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HomeNewsArchivesBella Blu Exhibit of Art Students' Works Opens May 21

Bella Blu Exhibit of Art Students' Works Opens May 21

May 16, 2004 – The exhibition opening on Friday at Alexander's Bella Blu in Frenchtown showcases the talents of students in the School of Visual Arts and Careers.
A total of 24 works in a variety of media including watercolor, pastel and acrylic will be on display. The young artists represented are Joselyn Allen, Tony Bongiovi, Cosima Buckhalton, Jasmine Francis, Ashton Frett, Fianna Fluess, Tachelle Newton, Shamal Phipps, Solomon Webson and Jared Woods.
Most of them will be on hand to greet visitors and discuss their work at Friday's opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. and discuss their work. Most of the pieces on exhibit will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting the individual artists.
Showcasing SVAC students' work at the end of the academic year has become an annual event for Bella Blu and its former incarnation, Alexander's Café. The shows have been among the most popular at the venue.
Founded 21 years ago, SVAC is an after-school and summer program for artistically talented high school youths. The students receive broad-based training in the fine arts, gain exposure to career options locally and work to develop a worthy portfolio for admission to college, art school or professional employment.
The 501(c)3 non-profit program is funded in part by the V.I. Council on the Arts, local contributors and corporate donations. Program director Phebe Schwartz Davis and artist Edie Paljavcsik Johnson direct and coordinate SVAC activities. This year, artist John Chinnery held special workshops on techniques in colored pencil.
Each instructor will also exhibit a piece of artwork in the show.
According to Schwartz Davis, one of the most satisfying aspects to SVAC has been "seeing the incredibly talented and motivated kids really blossom under the individualized programming." But more important, she adds, "is seeing them go on into further education and visual arts-related jobs. Their achievement and success speak well of the program and the Virgin Islands."
Recent SVAC graduates are enrolled at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Central Florida and Savannah College of Art and Design.
SVAC alumni include Denise Humphrey, technical director at the Reichhold Center for the Arts; David Hill, a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Boston/Leslie University; Selene van Beverhoudt, Web and graphic designer with Artisian Design and Communications; and Roshini Nibbs, art director for Anheuser-Busch including Busch Gardens.
The SVAC program was established in 1983 and until recently was located in the Fort Christian Museum. With the museum undergoing renovations, "finding a new home is our top priority this summer," Schwartz Davis says. "In order to maintain the integrity of the 21-year old program, it is imperative that we find a place to call home."
To assist in the relocation or to recommend a student to the program, call Schwartz Davis at 775-2739.
Bella Blu shows are coordinated by Claire Ochoa/Gallery St. Thomas. For more information about the SVAC exhibition, visit the Gallery St. Thomas Web site.

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