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“Bridges” Exhibit at Cane Roots Art Gallery: Opens Last Art Thursday of the Season

The “Bridges” Exhibit crosses the artistic gap between the Caribbean and the Americas with an opening reception at Cane Roots Art Gallery on the last Art Thursday of the season. The downtown Christiansted art museum will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Gallerist Sonia Deane shared her insight with the Source on this “inaugural” exhibit that has been in the works for a couple of years and is finally “giving birth to something I conceived a very long time ago.”

Sonia Deane (Submitted photo)

“During the time between my Guyanese heritage, going to New York and being strongly influenced by African American art, and arriving in the Virgin Islands, I saw the initial merge of the arts through my concept of bridges,” Deane said. 

According to Deane, the designs patrons will view will be promoted eventually as the  “Bridges” concept. It will be moved to other places in the Americas, South America, [Guyana at the top, where Deane was born], and other parts of South America, [Surinam, where Deane’s mother was born], maybe Brazil, and other parts of the Caribbean, especially in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, [where Deane especially loves the arts], and the heavy influences of art that she likes coming out of the Americas. 

Deane noted this inaugural opening on the last Art Thursday of the season and, going forward for five months through October, will continue each year.

“There will be a ‘Bridges’ exhibit every year, and every year it will be curated by someone different – a Crucian-born curator, one from North Carolina, or another from Guyana. It will be extended out from these visionaries to bring their ideas forward,” Deane said.

Deane’s idea of “Bridges” will allow art to be exchanged during the five months. An artist can pull a piece of art out that may have been sold or not…and bring in a new or different piece. This will allow for an exchange of art and artists. Different artists can come in and bring their new work, and the artists’ talks will resume with each rotating artist. 

Eleven artists are showing in this inaugural exhibit and six of the artists are featured in this story. Going forward, the “Bridges” series will continue with a look at other participating artists through the month of October. 

Ransome – was born in North Carolina and moved to New Jersey as a teenager. He graduated from Pratt Institute and was a tenured professor in the School of Visual Performing Arts at Syracuse University before retiring to pursue his dreams of being a studio artist. He received his MFA in Studio Arts from Lesley Institute.

Cunningham Boys, acrylic on wood panel by Ransome (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

John Obafemi Jones – likes the idea of merging painting with drawing. His style combines the mediums, techniques, and discarded materials. Colorful squiggly lines and marks are key visual elements in his work and provide pathways for expressionistic mixed media paintings. “From beginning to end, the process of bringing shapes, lines, and colors together to the point where a work is born is quite challenging, yet magical and mysterious.”

Lean on Me. Mixed media by John Obafemi Jones (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Adrienne Smith – “My mom’s creativity influenced me. I was fascinated by her handwriting and sign-painting skills for our town grocery store. Moving to St. Croix from Oregon in late 2021 provided the push I needed to fully embrace my artistic identity.” Smith dove into photography, painting and drawing, digital art, abstract art, realism and illustration, and lately, traditional art. Maria Banwaree of Unique Art Studio & Boutique in Christiansted hosted Smith’s first solo exhibit  in February, “Poultry Profiles: The Coop Collection.” “I am so thankful to Maria for taking me under her wing, to encourage and support me as an artist.”

Regina and Randall. Mixed Media, colored pencil and pen by Adrienne Smith (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Bai –  “I have been painting faces and figures throughout my career as they are part of an ongoing journey of which neither I nor the viewer will ever tire. The foundation for my portraits comes from the African Mask. As a child, I remember the visual impact it had on me and remains strong in my retainable memory to this day. The mask forces a response from the viewer, whether a primitive or contemporary response. Colour is the symbol I use to reflect the emotional stages through which we as humans experience – reds for the violent past, blues, greens for the peace to come, and yellow and oranges for the bright future ahead. The latter is not guaranteed in my paintings. However, I think it is attainable in life.”

Island Man with Headscarf. Mixed media, acrylic and oil stick by Bai (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Tralice Bracy – is a photographer who takes a simple look at pool toys, focusing on the beauty of light, color, and form. Bracy looks for Motifs of Design (like circles, spirals, and squares) to reveal themselves as reflections in the water. The intention behind this photographic series is to document the presence of light inhabiting space, for a sense of simultaneity to emerge as an enriched form. The beauty of light, form, and composition is a constant focus in this series. 

“When it Feels Just Right” Photograph on Aluminum by Tralice Bracy (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Stanley Greaves – “The practice of art is the dialogue between experiences, thought, vision and proven ability that should provide lessons for living  –  to the artist first of all, who needs to recognise them through ‘conversations’ with the work.”

“Black Bird.” Pen and ink, acrylic, and gold leaf by Stanley Greaves (Source photo by Elisa McKay)


“Bridges” opening reception will be held on Art Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information:
Gallery: 340-718-4929




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