An emerging art scene
Exhibitions in Roatan Flourish as Both Local and Non Local Artisans Join

June 1st, 2010
by Jennifer Mathews

[private]

A Tim Blanton Production at the Roatan Art Show at the Oasis Lounge.

A Tim Blanton Production at the Roatan Art Show at the Oasis Lounge.

The past month saw a veritable explosion of art on the island of Roatan. Three shows took precedent through the month, displaying the art of eleven local artists. Each show had its individual purpose, contributing to the blossoming greater community that is the Bay Islands artisans.

This reveals an increased value of artisans in the area, and opens a conversation between artists and the community. It raises the bar on the quality of art in the Bay Islands and displays a change in the tides of the art community, featuring new trends such as recycled art, and teaching locals to produce their own.

The largest exhibition was held on May 17th at the Oasis bar in Sandy Bay. The show brought together nine artists in an effort to rally support for locally made Roatan crafts, facilitate networking amongst the artist community, and build a campaign to promote local arts. The event is slated to take place once every three or four months, and is expected to expand. The next exhibition is set for Wednesday, Aug 11, at Oasis at 3pm.

Presenting at the show were: Bob Cowan, bracelets; Debbie Cowan, island photography; Chucho, jewellery and crafts; Tim Blanton, cinematography; Kristen Haynes, island scene drawings; Adam Hunt, recycled metal; Philip Sampson, stone carvings; Denia Cardona, bag designer; and Blue Abele, leather bags and jewellery.

The show was organized by Adam Hunt of Rusty Fish Roatan. A self-taught artist, Adam’s art is made of recycled materials found on Roatan, mainly discarded sheet metal hammered out, cut into island-inspired shapes, and brightly painted and varnished.

In Hunt’s opinion, there is no reason that souvenirs sold at the cruise ship docks should be primarily imported, thus sending tourist dollars to overseas artists and producers. “If we work together through network, workshop and cooperative arrangement, then Roatan can turn the current souvenir situation on its head. Roatan can not only produce its own souvenirs right here for local trade but can also export to cater to international markets.”

Hunt has built a workshop in which he taught two local artisans the trade of producing souvenirs using his techniques and recycled materials. These artists are now creating enough income to support their families.

In a different part of Roatan, Waves of Art Gallery in West End hosted an art show opening on April 29, for César Román Murillo Valladares. The Tegucigalpa native is a watercolorist who specializes in portraits. Educated at the National School of Fine Arts in Tegucigalpa, he now gives drawing and painting workshops.

On Thursday, May 6, and art show at Soothe Your Soul in French Harbour displayed the watercolor creations of Cynthia Parchment. A watercolor artist specializing in Caribbean island scenes and stills, Parchment is also a mentor and teacher of fine arts. Living on Roatan since March of 1997, she considers living and painting on Roatan to be a “special gift.” With a dual purpose, the art show commemorated the expansion of Soothe Your Soul to a Holistic Medical Center and Spa with the addition of Dr. Fabian Vallejo, MD and Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist. [/private]

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