October 24, 2020

Caribbean Museum Center to celebrate anniversaries 2014 calendar

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Cal 1By Stephen Cheslik (Daily News Staff) From Virgin islands Daily News

If they haven’t already, art lovers on St. Croix should circle Saturday on their calendars to take note of the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts’ 10th anniversary gala.

And, if they are lovers of local art, they just might be circling the 30th on the 19th edition of the calendar that made the museum possible.

The Island Art and Soul calendar was created by Candia Atwater as both an annual fundraiser and a way to share art created by local artists.

As each new calendar came out, the proceeds were put into a savings account, according to Atwater

And while founding the first art museum in the Virgin Islands was her dream from the beginning, it stayed just that until she met hedge fund founder Warren Mosler 11 years ago, according to Atwater.

Hearing that Mosler was moving to St. Croix, a fellow economist and friend, who is also Atwater’s cousin, urged him to look her up.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Mosler said, speaking of Atwater’s dream.

Within a short time, Mosler had purchased the former Drakes Inn on Strand Street in Frederiksted.

The museum was built as a town home by an estate manager in 1780 and survived Fireburn in 1878.

Cal 2After extensive renovations to fix damage caused by Hurricane Hugo -during which it was possible to stand inside the building and see both the ground below and the sky above, according to museum program director Sparkle Mischer – the museum opened 10 years ago.

The renovation cost “three times as much as the price,” Mosler said.

But the price was worth it.

“It’s a beautiful building and the center of a lot of community activity,” Mosler said.

“You don’t have to go there – it is all voluntary. And yet, when there is a show there are hundreds of people all looking at what is going on,” he said. “I think its something that fascinates children and adults alike. You can just stand there and look at people going through.”

To Mosler, art and design are fundamental to being human. “It’s something that feeds a critical element in human life. Not sure if any society has existed without it.”

“Major cities are all characterized by their museums,” Mosler added. “People just feel compelled. They call it a genetic trait to house and display your history and art work. An adaptive trait that is at least partially responsible for human beings making it this far in evolution.”

For at least the next 15 years, the museum will continue to rent the building from Mosler for $1 a month. The price is just enough to keep the arrangement legal, Mosler said.

Today, the museum is something special, Mischer said. It’s “a place where artists can go and express themselves,” she said.

In addition to galleries on the lower and upper levels, the museum houses a museum store and three apartments to be used by artists in residence and a grand piano.

Atwater said that “over the years, we have featured artists from Africa, England, Curacao” and enough other places that she “can’t remember them all.”

And while the museum is preparing to celebrate its last 10 years, it is also looking forward as it works on expanding its board of directors and volunteer base, Atwater said, noting “there are never enough volunteers.”

Saturday’s “10/20 on the 30th” anniversary celebration will feature music by Rythmix band, a holiday fashion show by JG Management, hors d’oeuvres by Schooner Bay Marketplace and an auction of framed limited-edition prints of work featured in the 20th anniversary calendar.

The gala begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at Under Cover Books in Gallows Bay, Villa Morales in Estate Whim and at the museum.

Tickets cost $50 for museum members and $65 for non-members and tickets are available in advance or the night of the gala. To reserve a ticket, call the museum at 772-2622.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; all cruise ship days and until 6:30 p.m. during Sunset Jazz.

For more information on the museum, visit http://cmcarts.org.

The 20th anniversary edition of the Island Art and Soul Calendar can be purchased at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts store or online at http://cmcarts.org. The calendar features works by artists who were from St. Croix, or spent time on the island.

Image Gallery for Caribbean Museum Center to celebrate anniversaries 2014 calendar

For more on this story go to:

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news/caribbean-museum-center-to-celebrate-anniversaries-2014-calendar-1.1593039

 

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