Contemporary paintings and ceramics by artists from Haiti will be featured in exhibitions running concurrently at two northeastern Pennsylvania galleries. The Linder Gallery at Keystone College will present the exhibition “3 Pent Ayisyen (Three Haitian Painters)” in conjunction with an exhibition at Moscow Clayworks entitled “The Haitian Clayworks Project.” The Keystone College exhibition opens September 18 with a reception from 4-6 p.m. in the Linder Gallery, while Moscow Clayworks will host a reception on October 10 from 5-8 p.m. The public is invited to both events.
The exhibit at Keystone College features the work of artists Augustin Mona, Michelet Calice (known as “Najee”), and Henry Robert Derazin. Though these artists’ works are distinct from one another’s, they embrace certain common themes, including elements of Haitian history and cultural evolution. Most notably in their paintings, all three artists explore the devastation of the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010.
Both exhibitions are intended to raise public awareness of contemporary art in Haiti as well as to offer financial support to Haitian artists. All proceeds from the sale of artwork will be returned to the artists, with the galleries taking no commissions on purchased work.
“It’s amazing to see such an outpouring of artistic creation in Haiti, in a society that is so deprived of material wealth and modern-day comforts” said Drake Gómez, director of the Linder Gallery. “Such creative perseverance is always a sign to me of great artistic sincerity. Art never comes easily, but it is particularly difficult in times of struggle.”
The Keystone exhibit is part of the college’s 2011 Interdependence Day celebration. Launched in response to the tragic events of September 11, 2011, Interdependence Day was created as a time to reflect upon the importance of living peacefully in a global society. Additional Interdependence Day events at Keystone include a presentation by Haitian activist Rev. Djaloki Dessables on Sept. 7, a lecture by political analyst and reporter Salena Zito on Sept. 15, and a fair highlighting the theme of global interdependence also on Sept. 15.
“Three Haitian Painters” will be on display at Keystone College in La Plume from September 18 through October 21.