Artcraftcafé presents Post-Irma exhibition

PHILIPSBURG–Artcraftcafé in Front Street, near Emmaplein, will be hosting a post-Irma exhibition of sixty student paintings on Saturday, starting at 7:00pm. Besides a varied display of artwork, the evening will consist of a silent auction and a meet-and-greet with the budding artists. The exhibition will be opened by Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sport Jorien Wuite.

The exhibit is proof that the world of art is slowly bouncing back from the devastation caused by Irma in September 2017. The superstorm also gravely affected Artcraftcafé’s proprietor Tess Verheij, whose house was severely damaged. Her gallery and art school in Old Street Mall was destroyed with many works of students and herself damaged.

In October, Verheij and her students found a new home in one of the art classrooms at Milton Peters College (MPC), where the master and her students started the therapeutic process of digesting traumas caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria by creating art.

“Many children lost their homes and initially were very focused on that. But to avoid that they would only make images of flying roofs, I tried to stimulate them to broaden their vision for them to ventilate their positive or negative images of the storm. At first, they did not venture beyond the known slogans, such as ‘SXM Strong,’ but eventually we created a highly-varied display of art in testimony to the fact that art heals,” Verheij explained.
The young artists, ranging in age from five until 19 years old, will be wearing T-shirts with their artwork on it, enabling visitors to interact with the makers.

There are also several participating adult artists. Verheij contributed two recently made and hurricane-related paintings, one showing the dark side of the storm and the other a paragon of resilience painted in Verheij’s iconic colourful palette.
Approximately 30 pieces of art will be auctioned off during a silent auction, the proceeds of which will go towards the art school. A book with images of all 60 paintings with accompanying stories and poetry will be on sale.

A wine tasting presented by Greenhouse restaurant and music by sound story performer Ernesto Arrindell and his wife will be part of the gallery event.

Artcraftcafé provides art classes against a low fee because Verheij, who has been an art teacher at MPC, feels that children from low-income families should also be able to attend classes. A recent donation by Cooperating Funds enabled her to purchase art supplies.
Verheij said she was also very grateful for a joint US $2,000 donation by Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and Rotary Club of St. Maarten. The proceeds of Saturday’s exhibit and auction will also go towards Artcraftcafé.

Source: The Daily Herald