Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haitian Art: Resilient and Joyous Spirit

During the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Haiti, it's helpful to honor the culture and spirit of the Haitian people. They are not just victims or statistics. The Haitian people have a nuanced and unique culture, which has produced some amazing art. DeWitt Peters, an American artist, traveled to Haiti in 1943 and fell in love with the art. In fact, he helped in the creation of an art school in Port-au-Prince called Le Centre d'Art. With the help of the Haitian government, this art school opened in 1944. This school helped to support local artists as well as give them more international exposure.

Today the largest collection of Haitian art in the USA is housed at the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Waterloo, Iowa. Kent Shankle, the curator at the WCA, said: "Haitian art is incredibly unique and a lot of that comes from the spirit of the people. They have a resilient and joyous spirit."

Click here to take a virtual tour of some of the Haitian paintings, banners, and metals.

Click here to read about part of Haiti's complex history.

Click here to donate to relief efforts of the Red Cross.

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