V.I. Produced Documentary on Artist Hugo Larsen Will Be Shown

May 27, 2008 – A premiere screening of the one-hour documentary, "Danish Artist Hugo Larsen's Cultural Portrait of Our Islands 1904-1907," the is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday, May 31, at University of the Virgin Island's Great Hall on St. Croix. Viewers will have the opportunity to critique the video and ask questions of the presenters. A simulcast of the video will take place at the St. Thomas Campus, and video conferencing is available for the Q-and-A segment.
Danish artist Hugo Larsen documented in oil paintings and drawings the scenery and the people who lived and worked on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Larsen spent three years here, from 1904 to 1907, on a mission to portray the islands and their people to a Danish audience that knew very little about this far-away colony of theirs. His artistic output provides a fascinating, intimate cultural document of this obscure period.
A major showing of Larsen's V.I. paintings and drawings in Denmark in 2006, including the catalog of the exhibit, made a deep impression on Nina York, a long-time Danish-born resident of St. Croix. She has helped translate the catalog text for an English edition, but her real dream was to bring the exhibit of Larsen's work to the islands for the local population to see. York got the idea of creating an educational video for V.I. schools.
The St. Croix Friends of Denmark Society, a local non-profit formed in the 1960's with the mission of strengthening the cultural and educational ties between the islands and Denmark, is sponsoring the video. Also, a major grant from the V.I. Humanities Council and generous support from the V.I. Department of Education, in addition to support from Denmark and private individuals, are covering all costs of the production, which was offered to award-wining film maker Erik Miles of Studio Five on St. Thomas.
Writer and poet Edgar Lake produced the script and narration, and presenters in the one-hour documentary include Danish historian Per Nielsen as well as Virgin Islanders William Cissel, George Tyson, Edgar Lake, Leo Carty, Myron Jackson and Eleanor Gibney and others.
A later screening of the video is planned on WTJX-TV Channel 12. Donations of $20 to St. Croix Friends of Denmark can secure the donor a copy of the video, available early June. Admission is free, and refreshments are provided by St. Croix Friends of Denmark. For additional information, call Project Director Nina York at 773-7017.

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