Artworks from Haiti on display at HCC gallery

Show features paintings, sculptures by modern and master Haitian artists

April 08, 1999|By Jill Hudson Neal | Jill Hudson Neal,SUN STAFF

A colorful exhibit of Haitian paintings, sculpture and ceremonial items is on display in the Howard Community College Art Gallery in Columbia until May 1.

The show features 46 vibrant paintings and seven sculptures from the Mon Cherie Galerie of Washington -- the only gallery in the area that specializes exclusively in Haitian fine art.

The show began April 3 and has been a success, said Ron Roberson, director of the HCC Art Gallery and the school's interim vice president of academic affairs.

"The gallery has been full of people most days," Roberson said. "I think people are really taken by the beauty of the paintings and the brilliant colors."

The small gallery space has been filled with a diverse collection of works by contemporary and master Haitian artists.

Although the artists' styles and techniques differ, they all capture the essence of Haiti, Roberson said.

Part of the gallery's mission "has been to provide our audience -- both the community college and the local community -- a culturally diverse experience," Roberson said. "We've never done a show of Haitian art, though in the recent past we've had exhibits featuring Chinese and Liberian artists. So this current show fits our mission."

Some of the works included in the show are by artists Leonel Jean Baptiste, Wilson Bigaud, Franck Robuste and Francois Sanon.

Some works portray the beauty of the Haitian landscape, while others represent the strength of the Haitian people as they deal with the realities of daily life.

"This is definitely a show that a person off the street who knows nothing about art can love," said Roberson. "These are simply beautiful paintings and it's a very accessible show in terms of the way it looks."

All of the pieces on display are for sale, and the HCC gallery will receive a percentage of the sales.

The Mon Cherie Galerie, at 1231 Girard St. NW, in Washington's Adams Morgan neighborhood, began five years ago as a private collection in the home of its creator, Phil Fenelus.

HCC Art Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 410-772-4941 or visit HCC's online art gallery at www.howardcc.edu.

Pub Date: 4/08/99

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