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Two Artists Represented at 'The Art Show' Opening Friday

July 12, 2006 — "The Art Show" at Alexander's Bella Blu presents "Carty Classics" an exhibit of prints and reproductions to paper and enhanced giclees from St. Croix artist Leo Carty and "Afro-Caribbean Woman" an exhibit of textile collages by St. Thomas artist Trenita Hodge. The show opens Friday with a meet-the-artists reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at Alexander's Bella Blu in Frenchtown.
"Carty Classics" represents popular images just released to canvas; each enhanced and signed by fine art painter Carty, who is known for his elegant original oil paintings depicting island life at the turn of the century. Among them are "After Market", "Processional" and "The Bandmaster." Carty is a deliberate painter, says show curator Claire Ochoa, creating only a few originals each year thereby creating a strong demand for his reproductions. Expanding his offering to collectors, Carty will release for the first time in St. Thomas his enhanced giclee reproductions to canvas. "I am really pleased with these pieces; I took quite a bit of time with each one to give them a unique look." Carty said in a release from Ochoa.
A longtime resident of St. Croix, Carty was born in Harlem of Trinidadian parents. His artistic talents were recognized very early, resulting in a scholarship to the Museum of Modern Art School for Children at the age of ten. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art and later attended Pratt Institute. Since moving to St. Croix in 1976, Carty has been involved in teaching art at all levels. In 1996 he received his highest honor, selection as one of 12 recipients of the Governors' First Awards for Excellence in the Arts, and in their words, "in recognition of your accomplishments and exceptional contribution toward the advancement of the Visual Arts in the Virgin Islands." Carty recognizes Native Arts and Crafts for representing his prints and Gallery St. Thomas for representing his canvas giclees and limited edition reproductions.
"Afro-Caribbean Woman" represents the fabric collages of St. Thomas native Trenita Hodge. Hodge first began working with fabrics as a child of 7, a skill passed on by her mother. In the beginning of her creative career as an adult she fashioned dolls depicting Afro-Caribbean babies. Her body of work evolved as she created pieces that depicted teenagers then adults. Her latest artistic evolution is the fabric collage panels inspired by local scenery, both figures and landscapes. She carefully crafts, sews, embroiders, and paints each piece allowing each one to express its own "spirit," using African fabric. "People often comment on the peacefulness of the work," says Hodge. "I find myself giving thanks to God and my ancestors for the gift that I have." Hodge's work may be found at fairs in Tortola, where she currently resides, as well as throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.
All show images are for sale and prices range from $100 to $900. The exhibit will run through Sept. 10 and is open to the public. For more information contact "The Art Show" coordinator, Gallery St. Thomas, at 340-777-6363 or toll free 877-797-6363. A show preview will be available on www.GalleryStThomas

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