I am a Trained Primary School Teacher, a ceramic artist, and sculptor, after graduating in 1967 I taught in the UK for one and a half years, then returned to Barbados in December 1969
I did accept a teaching job but walked out of the classroom on the first day without teaching one lesson. There were some differences over salary plus I felt if I took the job I would be there for the rest of my career,
I was already exhibiting my sculptures in England with encouraging success and the thought of becoming a fulltime artist was my goal.
In 1970 I opened The Devonish Art Gallery, along with my ceramic and sculpture studio; possibly the most difficult decision I ever made.
The fear of not having a monthly salary, and meeting the cost of living, rent, tools and materials loomed large.
The main industry on the Island is tourism, which provided some comfort, but the local market at the time was limited, during the slow season or any interruption in tourism creates stress. The scariest time was the annual hurricane season.
Fortunately the building I rented in the city center for the art gallery had a second floor; I needed a business that would offer some cash flow until the gallery was economically viable
One of the easiest business for providing cash flow is a restaurant, I was also approached by a friend to open a small music shop selling reggae music imported from England, this was a new market because there was little reggae music being played on the local radio stations or available in the local music shops.
Within two years the goal was achieved and I sold the restaurant, my major complaint with the restaurant was the need to shop every day and if you are not always present, stealing could be a major problem
The gallery is a combination of pure art and fine craft with a small gift section to accommodate the tourist market,
That formula works until this day