Today, June 3rd the MICA group was scheduled to set up an art exhibition in Sao Tome’s capital at the CACAU space. I woke up early at six and quickly fashioned an artist’s statement, business cards, and an exhibition poster before waking my peers to do the same. The exhibition was called Folhas X 4, leaves of 4.
Cynthu Muthusamy, Melissa Hecker, Allison Ryan and Jess Bastidas apresentam parte do trabalho, pinturas, esculturas, banda desenhada, ilustrações que
realizaram ao longo da sua estadia em São Tome.
Durante 3 semanas, o Ilustrador Alain Corbel e as suas alunas do Maryland Institute College of Art, MICA, de Baltimore, EUA, ouviram dezenas de histórias, participaram ao Tchiloli de Caixão Grande, no Dança Congo dos Angolares, ouviram as Puítas de Santana, o Batuque de Ponta Figo, trabalharam com artesões, produziram papel, desenharam e percorreram a ilha a procura do melhor de São Tomé e Príncipe.
Sejam bem-vindos e faz favor partilhar a notícia para ninguem perder essa exposicao!
After gathering together hanging materials, we walked to the CACAU art space, which is approximately a fifteen minute walk from Residencial Avenida along the ocean. The CACAU Space houses a variety of local Sao Tomean artists and artisans ranging from mixed media artists, painters, and sculptors to woods craftsmen, seamstresses, and paper/book makers. Additionally, the space is home to a group of musicians organized under a Brazilian school. Frequently, CACAU hosts traditional dances and music along side of contemporary visual artists attracting a diverse crowd of Portuguese, Brazilians, French, and Sao Tomeans.
A wall had been cleared in the warehouse where we would erect our work. The day before, I had hung a large quantity of my pieces. Today, I would put on the final touches (pricing works and labeling pieces) as well as assist my peers in hanging their artwork as well.
Seeing the work on the wall was like creating a visual diary. Each work contained a memory evocative of a unique experience at the island whether it was the shadow of a plantation or the billowing of a fisherman’s sail.
We had to go back and forth from the Lexicon print shop where I explained in half-Spanish, half-Portuguese with the assistance of expressive miming what we needed printed and to what scale. The staff, curiously all women, was very patient, only laughing occasionally at my frazzled pointing and explanatory sketches.
The show opened at six. It was amazing greeting both familiar and new faces. Tome, Will, and Cesario (three of the woods craftsmen) came to show their support. With their assistance, we had fashioned two masks, a wooden box, and two relief sculptures. Additionally, Sonia, Zhou, and others from the Brazilian school were present. They admired Cynthu’s woodblock prints affixed to the Banana fiber paper that Cynthu and I had learned to make. Additionally, seamstresses, journalists, filmmakers, and fellow travelers came to enjoy the art and share their experiences at the island.