The recent Gifted Hands art exibition in South Trinidad proved to be a successful project that showcased the talents of several southerners. Funded by the Siparia Regional Corporation, the show was the first of its kind and the organisers intend on making it an annual affair. It was held at the Siparia Market and Plaza where a lot of supporters came out to examine the pieces on display.
Ronald Jacob the man behind the initiative was elated to show his talent alongside that of fellow artists Charmaine Caesar, Nathan Forde, Noble Richards, Roger Ryan and Sheron Guerra. The entire exhibit comprised 95 masterpieces showcasing different facets of beauty.
Caesar showed off beautiful and realistic pieces done with cross-stitching. She had 24 pieces on display with themes that ranged from religious - Jesus, the Pope, The Last Supper to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Clearly a tremendous amount of patience went into the use of individual stitches to create glorious pictures.
Forde’s theme was the human body and gave the viewer much food for thought. He brought a sense of shamelessness that allowed one to embrace the human body and the essence of what we are.
Many were also fascinated by the hands of Richards who remarkably captured details of the face in his colour pencil portraits. The artist who was discovered at his workplace drew from Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson to Bob Marley, alongside locals like Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, Machel Montan and even our Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar.
Guerra’s photography was easy on the eyes as he captured nature, people and historical buildings in the Siparia area. He believes that the purpose of photography is to make people happy; that it should supply and avenue to cherish memories and record one’s past.
Ryan and Jacob had their share of oil and acrylic paintings, charcoal and even a scraperboard piece that told stories of things familiar to T&T’s culture and places that often go unrecognised.
Apart from displaying fine and unique art this exhibit presents an opportunity for the artists to sell their work. During a short programme that took place before the show Jacob explained that art is something that makes the viewer keep coming back, no matter how much they may try to forget it. He said many see no point in doing art but as Ryan added artists can take something that is unappealing and make it beautiful. He also said sometimes an artist takes a year to perfect a piece and after it is complete he or she may not like it.
Jacob explains that he does his art to his liking and once he is pleased all critiques are welcome. As he observed the crowd he pointed out that while he was happy with the turnout, he would have liked to see more young people coming out. He urged the older heads to encourage the younger ones to come out, observe and be inspired. Jacob further explained that as someone who has been in the business for 20 years he has seen a lot of talent go undiscovered.
Jacob ended by thanking all the teachers he had in the past whose support has led him to where he is today. He is hopeful that artists both young and undiscovered will step forward and be part of the show next year.