81C celebrates two years of operations in town with META, a group art exhibition of fine art, honoring the many artists who have shown work at the gallery in the past 730 days. Featuring photography, paintings, and sculpture, META signifies a flourishing and dynamic arts community collaborating in historic Charlotte Amalie.
Juan Carlos Amador returns to 81C in historic Charlotte Amalie with Transchromatico, An Homage to Camille Pissarro. This exhibition is inspired by and explores recurrent themes in time and nature. It also reflects inspirational friendships rooted in artistic pursuits. Amador’s distinctive color palette and abstract vision are familiar, yet fresh. The new art in this exhibit has grown from a contemporary artist’s exploration of an Impressionist master’s artistic roots, thereby showcasing not one, but two native sons of the Caribbean.
Charlotte Amalie based artist Steve Counselman has produced an inquisitive new collection of cityscapes featuring both familiar territory and worldly poetry. These paintings, featuring primarily sunsets over Charlotte Amalie, reflect bold creative license, spiritual homage, and tribute to a wondrous old town. This collection of fine art emotes to equal parts urban, tropical, and biblical themes.
Liston Fahie, AKA WORM (WORM is an acronym for the World’s Only Remarkable Man) has produced a collection of mixed media works using an array of materials and techniques. Magic realism persists throughout this exhibition that transcends expectations and basic artistic formulas. This is the work of a multi-talented and dynamic St. Thomas based artist with a thirst for human connection, representation, and artistic freedom
Superfine is a retrospective fine art exhibition featuring an energetic and adventurous collection of paintings by Charlotte Amalie based artist Vincent Bambini. Showcasing Bambini’s larger creations encased in ornate frameworks handcrafted by the artist, Superfine represents several decades of production featuring mysterious social settings, wayward humans, and scenes intrinsically reminiscent of Henri Rousseau or Roy Lichtenstein. Bambini’s neo-pop flare and in your face appeal.
Jasmine Lindquist’s latest series of acrylic paintings, WONDER, portrays human adventure and evolutions amongst fantastical landscapes, vibrant colors, and curious symbols. This exhibition asks viewers to explore their own intimate reflections as they relate to uncommon and beautiful events and the stories therein. Reminiscent of Through the Looking Glass, WONDER delivers moments of surprising contact, chance encounters, and enduring strength along the journey. - The Curators, 81C, Feb 2022
Acclaimed Virgin Islands artist Augustin Kelvin Holder presents Intrepid Journey, a full scale exhibition of abstract works on view at 81C. Through altered landscapes, recurring symbolism, and odes to memory, Mr. Holder has produced a collection of paintings which are as visually engaging as they are obscure, complex, yet hopeful. Bold strokes, bright colors, and distorted lines feel familiar yet foreign. Those who experienced Mr. Holder's previous exhibition (Beyond the Horizon, 2021) will witness progressions towards both arcane and lighthearted concepts, as even homages to outsider artists and abstract titans emerge, all while remaining true to one distinct and evolving geography that is unmistakably his own intrepid journey.
St. Thomas artist Prea Bhandari’s debut exhibition, Euphoria, is a color-burst-rebellion and a strong statement from a young artist achieving her prolific pursuit. Presenting a dynamic blend of both abstract craft and portraiture, Ms. Bhandari's artistic practices are both technically mysterious and purely cutting edge. This exhibition’s thirty nine pieces were created throughout 2021, culminating in a psychedelic collection that challenges preconceptions of fine art while asking viewers to consider subjectively what each piece invokes within. EXPLORE THE EXHIBITION
With beauty, humor, and signature homage to the macabre, Kristin Forbes-Mullane’s Coming up for Air represents works that are unique not just for their curious subject matter, but for the exceptional detail and life-like qualities they deliver. Coming up for Air highlights the capability and technique of a powerful self-taught artist whose prolific pursuits as a painter and tattoo shop proprietor on St. Thomas, are unassuming, artistically motivating, and undeniably impressive.
III is a group exhibition featuring three artists presently living and working in the Virgin Islands. Ieshia George, Jasmine Lindquist, and Jenny Hawks, all drawing from various sources of inspiration and talent, present new works on view at 81C. Differing styles, mediums, and subjects ask viewers to reflect upon their own personal narratives and interpretations.
Nel Figueroa’s avant-garde mixed media paintings offer viewers a paradoxically unusual yet familiar transcendence into themes of poetry, mysticism, humor, and pop-culture, while honoring the traditional Caribbean color palette, urban street-art, and contemporary cultural convergences. Figueroa’s soulful depictions and portrayals of celebration, natural earthly beauty, animals, and fashion keep us engaged, slightly nervous, as we wonder about the creative mind and personal pursuits of a prolific Ponce, Puerto Rico based artist. Somnium Tropicae encompasses new works by a dynamic, highly creative, and unrestrained artist.
During artist Laurie Smithwick’s first visit to St. Thomas, she roamed the streets of town, stunned by the saturated colors in every out-of-the-way spot her wandering took her. What struck her were the unique combinations — on churches, gates, storefronts, and homes; blues and oranges, purples and pinks, reds and turquoises, all shouting for attention regardless of how tucked away they may have been. By the end of day four, she had taken over three hundred photographs. She realized she was collecting the colors of Charlotte Amalie, colors she has now reproduced in her monotype prints that make up Split-Complementary - Color-Baked Monotypes. Each print was inspired by a single photograph of a specific building — some may be recognizable, and some may be perfectly new, but they all add up to that familiar color-soaked feeling you’ll recognize as quintessentially historic Charlotte Amalie.
There are countless ethereal tales in Virgin Islands Contemporary, which ask the viewer to deeply consider not only the figures, colors, and woven layers we inspect, but the viewer’s most personal conditions within the collective human story of time. We see figurative icons turning mysterious, and innocents growing wise and powerful. There is a futurism to the work that challenges the viewer to take note on personal consequence, tradition, and performance. Considerations for the artist’s technical processes are highly intriguing concepts, but only after you reconcile the impulsive stream of consciousness this show so profoundly inspires. Mr. Downes provides a force of insight without the need for immediate clarity or a sure conveyance of narrative control. The artist trusts the viewer to summon what is needed, personally, and does so with grace. This important and pivotal exhibition features a heavyweight fighter of an artist in his absolute prime.
Juan Carlos Amador places a creative emphasis on the concept of color. The Puerto Rican artist revives the Neo- impressionist painting methods of divisionism with his contemporary paintings. His recent large scale abstractions exhibit his unique divisionist style and focus on optical combinations of color. His paintings differ from the application of small dabs of pure color to large patches of light washed pigments in organic shapes onto the canvas. Amador layers these translucent colors over each other as a means to create a medley of different hues. The viewer’s appreciation of the works is based on their individual and biological capacity to perceive color instantly and interpret introspectively. Unburdened by a specific narrative or message, the artwork is consequently polysemantic; It depends on the intrinsic meaning and comprehension of each spectator.
This collection of Jared Shomo’s infrared photography, presented on metal prints, represents what the artist describes as unseen energies, and delivers a departure from the formality, expectation, and mainstream social definitions of natural beauty. The level of intrigue Mr. Shomo stands to invoke through this collection is profoundly complex, as there are trust issues in the art world associated with flipping any traditional medium on its crown, nonetheless while portraying heavenly or pure subjects. Mr. Shomo has done this so boldly, using a near-alchemy that transcends unspoken boundaries with a sense of effortlessness, all while honoring precious natural and cultural icons through an eye that is strong, exact, evocative, and changed. Virgin Islands Infrared gives the viewer dynamic insight into a fine art photographer working with earthly beauty and timelessness using avant-garde formulas, and advancing the experience through a trifecta of critical technologies, intimate presentation, and a masterful eye.
This collection of sixteen paintings, all created in 2020, represents a calendar year where humanity has dealt with vast personal and collective uncertainties while enduring a global pandemic. The Abstract Expressionism on display captures the zeitgeist of the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, as we maneuver through medicinal, political, philosophical, and psychological landscapes. Mr. Holder’s work challenges the viewer to embrace a unique journey and to explore the unknown or unfamiliar visceral concepts through a prism of collective consciousness. Throughout this collection of paintings there are many threads that connect the work. Vibrancy of color, brush strokes, and visible layers of process all offer intrigue, forensic curiosity, and perhaps emotional reprieve during a time where love, hope, and the regaining of a sense of personal and individual normalcy in society is profoundly desired. It is our wish that the viewer engages and reflects in response to the exploration of the open themes in these paintings. With Beyond the Horizon, Mr. Holder offers the welcome surprise of inspiration and courage during a time when thirst for new incarnations, new beginnings, new love, and positive transformations are dire.
81C inaugural galleryl exhibition in celebration with the St. Thomas Historical Trust, featuring new works on view by artist Shansi Miller. In this series of paintings, Shansi looks at the fauna, flora and waters of St. John, specifically the donkeys of Caneel Bay and the beaches at Caneel Bay, Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay.