Vernissage of imaginary Land, Real World

Photos by Francois Adrien & Rachel Moscoso Denis
Art exhibit benefits children’s foundation
BY WANJIRA BANFIELD
MIAMI — In the midst of adversity in certain regions of Haiti, a distinct ray of hope and purpose illuminates through the fingertips of Haitian artists and painters overseas.

On the evening of July 25, Open Doors boutique launched the Imaginary Land, Real World; Haiti art exhibit, which highlighted 19 artists living in Miami and Haiti. The exhibit will run through the first of September. A total of 42 works were showcased throughout the evening, ranging from contemporary, classical, and traditional form to photo-realistic styles.
A portion of the proceeds from the artwork sales was donated to the At Risk Children Foundation, whose mission is to provide food, clothing, healthcare, educational needs and a home to improve the quality of life of Haiti’s orphaned children.

Stephanie Tyler, owner of the boutique at 7300 Biscayne Boulevard in the Miami Modern district, wanted to partner with an organization that was really invested in the positive growth of Haiti.

“At Risk Children’s Foundation was perfect because it’s a small grassroots foundation here in South Florida and all the contributions go directly to the children. That was important for me,” Tyler told the South Florida Times.

The guests not only had the opportunity to explore different art pieces, contribute to a reputable organization and savor authentic Haitian delights by Chef Alex, but they also enjoyed numerous musical selections by Creole Jazz musician and Latin Grammy-award nominee Reginald Policard.

“I am grateful to be here and perform for this exhibit. Like the artwork, my music puts Haiti in a different and positive light. I wanted to share that with everyone here,” Policard stated.

Ralph Latortue, the counsel general of Haiti, said he couldn’t miss the event, adding that he was very pleased upon his arrival.

“It’s always a great pleasure to attend an event where the Haitian culture is being positively promoted. It’s great to see people who want to learn about Haitian art and even the dynamics of Haitian music, especially with Policard here,” Latortue told the South Florida Times.

The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance assisted the event organizers by reaching out to the 19 artists who exhibited their work. Artist and Haitian native Carl “Carlito” Craig considers himself very lucky to be a part of this exhibition to showcase his pieces. He prides himself in having the vision to make his art reflect the vivid and rich colors of the Caribbean.

In addition to Craig’s, the works by others such as Sophia Lacroix, Emile Dumay and Gabriel Coutard all capture the energy and colors of Haiti. Curator Trisha Brookbank wanted to embody that dichotomy of imagination and reality when she titled the exhibit Imaginary Land, Real World: Haiti.

“I wanted the artwork to signify the artistic vision versus the reality. Each piece captures the bright side of things. You can see in each artwork a sense of optimism as well as the extreme adversity,” Brookbank said.

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Photo by Khary Bruyning. Haitian painter Carl Craig stands beside his painting, “Young Exuberence.”


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IF YOU GO

WHAT: Imaginary Land, Real World: Haiti art exhibition.

WHERE: Open Doors Boutique, 7300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami.

WHEN: Through Sept. 1. The boutique’s regular hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and closed on Sundays and Mondays.

COST: Free and open to the public.

CONTACT: For more information, visit www.opendoorsmiami.com or call 305-751-1023.