indies Corp. will be presenting a seminar and tasting of Buena Vista wines.
Da Da Wine Down is from 5 to 8 p.m. Usually held on the last Friday of the month, it's an end-of-the-work-week social occasion for unwinding and enjoying local art and internationally acclaimed wines. It's open to the public and admission is free, although there's a $10 fee for participating in the wine seminar and tasting, which is ongoing throughout the evening as long as supplies last.
Here's some background on the exhibiting artists:
Felix ("just one name, thank you") has long worked with eclectic materials in imaginative creations, but this is the first time he is displaying his "natural art" sculptures, made primarily from coconuts and other products of the coconut palm, on St. Thomas. He says his birds, fish, butterflies and dragonflies in natural settings represent evolution from what he has been doing all his life — "picking things up to see what I could make." He feels that the talent of the artist is working with what you have to create something even more delightful to the mind's eye.
In his native Trinidad, Felix specialized in creating leathercraft items, award plaques and wearing apparel. He also has fabricated steelpans and has been coming to St. Thomas to design and create Carnival costumes since 1995. His designs won the Junior King and Queen of the Band competition this year. He is becoming a familiar figure in classrooms as he seeks to share the joys of native crafts and the value of the artisan's work with young people.
The Camille Pissarro Gallery, located in downtown Charlotte Amalie, will be presenting works by Cody Wombold, Janine Wesselmann, Alexis St. John and Dingo at the Sept. 27 Wine Down.
Wombold, born in Las Vegas, has been pursuing an artistic calling since childhood. An island resident for six years, he has been working in pencil, charcoal, pastel and acrylic, but recently expanded his palette to include oil. His art expresses a unique perspective of the world.
Wesselmann lived on St. Thomas for 15 years in the 1970s and '80s. A modern-day Impressionist, she has been painting in oil since the age of 6. Her muse has sent her to some unique settings — revolutions in developing countries, ambassadorial parties in European capitals, remote islands and African jungles. Across four continents and two decades, she has captured on canvas a world of bazaars, carnivals, French cafe life, intimate soirees and island living.
Alexis St. John, a Philadelphia native, did field work as an archaeologist before turning to a career in art. She encourages people to appreciate original art by not relying on mass-produced originals and sees her own work as being in a state of perpetual growth.
Dingo, self-taught, is one of St. Thomas's few sidewalk artists. Starting his artistic career in Hawaii in the early 1960s with pop art posters, he has traveled the world exploring different mediums and artistic styles. "Yes, you can paint your way around the planet," he says.
This Friday and Sept. 27, the featured artists will be on hand to discuss their work. There will be complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and door prizes that include dining certificates, wine and artwork.
Cafe Amici is located in Riise's Alley in downtown Charlotte Amalie. For more information, call 776-5670.
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