The Arts in San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 40            October 6, 2005

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Xanadu Resort hosts art adventure workshop

For the weeks of September 18th and the 25th, artists across “La Isla Bonita” have participated in the 2005 Barefoot Art Adventure Workshop hosted by Xanadu Island Resort. For many years, these workshops have been held in the lush tropical setting of Ambergris Caye by famed artist Genie Kell.

   On Friday, September 31st, 2005, all artists had the opportunity to proudly display their creative works at the San Pedro Lion’s Den. A kaleidoscope of colors could be seen in the variety of canvases shown.

   Throughout the workshop, 13 participants enjoyed adventure days whereby they refreshed their senses and relaxed their bodies with a full day of fun activities. Among the activities was a day’s visit to Maruba Jungle Resort and Spa and the Altun Ha ruins which provided much inspiration.

   During the week, participants enjoyed the sea breeze on their outdoor studio. Under the shade of a palapa, artists let their creative juices flow from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Genie took her time to address each individual’s needs during the afternoon session and handed out individual assignments as needed.

   Genie Kell lives in southwest Florida where she teaches painting, art appreciation and art history. Her work, which ranges from traditional watercolors to enormous mixed media works that combine sequins, beads and glitter with painting, is seen annually in exhibitions abroad and in the United States of America. Genie has lived in both Italy and Greece (in Venice for two summers and in Mykonos Santorini, Athens for more than five years). Her Master’s of Arts from New York University and her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from John Herron Art Institute are complemented by her studies at Yale and Columbia Universities along with training at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

   Genie is known for actively nurturing her students’ growth and for her enthusiastic cheerleading on their behalf. In her workshops, she weaves lessons that build traditional painting skills with confidence building activities that encourage artistic risk-taking. Her fresh approaches to making and critiquing paintings inspires her students to truly ‘see’ their art and to expand their self expression!

   Artists that did not have the opportunity to participate in this year’s workshop may do so next year when Genie returns. Although, the date has not been set it will tentatively take place in September.

“Faces of Belize” exhibit travels to Washington

Having a successful collection of books, artist Christopher Emmanuel is now on to bigger and better things, only this time his focus is on paintings and portraits. This local artist is taking the art world by storm with his eclectic artwork that portrays Belize’s fantastic mix of cultures.

   He recently compiled his greatest and most inspiring artwork and has been making headlines around the country. To add to his achievements, he was invited to appear on a live news show in the United States. Channel 9, Eyewitness News invited Christopher to showcase his collection of paintings called “Faces of Belize.” His paintings and writings reflect his feeling of being connected to nature, wildlife, people, and cultures. In an interview with the San Pedro Sun, Emmanuel stated “I was invited to the US because of my paintings, and also to showcase the true melting pot of cultures that make up Belize.” Emmanuel’s oil canvas paintings are truly a work of art and can be visible in his portraits of the Prime Minister, Said Musa, and Opposition Leader, Dean Barrow. Not only does he do portraits, but he also creates natural paintings using a multitude of colors that depict the natural world in which we live.

   Apart from painting, Emmanuel confesses in having another passion, one which he channels through a more journalistic approach. He enjoys writing and has three published and recognized books that can be found in book stores countrywide. His first published book was entitled “Eternal Journey” and was published in 2000 in Toronto, Canada. The book is concentrated on a “spiritual awakening” written in poetry. The reader discovers eternal energy, which he believes governs all creativity and life itself. His second and third books are entitled “La Isla Bonita Poem Book” and “Love Positions.” The books are filled with insights on how to renew and find love in life. It is a celebration of love because it is through love that we are here, and it is the single factor that keeps us going through life. In this thought-provoking work, Emmanuel shared six persuasive techniques to assist you in discovering how to love. He believes that by applying these points, the reader will create powerful changes on how they love themselves and others. His books are known as “reader- friendly” and are recommended to the attention of those looking to learn more about life and love.

   Chris Emmanuel, 45, is rapidly becoming the next best thing in the artistic field. He was born in Grenada, West Indies, in 1960, and is apart of a family of five. Christopher’s artistic talents became apparent at the tender age of three, and as a young boy, he excelled in music, dance, drawing, painting, and writing poetry. His father dove for conch shells to support the family and when a tourist invited him to live in Canada, he packed up and moved his family to Toronto, giving Christopher the excellent opportunity to further develop his talents. His life would then change forever as he pursued his dream of becoming a fulltime artist and writer. Then, Chris chose to spend his holidays in San Pedro and the trip would change him forever. He fell in love with the place and decided to permanently reside in this beautiful jewel filled with fabulous beaches, mixed cultures, the sea, sun and reef.

   With his fine artwork and fascinating writing, Emmanuel is truly an asset to the art world. His continuous love and passion for what he does is demonstrated in most of his paintings. Chris Emmanuel is a true artist and writer for a new generation, one that is determined to keep his collection alive for years to come.
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