There are many memories over the 50 years, but this one tops them all.

It all began at the bar in a then popular night spot in Barbados, A small group of us were engaged in a discussion, the group involved a leading politician, another Minister of the then government, myself and one other person

I cannot recall the exact topic of the discussion, but somehow the discussion got around to the business performances in Barbados.

The words of the leading politician rang out like church bells in my ears;.

“ People of color in Barbados should let white people who know how to run businesses run them”

It was like someone had stabbed me with a knife,

“Sir you are the head of the biggest business in Barbados, what color are you?

The other minister in his government kicked me on the leg and signaled to me to say no more – with one finger pressed tight over his puffed lips.

The topic of the conversation abruptly changed, like someone appllying the brakes to a motor vehicle as a child suddenly dart across the road.

The discussion took place on a Saturday night. The following Monday morning I experienced two surprises.

First the Minister called and sounded a warning.-Courtney my friend never does his own shopping for gifts; he is on his way to your gallery to purchase a gift, Take it as a warning.

A short while after the phone call, the friend walked in-“Brother Dev. I am going to Australia to a meeting, and would love to present the Prime Minister with a gift, “ at which point he asked me to chose a sculpture as the gift.

Many years passed before I ever repeated the story to anyone. I could have elaborated on his statement with an observation of my own, using the very statement to support the substance of my intended contribution; but never got the chance.

On a brighter note another Minister in the same government occupies a warm spot in my heart; the Minister once was said to me- “Mr. Devonish any time you see me in your gallery shopping, you can guarantee I am under some severe stress, your work bring joy and relief into my life.

There were a few sad occasions of losses of artwork, the first occasion was in Trinidad, where the major and largest sculpture in a shipment scheduled for an exhibition never showed up; luckily the $10.000 dollar sculpture was insured.

The second loss was in Toronto Canada, my son had moved back to Canada to live with his mother, for six years I spent the summer the months of May to November in Canada, so I can spend some quality time with him.

I also used the occasion to promote my work across Canada, sometimes with the help of the Tourist Board. There was an art gallery on the Toronto Harbor front that agreed to exhibit some of my work. Some pieces in the month of November, when I was leaving Toronto in the month of November the collection that were on exhibit was left until my return the following year;

Unfortunately the following year, the gallery, the owner and my work had vanished without trace.

The third loss was in the USA, after 2 successful exhibitions at a particular gallery, where the owner had paid in advance for all the sculptures featured in two previous exhibitions.

Third time around I agreed to exhibit the work on a consignment basis, after receiving payment for some sales, I was on a visit to The USA, only to discover the gallery no longer existed, and the owner was never found.

The remaining works included a relief sculpture I had donated to Drexel University, in honor a University Professor, who played a major role in the promotion and development of my work and career, including an exhibition at the university and other International exhibitions, as well as being a collector.

Today I no longer travel, but continue to exhibit at a couple of galleries outside of Anguilla.

Unfortunately I can count the number of Local patrons on one hand; which is prompting me to investigate the possibility of featuring an exhibition in a local supermarket; sounds mad, but it worked in Cave Shepherd in Barbados and Stevens and Johnson in Trinidad, which after 50 years are still the most successful exhibitions financially.

Soon Come–

I came on the Barbados art landscape at the time Tourism was reaching a healthy

climate and Caribbean Art was finding its place on the world map.

It is almost impossible to share my excitement in carving a piece of wood, unless you are a wood carver, a wood enthusiast, or a collector. The wood carving artist can only hope that the buyer at least feel a slight tingling of his experience.

An artist cannot see the beauty in a piece of wood when the bark is on, even when you remove the bark; the beauty of the wood is still hidden.

The real orgasmic sensation comes when you start to carve into, the warm sexy lines and curvy patterns, inspiring you to create forms that enables you the creator to experience a high that only him or her can put into words; you can only hope to share the experience with some lucky appreciative customer.

Sometimes it is a totally creative experience, no drawings, no prescribed object or form, just a silent communication between you, the wood and tools. .

As a businessman, your hope is that the buyer of the creative form can appreciate and share in your memories and language of the masterpiece.

I can recall a few weeks ago a lady picked a touch form that I distinctly remember carving, the same sensation being experienced; the tingling joy that was felt when the form was finally polished, with just mineral oil, like a beautiful lady without makeup.

The buyer looked at me like I was stark mad, she was buying a gift for a friend; but I could see that she really did not share my enthusiasm; in disappointment, I wished that her friend would see the beauty; or perhaps she did not want me to see her excitement in case I raised the price, it could not have been a coincident that she choose the most exciting form in the collection.

Discovering the beauty in wood as you carve is like seeing the model for an art class walk through the door in a heavy overcoat, then exposing her curvy naked body for you to recreate in clay.

After many years of experimenting with different wood finishes, French polish, linseed oil, Tung oil, Min wax, polyurethane etc, I finally ended up with mineral oil only, whether for sculptures or trays and bowls for food. The wood remains true to itself, as I noted before like a naturally beautiful woman without makeup.

I have carved many woods from all over the world, but my first love is mahogany, not too hard, termites would only eat the sap, it is warm, easy to both carve and sand, it is seductive and just plain beautiful.

Soon Come-

Establishig myself on the Carribean and International Art Scene.

I can’t believe it has been 50 years; it is an ongoing hard fought, bumpy, exciting and enjoyable road, full of self-satisfaction.

It started out with the focus on ceramics, but I fell madly in love with a warm, beautiful, lady- called Mahogany, there were numerous flirtations with other ladies including ebony, elm, walnut, maple, cedar, but I remained faithful to mahogany.

The first 2 years were tough, in a Bajan market that was still in its infant stage; A little restaurant called the Beer House on Marhill Street, Bridgetown kept the doors open.

It was ironic, the Beer house was right opposite the Route 5 bus stand,where the bus to the chalky Mount pottery district came and went, the very village where I was born and lived until I migrated to Coventry, UK at the age of 18 years, to join my parents, 8 sisters and one brother, the other brother joined us a couple years later.

The original name of the gallery was –The Design and Art Centre, where we introduced the Shirt Jack, Reggae Music, Copper and Ceramic lamp shades to Barbados, in an effort to combat the mess the salt air made of metal.

Ceramic Production

After abandoning the restaurant, as I was married to art not food, we moved to another location on the same street, the name was changed to Gallery 71. Other than my creations, the effort to market the pottery production from the Chalky potters energized as the market grew.

The unfortunate failure of a new gas kiln, with a large order prompted the opening of COD pottery and Ceramics in Pelican Village; a stone throw from the deep-water harbor and the cruise ships. One of the leading and most creative of the chalky mount potters was recruited to produce and train 2 young potters; one was a gem but was stolen by the Canadian Blue mountain Potteries.

The threat of an English Gentleman being offered a duty-free license to produce ceramics in Barbados coerced a joint venture in another larger location in pelican village.

The experience was a disaster, and I will say no more; COD Pottery and Ceramics moved back to pelican village with a new space also for a woodcarving studio with one trainee.

Wood Art at this time were the main attraction, after winning several outstanding prizes in local art competitions, several international exhibitions and attention from local and international press.

There was a local boost when in partnership with a super talented Weaver and fabric artist, Roslyn Watson; we did something that was unheard-of; we mounted art exhibitions in Commercial Department stores in Barbados, Trinidad and years later without Roslyn in Canada.

The MMove To Anguilla

The say love is blind, my last exhibition in Barbados yielded something that I was working towards for 18 years, to introduce art to the ordinary Bajan public. The exhibition of woodcarvings and ceramics in the Queens Park Gallery saw the fulfillment of that goal

the exhibition was a huge success; and over 75% of the sales was to local folks, in the middle of the tourist season.

That is when I moved to Anguilla, after being seduced by the Island and falling in love with one of its well-known ladies.

Soon Come-

Anguilla is still relatively unknown to many travelers, what a shame!, because you are missing out on one of the best holiday destinations in the world.

Let’s assume you were lucky enough to hear about Anguilla and decided to give it a try, I can assure you it won’t be your last, You will discover some of the most beautiful and sparsely crowded beaches in the world.

The beaches are not only beautiful, there are 35 of them; you will have to take a month’s vacation or visit five beaches a day if you wish to explore all the beaches in one day. Don’t be in a rush, you can enjoy them on subsequent trips; have the pleasure of a new experience each visit.

When you are safely settled into your luxury hotel, don’t believe anyone who advise you to limit you stay to your hotel and its immediate surroundings; because there is nothing out there, it’s a downright lie.

As a matter of fact, why should you visit such a beautiful little Island and not discover its secrets. I too was a tourist 30 years ago and knew nothing about the Island, I never left after I discovered its magical and magnetic charm.

There is plenty out there to see and explore, but for now I will focus on one of your best shopping experiences.

The Devonish Art Gallery

The gallery is the first and longest running gallery in Anguilla, it was first located in Barbados for 18 years, before Mr. Devonish was unable to resist the magnetic charm and delicate life of Anguilla. The gallery was one of the earliest and leading galleries in Barbados before the move.

One stop Shopping.

The gallery is the showroom for sculptor and ceramic artist Courtney Devonish and bead artist and wife Carrolle Devonish; his art creations include original sculptures, and fine craft , -birds, bowls, trays, tropical fish among them; but the shoppers favorite is his silky smooth hand carved mahogany hearts; an excellent stress reliever.

The gallery also exhibits paintings, sculptures, giclees, prints and souvenirs by other Caribbean and international artists with an Anguilla experience.

Courtney has been a full time artist for 50 years, and lives in a tourist destination, he has created a concept that will please shoppers. Not only can you collect a work of art or one of Carrolle’s bead necklaces; There is a ample collection of tastefully selected souvenirs, ranging from Island prints, Xmas balls , custom designed T-shirts and other collectibles.

Be sure to visit us when in Anguilla; We have many celebrities among our visitors, and some people who may be apprehensive; if you will like a private shopping experience, we will be happy to arrange an after hours trip to the gallery.

We will even offer to take you on a one- stop trip from and back to your hotel or Villa, all you have is to guarantee us a minimum $20.00 sale, or a mahogany heart in exchange. Give us a call or send us an email-devonishart@yahoo.com or 1 264 235 5109.

We look forward to seeing you.

The First and longest running Art Gallery in Anguilla.

During the eighties I was hired as a ceramic consultant by a Canadian Overseas Aid program (CTAP); The job included scouting clay deposits, conducting training workshops,sourcing Canadian equipment,raw materials ,and preparing reports for handicraft development in the various Caribbean Islands.

One such assignment was to the Island of Anguilla, I know this is hard to fathom, but as a resident of the Caribbean Island of Barbados, I knew more about England than I did of little Anguilla.

My only recollection of Anguilla was reading the headlines in the various newspapers when I was still a student at Teachers College in England-“The Mouse That Roared”.

The first trip to Anguilla was a memorable one, there were no direct flights to Anguilla, There was a flight with multiple stops on the route to St.Maarten, then a five-minute flight in a small plane to Anguilla.

The pilot announced that the flight to St.Maarten will only take five minutes, but he never announced that there was one other stop. I had never experienced this part of the Caribbean before, so when the flight landed, I disembarked.

Behold when I reached immigration, the officer spoke French and little English, I could hear myself muttering; ”I thought Anguilla belong to the British”

By the time we discovered the mistake, the small plane was taxiing down the runway, “ for heaven’s sake, there were only nine passengers on board, he can see everyone, surely he knew how many passengers were going to Anguilla”

I argued with the immigration officer.

The long and short of the story, the welcoming crew from the National Council of Women collected my luggage and pondered my non- arrival.

In the meantime, there were no more scheduled flights to Anguilla, and I could not afford the rates the hotels were charging. Luckily there was a pilot who was on a charter to pick up passengers from Anguilla, his airline ticket was cheaper than the hotel rates, so I arrived in Anguilla on a charter flight from St. Barts.

The Immigration officers in Anguilla were prepared for my arrival, and made arrangements for me to be transported at the one and historic guest house- Lloyds – I can still remember my reaction at seeing the old time “icy hot” flasks on the dining tables.

My first reaction after spending a few days on the Island was, “where are the trees” There was a marked absence of large trees, just shrubs, except for a few mahogany and Tamarind trees; but there was an abundance of light pink flowering small white cedar trees.

I later learned that until the late sixties Anguilla had no electricity, they burnt coals for cooking, thus depleting the trees.

Anguilla had the most beautiful beaches, there were less than 15000 inhabitants, nearly all the businesses were locally owned, they owned the land, and the island was peaceful and not crowded like Barbados.

Move to Anguilla

As Cupid would have it, I fell in love twice, first with the Island, and then with One of my students from the National Council of Women.I am proud to say we produced a beautiful daughter,who just graduated from Birmingham UnIversity UK,with a PHD in Clinical Psychology.

We were married in Canada in 1988 and returned to Anguilla, and opened Anguilla’s first Art Gallery, The Devonish Art Gallery is the first and longest running gallery in Anguilla.

When I arrived on the Island there was mention of an old artist, who painted on substandard materials, Efforts to find him or some of his work were fruitless. I am not sure if any of his work survived; if it has, the Heritage museum should try to acquire them.

There were also stories of the carving brothers, who moved to St. Thomas. I did see samples of their work, but I am not surprised they gave it up. After 30 years in Anguilla, I don’t think I could survive one month on local sales.

One artist from that era is still on the scene, an excellent artist, but is embarking on other commercial interest to support himself. There is absolutely no effort on the part of the government to encourage a career in art for the youth.

We also operated the gallery from the oldest commercial building on the Island, that once housed the historic Cotton Gin, which is now housed at the Heritage Museum; hence the name- Devonish Cotton Gin gallery.

The Devonish Cotton Gin Art Gallery

The Devonish Cotton Gin Gallery operated from a building owned by two different owners separated only by a partition; on a point of interest, part of the lease agreement included a clause that I was responsible for the insurance of the building.

No company would insure the building, until after a debating argument with one insurance company.

“Which is the oldest building on the Island, how many hurricanes did it withstand; were it ever destroyed by a hurricane?” I argued.

“ Come to think of it, you are right” said the manager of the insurance company; at which point he did insure the building.

There were some unforeseen circumstances that forced me to sell the lease to another gallery owner.

The building is still standing after the worst hurricane in the history of Anguilla. The building did suffer some damage due to the weakening of the building by one occupant; but it was still easy to repair and is still occupied as the oldest standing building in Anguilla. It was a crime to remove the cotton gin from the building, but grateful that it was saved from the Dump.

Ceramic production on a limited scale is still carried on by students from the first ceramic training workshop; ceramics is now taught in schools and the local community college.

Unfortunately, lack of interest, foresight and poor planning, the craft shop,and ceramic workshop with equipment was demolished by the then Government, with a promise to rebuild on another site.The premises was built by the Canadians as a gift to the National Council Of Women.

A decade has passed and the promise has not been kept; It is time the National Council of women demand that the Government keep its promise, and carry out one of my recommendations from the report-a report financed by the Canadians and cannot be found.

The report suggested that the government strongly encourage every hotel on Island provide a small retail space for the sale of local arts and crafts, in the interest and well-being of the generations of school-leavers to come.

What are your leaders doing to encourage a sustainable career in Art?

I am in the process of creating a new series if relief wood sculptures, that were inspired by a fiber artist from Barbados; we shared many joint exhibitions during the seventies and early eighties.

The source of my inspiration was the commercial production of her sunburst, masterfully created woven wall hangings from the ribs of the coconut leaf, raffia and cotton tread. This is an artist inspired from nature.

The design lived in my m memory for decades as one of the most creative uses of a combination of materials I had ever seen; it is no wonder that the sunbursts wall hangings are still one of her most lucrative designs till this day.

It was not until 2018 that the inspiration gave birth to my new series of relief sculptures in wood, the name sunbursts is not overshadowed but there are variations based on the theme, which I have labeled –landscapes.

Definition of Primitive- found in searching the Internet for definitions.

1. Relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolution or historical development of something.

Synonyms-ancient, earliest, first, prehistoric.primeval, lower, original.

2.very basic or unsophisticated in terms of comfort, convenience, or efficiency.

Synonyms-crude, simple, rough, basic, elementary.

3. A person belonging to a preliterate, non-industrial society.

4. Of,relating to, or produced by a people or culture that is nonindustrial and often non-literte and tribal.

The term Primitive art is rather vague description which refers to the cultural artifacts of “primitive” peoples-that is, those ethnic groups deemed to have relatively low standard of technological development by Western Standards.

5. A genre of art and outdoor constructions made by untrained artists who do not recognize themselves as artists.

6.the concept of “primitive art”is partly a figment of the romantic imagination of the Western art world.

Leonard Adam-The mere foreignness of form and content of the various primitive arts serve to link them together in our mind for purposes of art criticism but that this linking is extraneous to the works themselves, being more a part of our attitudes toward them.

Hilton Kramer wrote in the NY times (1982) in reference to the term primitive art- “It is taken to refer to the art produced by “backward” or “undeveloped cultures-by those societies that have existed at a great distance, either in time or in spirit, from the centers of advanced and highly developed civilizations.
Although we are nowadays uneasy in our use of the term “primitive” to describe such cultures, lest it be interpreted as an ethnic or racial slur. This remains the meaning that most people have in mind when they speak of primitive art.

I applaud this addition and am totally in agreement-“however much modern art may owe to primitive art- and the debt is obviously a large one-primitive art in turn, owes its very presence in our art museums-and thus its existence in our esthetic consciousness

I rest my case, the authors of the English Language can be a destructive force to Ethnic and Racial Harmony.

Artists throughout history has been inspired by other artists, one historic art movement in Europe labeled –Modern Art,is a classic example; it has always pissed me off to know that modern art movement was inspired by African art, but what pissed me off is the fact that historians have continued to label African art,- the source of the inspiration – Primitive Art, and the European movement Modern Art.

There are other artistic movements that has influenced art through the ages, movements like cubism, symbolism, neo-classism, realism, surrealism, impressionism, fauvism, and others. These movements were influenced by other cultures, like the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs, the Indians, the Africans, the Asians, the Chinese.

Art Movements among those listed by Google arts and culture

Modern Art

ContemporyArt,

Surrealism

Abstract Art

Baroque

Impressionists

Renaissance, Romanticism

Gothic art

Po art

Expressionists

CUBISM,

Rococo

Art Nouveau

Folk Art

Street ART

Art Deco

Artists associated with these movements include Gustave Courbet, James Abbot McNeill Whistler, Claude Monet, Pierre -August Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst,Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, William de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Marshal Duchamp, Yayoi Kusama, Henry More, Hans Arp, Alexander Calder, and Jean Tinguely,

The New York Times published an article by Douglas McGill in 1984 entitled –What Does Modern Art Owe The Primitives? Why couldn’t the headline read-What Does Modern Art Owe African Art.

In his article McGilll states that nearly every major museum and several small ones are mounting exhibitions of “primitive” art-art of tribal peoples from Africa, Oceania and North America. Africa- the seat of civilization, where we still cannot determine how the Pyramids were built. Africa the place of the first University in History.

McGill refers to the Museum art, where the Curator William Rubin and co-curator Kirk Varnedoe was mounting an exhibition that “exclusively documents the profound effects of tribal art on the development of modern art. Entitled “Primitivism” in the 20th Century,

The article also mentioned an exhibition mounted by the Museum of Modern ART that exhibited 150 modern and contemporary exhibits and 200 pieces of tribal art, displayed side by side, in most cases for comparative purposes.

Quote from Mr. Rubin- in reference to tribal art-“ its major importance was in redefining for modern artists the very nature of art and art-making itself. He goes on to mention Picasso as the greatest pioneer of this new artistic territory. I

My art career started in England in the late sixties, and I would not hesitate to announce that Hans Arp, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and the Italian Artist Modigliani were greatly admired and has inspired my work greatly.

Now I am proud to admit that a friend, fellow artist and Caribbean person is my latest source of inspiration. Why has it taken so long to materialize? I am not sure, perhaps it was translating a woven fiber to a wood carnving; and maintaining

Roslyn Watson is still doing her thing in Barbados at her location in pelican village, a stone throw from the deep water harbor and cruise ship terminal.

Thank you, Roslyn, you will go down in history as one of the most creative fiber artists of our time. I hope the Barbados Museum and the Government has acquired a collection of her work to inspire generations to come, in order to avoid my current predicament, that nearly all of my early works are scattered all over the world with very little still in Barbados,

This is a general in small developing Islands who has to rely mainly on the Tourist Industry to eke out a living. Trinidad is somewhat different, I am sure there is more of my early work in Trinidad than in Barbados. We have not yet incorporated proper art education and art appreciation in our Caribbean schools.

Maybe we need to elect an artist as Minister of Culture in every government, to achieve that reality.

My brother who still lives in England called this week to inform me that heattended a Black History Month Exhibition Aat the Coventry Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and was schoked to see  an online presentation  where samples of mywork (1967 to 69) of my work, which were exhibited at the Museum.

What are our Caribbean Countries or leaders in your neck of the woods doing to preserve the memory and artistic creations of our elders and peers?


Do you wish to be an Artist?

Are you looking for an art school?

Where do you talent lie?

What medium will you choose?

TYPES OF ARTISTS AND ART MEDIA

Animation, film making, photography, fashion design, graphic and web design, interior design, game development

When we think of art education in today’s world we have to add Digital Designing and Gaming.

My middle education did not include, but I had developed a love for ceramics from my early primary school education; as a result my high school education ended without any training or qualifications in art.

As fate will have it I was given the opportunity to study art at Teachers Collage; and except for Three and a half years teaching, The rest of my life is devoted to creating art and managing an art gallery.

Foundation Course In Art.

The course at the teacher’s collage offered a compulsory one year course in art in five disciplines; needle work, fabric printing, ceramics, painting and sculpture; you were allowed to choose on discipline as your main subject for the remaining two years of a three-year course.

Today art is so diverse that budding artists have many choices; if you are facing that choice, this article will serve you well and may help you find your passion.

Drawing, Pencil, Pen & Ink, Markers, Pastels, Chalk. Charcoal.

Painting. Watercolor. Acrylic. Oil. Airbrush.

Photography: Film. Digital. Video.

Print Making. Linocut. Woodcut. Etching.

Mixed Media. Collage. Assemblage. Fiber. Sand. Paper

Weaving. Fabric. String.

Sculpture: Wood. Metal. Stone. Clay. Glass. Concrete.

Ceramics: Porcelain. Stoneware, Terracotta

Art Colleges and Universities

Let me deal with my passion first, Sculpture; perhaps you would like to engage in some training. There are many institutions in North America and Europe offering training.

Game designing.org list the top 50 art schools in America,25 of which are listed below.

CUNNY-Hunter College

Florida State University

University of Denver

School of Visual Arts:-NY

University of Florida:-Gainesville, FL

Michigan State University:-East Lansing MI

University of Buffalo:-NY

The University of Texas: -Dallas-Richardson,, TX

Montclair State University-NJ

Pacific Northwest College of Art-Portland, OR

Pratt Institute School of Art & Design-Brooklyn, NY

Rhode Island School of Design-Providence, RI

Ringling College of Art and Design-Sarasota, FL

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago-Chicago, IL

Yale University School of Art-New Haven, CT

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign- Champaign IL

Suffolk University New England School of Art & Design-Boston, MA

CUNNY City College- New York, NY

Endicott College-Beverly MA

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

For what its worth, the Institution in the above list with the lowest acceptance rate was Yale University School of Art with an acceptance rate of 6%, and the highest was Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with an acceptance rate of 98%. Ironically Pennsylvania also has the highest Room and Board costs:$16,720 and the lowest Room and Board Costs is the University of Michigan with Roomand Board Costs just under $10.000

CANADA

Vancouver seems to be the most popular city for Art colleges and universities in Canada. According to my limited research and firsthand knowledge the average cost of room and board may range from 14.000 to 15.000 Canadian dollars per year with additional costs averaging another 4 to 5 thousand per year. There are also some great universities between 25 and 27 thousand.

Ontario College of Art and Design- OCAD-Toronto, Ontario

The Art Institute of Vancouver-Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts-Vancouver, BC

Emily Carr University of Art and Design-Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Film School –VFS, Vancouver, BC

Capilano University-Vancouver, BC

Seneca College-Toronto, Ontario

Max the Mutt College of Animation.Art & Design-Toronto, Ontario

Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver-VCAD-Vancouver, BC

Sheridan College –Oakville,Ontario

Nova Scotia’s College of Art and Design University-NSCAD, Nova Scotia

Center for Arts and Technology-Campuses in Kelowna, Fredericton, and Halifax

George Brown College-Toronto, ON

Alberta College of Art and Design-ACAD-Calgary, AB

Fine Arts

Centennial College-1 Toronto ON 4,080 00. US 10,742

Douglas College-New Westminster, Coquitlam, Colombia-17,400

University of Fraser Valley- Abbotsford; British Colombia-17,160. US 14,091

Ryerson University Toronto O NTARIO26,151,16. US19,951. Toronto,Ontario

Lakehead University. Thunder Bay, Ontario. 22.601.25 US 17,242

Western University. London, Ontario.BA, 33,771,50. UA 25,764.

University of Calgary.

University of Lethbridge

University of Alberta; Edmonton,Alberta 21,668,40. US 16, 531

Fanshawe College- London Ontario. 13,113.00.US 10,044

Dalhousie University

University of Waterloo. Waterloo, Ontario. 29,230. US22,300

University of Saskatchewan.17,327,00. US13219

Most  college and Unuversities courses are three year courses, but many of them offer shorter and special courses. Do an Internet search of any on the list and view the details of all the interested course.

Where you live is also very important for your happiness, read all about your chosen city, and what are the attractions, weather and cost of  food and accomodation.

When you have finished searrching, please list your  top five Intsitutions in order of preference.Happy hunting.

Do your customers respect your worth as an Artist?

How should you price your work as an Artist?

Can you survive as a full time artist?

A plumber came to my house to fix a problem, it took him less than half an hour, his minimum charge was $60.00, or his five hour daily rate was US$200.00. Unskilled construction workers are paid US $10 to $15 an hour in a poor and struggling economy. Domestic workers are demanding US $8 TO $10 an hour.

One domestic worker was asked to carry out a cleaning assignment at my home;and was told she was not cleaning any more homes unless she is paid US $150.00 per day.

This prompted me to examine my pay structure for my art creations. I am a high school graduate and a trained primary school teacher; I have been a self-employed artist for the past 5o years, so experience should count for something.

My bread and butter creation and most popular item in the gallery is a small hand held,hand carved heart that takes one and a half hours to carve from start to finish, plus the cost of the wood and finishing materials; yet that heart is sold for $25.00 in the gallery and $16.00 wholesale, in order to attract any wholesale business at all.

I am currently working on a 12-inch relief sculpture. Time spent so far was 10 hours and I am still carving, it might be completed in another 10 hours. What should be the sale price of a sculpture that took three and a half years of training and 5o years experience.

Don’t you think I deserve better than a domestic or construction worker?

The local school is complaining that the academic students are not interested in art, yet they are among the best artists in the schools, the modern day educators are still struggling with the misconception that non-academic students are better suited to be taught art; when the evidence to the opposite is staring them in the face.

During a discussion with the principal of a high school, who was an artist herself, I asked her to go and select the students in the school who were the best art students, and she will discover they are also the top academic students in the school.

A week later she came back to me with the confirmation that I was correct; and that is something I discovered as a kid in primary school; why can’t educators today see the light.

Society, educators and parents are depriving societies of their best creative talent, not only in art but other important areas of intellectual and industrial development. All we have to do is to look who are the driving force of economic developments in history and you will find that many of them were school and university drop-outs; the system failed them.

We must learn to respect art education and artists, make sure they can earn a decent living, see art as the seed to critical thinking, social and economic development, and a better and more beautiful world.

What do you think should be the selling price of my finish 12 inch relief sculpture? send me your answers.

Learn from the experiences of others. 

A partnership can be a leaky ship.

Over the 50 years I have been existing as a Fulltime Artist and Entrepreneur; I was privileged to enter several business partnerships, and was forced to enter one.

The experiences were mostly painful and unsuccessful; but it would be remiss of me not the mention the one happy and successful partnership and friendship that still exists to a limited extent to this day; hampered only by distance.

I used the word friendship, because it is highly likely that any partnership arrangement will be with a friend, probably eight or nine times out of ten.

My happy and successful partnership was an unusual partnership that had very little room for contention, the partnership was with another artist who worked in a different medium; we both respected each other’s creations and we both had our own retail outlets, and marketed each other;s work.

When you are operating in a Tourist destination, in an environment where Art is relatively new, reaching local customers can be a challenge. That was the case with both with us, which prompted some thinking outside the box.

Our largest and most popular department store was located in the main city of Bridgetown, there was a restaurant on the third floor, next to the furniture department; the restaurant was also popular with locals and tourists alike; the prices were affordable and local favorites were on the menu.

The lean business period for the furniture department was during the sugarcane season, commonly referred to as the crop season; which on the other hand was a busy time for tourists and disposable income for the locals, plus most city office workers ate their lunches at the restaurant.

A request was made to the managing director to allow us to host a joint exhibition of our work in approximately 500 to 800 square feet of the furniture space next to the restaurant. We offered a 35% commission on sales to the store; we offered to be present ourselves; or one of our workers will be present as sales persons, but the purchases will be handled by one of the cashiers from the store.

The first exhibition was so financially successful that the exhibition became an annual affair, and changed the management’s perspective on local arts and crafts; so much so that it became part and parcel of the store’s merchandise.

We were all very surprised by the response of the locals; many of them did not frequent our retail outlets, but they were familiar with our work; they had seen it in hotels, restaurants and many of the villas and establishments where they worked.

The often repeated comment was “We have seen your work and liked it, but we never thought that we could afford it”. The exhibitions were the most successful exhibitions we ever hosted, both in attendance and sales; as a spin-off we were invited to host similar exhibitions in one of Trinidad’s largest depart sores at the time.

The same problem now exists in Anguilla; there are no department stores in Anguilla, one of these days I plan to engage a supermarket in the idea.

A Partnership That Left A Sour Taste In My Mouth. 

ceramic kiln

An English investor approached me as the CEO of a small ceramic production enterprise, and made a proposal to expand the operation with him as a partner; I informed him that I was not interested.

Days later I received a call from the Minister of Trade asking me to reconsider the investor’s offer; I told him also that I was not interested; at which point I was invited for discussions with the Ministry of Trade; what they relieved was disturbing and very political.

The options on the table were hard to ignore; the ministry was planning to grant a Duty Free License with incentives to the investor; they were aware that another production operation would hurt my operation, and they were trying to avoid the political fall-out.

If I had done some research I would have called they bluff; but it was another mistake made. The ministry advised me to form a partnership; because they were prepared to grant the duty-free status to the investor with or without me.

A partnership was formed, which did yield some interesting developments. The new operation build a state of the art 160 cubic feet natural gas kiln; with one powerful burner that circulated air throughout the kiln for fast cooling. I must admit I was excited because of the new technology and increase production.

The sad discovery was that the investor knew nothing about pottery, and had no experience about producing ceramics, beyond researching the new gas kiln. It was not long before there were challenges in the working relationship.

One day there was a visit from an important local businessman, who unashamedly announced that he was approached by the partner to purchase my shares in the company; but he would only purchase the shares if I remained as production manager. My daughter also tells strangers to beware of my laughs, because I do laugh when I am very angry.

My laughter did puzzle the local businessman, when he was informed that I did not offer my shares for sale, furthermore there were no discussions with my partner about selling my shares; plus I had no desire to work for anybody but myself; he was more puzzled. The relationship between my partner and myself became unbearable.

I walked away from the company and reopened another ceramic studio; The partner tried to continue the joint operation without my assistance, and the business eventually failed.

The self-owned ceramic studio remained in operation until my migrating to Anguilla.

That experience should have been enough to teach me the difficulties of a partnership, but I did it again and again.

Soon Come