Watercolorist and local organic farmer Luca Gasperi was joined by his wife Christina and daughter Marina with their artwork in the “Hope for the Future” exhibit, which opened at Studio Walsh Dec. 1. The community response could be seen from the main road with rows of cars flooding the driveway toward the studio. It was a “sold-out” performance with no entrance fee attached.
“Hope for the Future” is the last art exhibit Studio Walsh is hosting.
“For the past 25 years, Mike and Barbara Walsh have used their spacious warehouse to present art and community events to the public. It is now truly ‘the end of an era’ as the metalworks business is closed and the Walshes are also closing the studio,” Barbara Walsh said.
“It’s time,” Mike Walsh said. “Barbara and I are ready to age in place – right here at home on St. Croix.”
“The metal works meant so much to our family as a livelihood, to our customers as a resource, to Mike as a studio, and to both of us for community events,” Barbara Walsh said. “It is hard to let go, but we both agree, bittersweet as it is, it’s time for a change.”
Luca’s work is based on themes of nature, and his work often drifts off into almost a fantasyland of color, shape, and light. “The Walsh Studio has always been my favorite place to show,” Luca said. Christina and Marina also root their art in nature and the two decided on the title, “Hope for the Future.”
Luca & Christina Gasperi are local artists who run ARTfarm on the South Shore of Christiansted, a small, local vegetable farm and art gallery. Together, with a small staff, they grow a variety of salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, herbs, veggies, and tropical fruits. They welcome volunteers who want to learn about their organic growing methods.
Marina Gasperi is a high school homeschooler and artist. She raises chickens on her family’s organic commercial farm. Marina is an environmental activist through her art and fiction. She loves dancing and snorkeling with her dogs.
About “Who’s the Puppet Master?”
“My art installation, “Who’s the Puppet Master,” is very complicated for me conceptually. It depicts a delicate Zenaida dove and the head of a raggedy dog constructed of garbage materials. These two objects hang from a piece of rusty galvanized. This piece is about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017,” Marina Gasperi said.
“The morning after Maria hit, I remember walking around our farm with our dogs and seeing dozens of birds (mostly doves and pigeons) lying dead on the ground amongst the debris from the storm. I remember asking myself, “Who is responsible for this horrific destruction?” The answer many people come to is “the storm,” as if the storm is a being with mal intent. It’s not the storm’s fault. The storm itself is not the puppet master. You have to zoom out further,” she said.
“Who can be held accountable for the climate crisis? The answer to that is even more complicated and controversial. But I think it’s people in power making short-sighted decisions that affect the way global ecosystems and climate patterns work. I think they are the puppet masters. But it’s also the people fighting to balance the climate and heal the ecosystems who are the puppet masters too,” she said.
“In thinking about what hope for the future means to me, I found I wasn’t able to just focus on the positives. I kept coming back to climate change because I’ve witnessed so many of its effects firsthand, from droughts to hurricanes. Hope is amazing and vital to our spirits, but I think too much hope gives humanity a false sense of security for the future. Hope alone won’t save our future. It’s important to be aware of that as we are hopeful. That’s what this show is about for me,” she said.
“Come see some of the best watercolors on St.Croix. These paintings will never be together as a group again, so this is your last chance to see them at the closing on Saturday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Mike Walsh said.