Once upon a time and long ago… I went to Haiti. It was an island of poverty, but also beauty. We stayed in the now famous Hotel Montana. It was hardly four star then; no, it was pretty basic. But it was up in the hills, above Port au Prince, and had gorgeous views.
I remember arriving at the airport and seeing those brightly painted vans everywhere. The streets were packed; it was so crowded the taxi had to take lots of u-turns to eventually get through and start up the hills toward Petionville. But there was also lots of color, and of course, that is what their art is all about. So much color and so such poverty.
We took taxis everywhere… it was not safe to rent a car. We went to local markets up in the mountains where there are no trees at all: any and all trees have been cut down for firewood. That was years ago…by now the hillsides are totally bare and thus subject to the terrible flooding they have had over the years. We went to another resort that was eerily deserted, the grand piano left to sit out in the open courtyard to await who knows what weather. We played tennis on a court surrounded by high fencing to which the locals would cling and watch the tourists; down to Port au Prince where you dodged the huge pot holes either in a car or on foot, but we also ate wonderful Haitian food, explored galleries, even went to a winery for a tasting.
Above is a hammered metal angel who sits above our fireplace. This we bought fairly recently through the Vassar Haiti Project art sale. Please, take a look at the site. The next sale is January 31st in Hartsdale, New York.
This painting we bought when in Haiti. It’s acrylic on masonite: no money to buy canvas.
Silk screened fabric stretched on frame: this one brightens up our bathroom!
I LOVE this hand painted wooden tray: my friend Ellen brought it back from her first trip there, working with a group of Haitian women on exports to the U.S.