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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, February 21, 2024


If you were one of the fortunate people who received Vitelco's Christmas cards this year, you were gazing at the artwork of artist Eunice Summer.
She enhanced the cards with reproductions of waterfront and Carnival scenes — very Caribbean, as is Eunice, who has made St. Thomas her home for 24 years.
It is just in the past six years, since she retired after more than 20 years as a psychotherapist with the Human Services Department, that she has devoted herself to her first love — painting.
Her deep affection for the Caribbean in all its colors and costumes, flora and fauna, is evident in her brilliant work.
Summer said the piece shown, The Three Graces, is the only time the three graces have been portrayed as black women.
Eunice spent time in the British Virgin Islands before coming to St. Thomas, and Virgin Gorda still claims a part of her heart. This is where actor Morgan Freeman first saw Eunice's work, and commissioned her to do his portrait.
Freeman wasn't the easiest person to paint as he didn't want to "sit" for a portrait. Instead, Eunice whose love of the sea is limited to painting it, had to endure a sailboat ride from Virgin Gorda to St. Thomas to get her initial sketch. However, her story had a happy ending.
"You have captured my soul," Freeman said when he saw the portrait.
"But, you know," she added, "he is an actor."
Eunice took first prize for her enamels in the Caribbean Color show earlier this year in St. John. Her paintings hang in many private collections in the Caribbean and the U.S., and 70th Art Gallery at 130 E. 70th St. in Manhattan is now carrying her work. She has a show coming up next spring at Color of Joy on St. Thomas' east end.

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