Artists Mwamini Morowa Frett and Montez Teferi work in the new 81C Studio space, located in the historic Pissarro house on Main Street, Charlotte Amalie. (Photo by 81C)

81C announces the launch of 81C Studio, an artist support program operating out of the famed Pissarro House on Main Street in downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. The property is the birthplace of the famous impressionist painter and artistic pioneer Camille Pissarro.

Two blocks east of the 81C Art Gallery and event venue, the Art Studio Program offers participants six months access to a free, safe and professional workspace , according to a press release announcing the program.

“The launch of 81C Studio on Main Street is significant because it brings energy to the area that is rooted outside of materialism or shopping, and actively helps artists and young people,” said 81C’s Zack Zook. “Since the opening of 81C as a gallery and event space in October 2020, I have wanted to create a proxy place that allows functional and constant creative production within the community. Finding an opportunity to do so through 81C in the historic home of Pissarro has been inspiring, fun and fortuitous,” he said.

Zook encourages St. Thomas artists to apply to Studio 81C’s Artist Support Program. Visit 81C during gallery hours (Wednesday 5-10 p.m. and Sunday 2-8 p.m.) or contact 81C by phone at 917-327-1561, by email at [email protected] or online at 81CVI.com.

The program aims to enhance and inform the prioritization of the artistic process and creation in an individual artist’s livelihood, enabling participating artists in 81C Studio to cultivate diverse artistic pursuits, including craft, technique, production, industry networking and exposure to curatorial gallery experiences. , the statement said.

Participating artists will have the opportunity to present their work to the public at the nearby 81C gallery and event venue on Strand Gade, through pop-up art exhibitions and, potentially, large-scale exhibitions, according to the press release. As a crucial part of the program, the artists are required to carry out collaboration sessions with the young people of the community twice a month, by organizing small workshops with students from an action-collaboration plan between 81C and educators and community leaders, he said.

A gallery exhibit at 81C in downtown St. Thomas.  (Photo by 81C)
A gallery exhibit at 81C on Strand Gade in downtown St. Thomas. (Photo by 81C)

Among the highlights of the program:
– The studio space is available 24/7 for participating artists;
– 81C curators and directors are available to offer professional advice and resources, as needed;
– 81C works to allocate funds for materials and products that play a necessary role in the artistic creation made by the participants;
– Young mentees are encouraged to collaborate on public art projects sponsored by 81C;
– Applications for studio slots are accepted online at 81CVI.com.

The inaugural participating artists are photographer Mwamini Morowa Frett, painter Iphedeiah Petersen and multimedia artist Montez Teferi.

“My photographs focus on nature and the unusual subtleties found in perhaps otherwise ordinary settings. Whether it’s an eerie detail in a cloud or a discolored leaf among a canopy of greenery, I appreciate what stands out as unique among serene settings. Those outliers can create stories, and then we ask questions within,” Frett said.

Petersen said: “I always loved art growing up, but only pursued it as a hobby, until a few years ago when I learned to paint. I mainly specialize in acrylic painting. I paint in a way that gives my art a textured appearance. For the most part I practice a naturalistic art form sometimes combined with the human form or the illusion of it. I also practice arts such as psychedelic, abstract, animation, fine art, fabric painting and others. Letting all parts of my imagination take the wheel, I execute my art freely with grace and power.

Teferi is a local business owner “creating through Indigenous Renaissance. I use clay, textiles, beads and watercolor to create unique pieces that balance my love of beauty and function.

81C is an event venue and art gallery that is available for rental for private and public pop-up events, free pop-up art exhibitions, and rotates large-scale art exhibitions every four at six weeks. Visit 81CVI.COM and on Instagram & Facebook: @81CVI. Call 917-327-1561.

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