If you’re looking for a lasting Christmas gift for someone special, you may want to head over to the Mexican Cultural Institute where you can find different crafts on sale. Five artists with a plan from Galespoint Manatee are displaying their works that includes paintings, bamboo carvings and Garifuna drums. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
Five artisans from Galespoint, Manatee have come together for an exhibit called Artisans with a Plan, which opened on Wednesday night at the Institute of Mexico. It is brainchild of Janice Young, one of the artists.
Janice Young, Bamboo Artist
“It started when I was doing a one week seminar with BELTRAIDE in Belmopan. They had a one week seminar and they had artists and artisans from all over the country; from Corozal, Orange Walk, PG; the six districts. And so we were all compiled together in this one seminar and I said well this is the best opportunity for us because we’ve always wanted to get together somehow and this was the golden opportunity. So I spoke with Jill and I talked to Emmeth and a few others and we decided to have the show.”
Young has been working with bamboo for twenty-four years and brought in about a hundred pieces for the exhibit.
“In this particular display I have some advanced pieces. For example I have Queen Nefertiti, I have the Mayan sculptures. Well, the sofa is kinda unique too because it’s different. Normally, when I have bamboo sofa it’s usually in its natural state but this one is painted black as you noticed and the fabric is a combination of two colors. The public response has been very well and very good in the past but one thing I notice about the public is that you have to keep on coming back to the people because they have a tendency to forget so you have to keep on and bringing more work, different type of work every time when you come back to the people.”
Jill Burgess, the painter in the group of artists, featured different cultures in her works. She been painting for about five years, and her style is unique because she goes beyond the canvass.
Jill Burgess, Painter
“What I have here in this show are pieces from each culture you might say. So I have a little bit of Maya, a little bit of Garifuna and a lot of Creole because I spend a lot of time in Galespoint.”
“I noticed that it’s not just canvass art. Can you tell about that?”
“I like to work on different materials. I have a lot wood, you’ll see a lot of burnt up wood, which might be a little hard to take at first but I think you’ll enjoy seeing it. I like the textures of mahogany but also the burnt part. And I really like how that kinda captures the sambai fire and the dancing and drumming.”
Also in the diverse group of artisans, is Emmeth Young, who makes Garifuna drums. He brought ten drums for the display, which he says took him two weeks to make.
Emmeth Young, Drum Maker
“I brought some drums; I brought Djembe, I have Kinkinni, I have Sangban, Sambai drum. I’ve been making drums, since I’m thirteen years old and I’ve been playing since I’m eight years old.”
“What keeps you so into it?”
“I traditionally learned from Gales Point from the older players there, mainly one brother named Evan Vernon and he passed away so my duty is to carry on the tradition. So that’s what keeps me motivated.”
And as the name says, these artisans have a plan.
“What I’m doing is I’m creating a small multi-cultural museum. I also call it a living museum as well as botanical garden and mythological garden.”
“I work with youths to teach them a life skill in a positive way because I have a program called Drums not Guns and I go to different communities and I teach traditional drumming and drum making.”
“Now at this moment I have trainees. I have students that learn my work so they have their own ideas.”
The other two artisans are Myrna Manzares, who put together a display on the Creole Culture and Ellen Staine, who showcased the Mayan culture. Delahnie Bain for News Five.
The exhibit runs until December twenty-sixth.