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HomeNewsLocal newsSt. Croix Fine Arts Exhibit Featured During Crucian Coconut Festival

St. Croix Fine Arts Exhibit Featured During Crucian Coconut Festival

The Crucian Coconut Fine Arts Exhibit will take place during this year’s Crucian Coconut Festival.The festival will kick off the holiday season on St. Croix. (Photo from Crucian Coconut Festival website.)

The annual Crucian Coconut Festival will kick off the holiday season on St. Croix December 2-4. The festival will offer events and activities for all ages, including a fine arts exhibit presenting a range of Caribbean-themed artwork.

The Crucian Coconut Fine Arts Exhibit will take place at the St. Croix Estate Bethlehem Sugar Factory Site. The opening reception will take place on Friday, December 2, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; the fee is $25. Visitors who pay the reception fee will not be charged to attend the exhibit on Saturday, December 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, December 4, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lucien Downes, a self-taught artist in the 13th year of his career, is the curator and event coordinator of this exhibit, and he spoke to the Source about the upcoming show. The exhibit will also showcase his own art pieces. According to Mr. Downes, his ability to paint is “a gift from the Creator,” and he intends to use it to uplift his culture and its people. Mr. Downes’ work has been highlighted in several publications, events, murals, and high-profile homes around the world.

“The Crucian Coconut Fine Arts Exhibit is in its second year and represents some of the finest artists in the Virgin Islands,” Downes said. “The artists cover all disciplines, and their work ranges from classic to contemporary art. People can expect a wide array of quality Caribbean-themed art,” Downes added.

Crucian Coconut Festival Logo. (Photo from Crucian Coconut Festival website.)

Inspiring the USVI Community

Downes hopes that the art exhibit will motivate local artists, as well as the USVI overall.

“This event will inspire Virgin Islanders by allowing the public to see the talented artists that we have in these islands. It will also allow them to see that people do value the arts, and they can also make a viable career as an artist,” said Downes.

“It’s important [for people to come to the show] because it allows the community to see individuals take on common Caribbean themes. It’s a celebration of our culture through craft. It’s important that this exchange of ideas and visualizations be shared with the community as a whole,” explained Downes.

Multiple Artists’ Work on Display

Artwork by Downes and several other artists will be on display at the show, including artist Amy Gibbs, who shared her excitement with the Source. Gibbs has lived and worked on St. Thomas for 25 years and is the owner of an art studio in Tillett Gardens, where she teaches various art programs to both children and adults.

“This is the second year that I will be participating in the Fine Art Exhibit at the Crucian Coconut Festival,” explained Gibbs. “I am honored to have been invited by curator Lucien Downes to participate. His exhibits often bring together artists from all three islands,” she continued.

Gibbs is inspired by Caribbean culture, and she hopes to share her enthusiasm with others through her work, echoing Downes’ sentiment.

“Caribbean culture is a rich blend of European, African, Indian, and indigenous cultural elements. It is the diversity that gives the Caribbean such a unique identity. Our community is resilient and loving,” said Gibbs.

“I hope to encourage young artists to continue to create and find their voice and to never give up on pursuing their dreams. There are so many ways that you can make a living using your creative talents,” Gibbs noted.

“I try to give my students as many opportunities as I can to participate in community projects and display their work. I have several students who have studied with me since I opened my studio, and they will be graduating this year and pursuing careers in art. They inspire me as much as I inspire them,” added Gibbs.

The Crucian Coconut Fine Arts Exhibit will be open and free during the Crucial Coconut Festival. More information about the Crucian Coconut Festival and ticket sales can be found on the official website for the event.

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