The newly-formed Starvin’ Artists Local Arts Co-op attracted a steady stream of visitors at the Pirates Week Cultural Arts Festival last Sunday.
Visitors, warmed by the good weather and promise of bargains, browsed stalls and viewed art and craft pieces both indoors and outside the Bay Harbour Centre. Contacts were made, artwork was bought and clients and artists chatted in the bohemian atmosphere of the small-scale art happening. Live music, children’s crafts activities and local food added to the relaxed ambience.
A range of decorative glassware, paintings, woodcraft, brightly-coloured ceramic pieces and photography were among the items for sale.
The group, eager to expand, currently comprises a number of artists including carpenter, woodcarver and photographer Benton Conolly; painter Carley Jackson; decorative artist working with hand-painted glassware Kara Julian; painter Luis Molina and photographer Steve Jocelyn.
The Director of the co-op, Mitzi Callan, described her role, ‘helping local artists learn how to promote and market themselves’, as a ‘labour of love”.
‘Most artists have a day job… and they also have their art, which they love doing,’ she said. ‘Starvin’ Artists helps them explore the ways artists can transition into making what they love doing into more of a career.’
Kara Julian of Kara’s Glass Garden said: ‘A big part of what the Starvin’ Artists Local Art Co-op is about is to provide a range of local artwork at affordable prices direct to the buyer.
‘There are a few galleries on island but it’s rare that potential buyers get to meet with the artists face-to-face. Starvin’ Artists helps introduce people to local artwork; customers can see the artists engaged in the creative process and can place special orders.
‘We definitely want to see this grow. There’s something about artists working together, promoting our culture and our art and enjoying that experience which is phenomenal,’ she added.
Courtney Morris, visiting from Little Cayman, said he was interested in ‘see[ing] what type of artwork is produced in Grand Cayman.’ He said that a lot of the pieces would ‘make great gifts.’
Orlando Hibbert was equally impressed. He particularly liked Steve Jocelyn’s photography. ‘It’s sharp. He has a very good eye,’ he commented, referring in particular to a wildlife picture titled Little Blue Heron.
Ms Callan hopes that the Pirates Week Arts Festival will become an annual event allowing artists island-wide to participate.
The Starvin’ Artists Local Co-op is open Sunday through Friday, 9.30am to 6pm, and can be reached by calling 945-5014.