Post-Irma school artwork auctioned for education

Auctioneer E. Valentin Davis of Sheer art gallery leading the auction of post-Irma school artwork.


POND ISLAND–The Post-Irma Art Auction, spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports, held at the new Government Administration Building Saturday evening, yielded a surprisingly good amount for reconstruction of St. Maarten’s primary schools, which were severely damaged by Hurricane Irma.

  As part of the #SXMstrong campaign, and facilitated by Lucinda Audain and Education on the Move project leader Angelique Roumou-Martis, several primary schools were invited to participate in this art project as one of the activities leading up to the 2017 St. Maarten/St. Martin Day celebrations.

  Under guidance of their art teachers, primary school pupils were tasked to creatively express how they felt after Irma and to put their ideas and feelings on large canvases.

  The process was not only creative and fun, but also considered therapeutic for the children as it helped them process their emotions after Hurricane Irma hit the island on September 6.

  Twelve primary schools participated and delivered beautiful works of art, some of which were on display for St. Maarten/St. Martin Day and have been on display for viewing at the Administration Building.

  Participating schools included Montessori, Seventh-Day Adventist, St. Joseph., Sister Magda, Sister Regina, Marie Genevieve de Weever, St. Dominic, Leonald Connor and Oranje Primary Schools. Learning Unlimited Preparatory School. No Kidding with Our Kids Foundation and Positively Active After School Kids also took part.

  The final phase of the art project was to have the collection of pieces auctioned. A number of local businesses and art collectors were invited to bid on the pieces.

  Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Silveria Jacobs was among the avid bidders during the evening. One of the pieces of art that were purchased by the Ministry during the auction will be put on display in the Ministry’s offices in the Administration Building.

  Jacobs commended the participating schools for showcasing their “beauty, artistry and organisation,” and said she was hoping that #SXMstrong will keep contributing “way past the rebuilding process.”

  Several artists attended the auction, including Ruby Bute, Stephanie Tihanyi and Tim Dowling, as well as children’s book author Loekie Morales.

  The lively auction was led by auctioneer E. Valentin Davis of Sheer Art Gallery. The auction yielded some NAf. 15,000 in proceeds from the bidding. The proceeds will go directly to the school that created the artwork to assist in the rebuilding and post-hurricane recovery.

  The highest price, NAf. 3,800, was paid for the artwork titled “For the Love of St. Maarten.” Representing their love for St. Maarten, St. Joseph School pupils made this painting in the shape of a heart to create visual representations of St. Maarten’s national symbols and the different nationalities that made the island their home. The right side of the painting focusses on the destruction left by Irma.

  The artworks made by Seventh-Day Adventist School and Oranje School also went to new owners for large sums.

  The project team recognised local businesses that aided in the project, such as Kooyman N.V. for providing plywood and paint material used to create the canvas boards. The art boards and stands were created thanks to the cooperation of Director Rita Bourne-Gumbs, wood-shop teacher Mr. Oke and students of St. Maarten Vocational Training School. Office World supported the project by sponsoring paint, as some schools lost all their art supplies and needed additional help to complete the project.

Source: The Daily Herald