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Artful Weekend in Frederiksted Showcases Talent

Oct. 16, 2004 – Artists by definition are people of vision. Residents of St. Croix should be pleased with the vision of artists in Frederiksted and their efforts to make that vision a reality.
On Saturday afternoon, between the boarded-up and decaying building on King Street and the piles of construction dirt on Strand Street, there was a courtyard where creativity reigned.
On display in the courtyard and in a couple of the almost-finished rooms of the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts was the work of 30 local artists.
Jymmy B. Dunn, an artistic design consultant and one of the organizers, said, "We were pleasantly surprised. We put out a call for artists and the response was great."
The response of the public was not so great. As Dunn looked around the courtyard, he said that a few minutes earlier when there had been about a half dozen patrons strolling the courtyard, "that was as busy as it got. Maybe more will come later when it is cooler."
The exhibit was part of Artful Weekend in Frederiksted. The artwork was to remain on display until 6 p.m.
The various artists' mediums included pen and ink drawings, pottery, mahogany sculpture, photography, watercolors, acrylics, shell design, fabric and even Mocko Jumbie dolls.
Saturday evening two locally produced films were to be shown.
The first film, "Once Upon a Time, A Story About Education in the Virgin Islands," features community activities and long-time educator Delta Dorsch. Students who attended a film institute this summer sponsored by the museum produced it.
The second film is "Langemuir's World." Langemuir was a contemporary of Albert Einstein and a notable scientist in his own right. He won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
His grandson Roger Summerhayes, who presently teaches at Country Day School, produced this film. The weekend events were to help raise funds for the Caribbean Museum.
Candia Atwater Shields, president of the museum board, said the group came into possession of the building and courtyard last November, when someone "who believes," as she put it, purchased the building and gave the group a 20-year lease.
Shields sees more film institutes, more exhibits and a lot of other things in the museum's future.
The goal is for the museum to have a permanent collection of fine Caribbean art in November 2005.
In addition, by the beginning of next year a couple of studios should be open in the museum. Two will be attached to apartments. Shields said artists will be invited from around the world, and, in exchange for the opportunity to stay, they will be asked to teach adult and children's classes. Two other studios will be available for use by local artists.
Dunn said Saturday's event was "experimental," just to see how it would work. He added that there will be another in about six months, and it might be scheduled to coincide with a visit from a cruise ship.
Shields said the event would have benefited if the group could have had its phone and fax installed earlier. She said, "We didn't get the phone and fax until yesterday."

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