Beauty amidst Desperate Poverty


As the world responds to the 7.0 earthquake that struck southern Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Art Blog contributes these resources about Haitian artists and their art.

The murals that once filled the walls of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince Haiti captivated visitors and locals. The cathedral-sized images depicted scenes from the life of Christ and the Holy Family accented with a Haitian landscape. Grandmere Mimi has the story at her ‘Wounded Bird’ blog, where she writes of the piles of rubble that now lay beneath the once vibrant visual proclamations of faith. (The editor thanks Ann Fontaine and Nick Kniseley for this tip.)

Slides and further images of the Holy Trinity Cathedral murals are found at this link here. (The editor thanks Episcopal Cafe Senior Journalist Ann Fontaine for this tip.)

From The Rev. Lauren R. Stanley TEC Appointed Missionary in Haiti, an entire collection of Haitian street art for sale, viewable on her Facebook album And Lauren’s website for Haiti is here.

“Before the hurricane and the earthquake, Haitian artists were very very needy. Our little business has not been able to keep them above water,”said Boris Kravitz over the telephone with me this afternoon. “We buy art directly from the artists. My wife is Haitian, and we sell the artists’ work through our shop and our website, Haitian Art Company.” He and his wife, Mary, operate their small business in Key West, Florida. “Now, after the earthquake, we have no word of the circumstances of their property or the people.”

The web site Art Works For Haiti states “We began our work in 1999 when we visited Haiti to buy art from many old friends and new galleries. We held our first art sale at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Newcastle, Maine in December of that year. The money we raised, together with funds appropriated by the Outreach Committee of St. Andrew’s Church, was sent to a Haitian Episcopal priest in Gros Morne, northwest Haiti, for teachers’ salaries, children’s school uniforms and school lunches in the village of Figaro. We have been raising funds for Haiti ever since through our art sales. In 2002, the Episcopal Diocese of Maine entered into a companion relationship with the Diocese of Haiti for five years and extended that relationship in 2007 for another five years. To help support the partnership and non-partnership activities that have grown out of that relationship, we have extended our art sales to many other Episcopal parishes in Maine. The proceeds have helped enable these churches to assist partner parishes in northwest Haiti and also to contribute to such non-partnership projects as St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped, the Children’s Nutrition Fund and Maison de Naissance.” (The editor thanks John Chilton and Vicki Black for this tip.)

Webster University (St Louis, Mo, USA) has several links to Haitian art and artists, including published images of Haitian art books and a list of Haitian painters compiled by Bob Corbett. (The editor thanks Donald Schell for this tip.)

Steel drum and metal art is a particular field for collectors. (The editor thanks Jean Fitzpatrick from for this tip.)

Bryant University (Smithfield, RI) has a Haitian Art Collection, with accompanying text online from Gladys Kinoian Lujan. A thumbnail view of the collection is here. (The editor thanks Ann Fontaine for this tip.)

Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is The Episcopal Church organization that can and is responding to the immediate and ongoing relief needs of Haiti.

Carol Barnwell, Communications Director of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas (Houston), shares with The Art Blog the ECW and ECW’s work with woman Batik artists of Haiti.

The Wall Street Journal article about Georges Nader Sr and the loss of the world’s largest repository of Haitian art is here.

On View:Mural of the Baptism of Jesus, wall painting from Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Courtesy of John D, Grandmere Mimi at Wounded Bird, Ann Fontaine at SeaShellSeller, and Nick Knisely at Entangled States.

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