Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Suriname Chronicles: Part V

One of the activities that Terry and I did while in Paramaribo was to offer various workshops to different groups of artists.  A huge 'thank you' goes out to Public Affairs Officer Melissa Quartell and her team for setting up these workshops and getting us there in one piece.  The streets of Paramaribo are chaotic, and they drive on the left-hand side of the street.  The chaos I could handle, remembering which way the traffic was coming from never stuck in my head.  More than once, Terry had to grab me by my shoulder to pull me back because I had stepped out into oncoming traffic.

Our first workshop was at the Academy of Higher Arts and Cultural Education.

The next presentation was to the Suriname Photographers Association (Check out the SUFOV by clicking on this link  Photoshop is more of a skill in Terry Rathje's wheelhouse, so he basically handled the whole workshop.

The next day we spoke to a group of art students studying to become art teachers at the Teachers Training College (IOL).  Terry and I showed them several methods for idea generation.

One of the 'tricks' I showed them was using positive/negative shapes to help trigger ideas/develop compositions.  These next two images are the positive and negative shapes of my sunglasses, keys, and pocket knives.

We also had the good fortune of seeing a show of student artwork right outside the classroom where we gave our presentation.

Our second-to-last workshop was at Matoekoe Center (Check them out by clicking  We had a two-part demonstration consisting of how to draw portraits and making some full-body action drawings.

Our translator that day was Public Diplomacy Assistant Ingrid Hill.  She was nothing short of awesome (and by awesome I mean an indispensable, energetic, force-of-nature).  Later that day, Ingrid introduced Terry and I to the Surinamese treat pom.  To learn more about pom, click HERE.

A few shots of Ingrid cutting a rug with one of the students from the Matoekoe Center.

Terry showing students how to turn themselves into drawing machines.  I should mention that this large roll of paper, along with a whole bunch of other supplies were made possible with an extremely helpful Art$ Dollar Grant from Quad City Arts (provided by Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, John Deere, and the Doris and Victor Day Foundation).

One of my favorite images from my 17 days in Suriname is the image below.  There is pure joy in this guys' face as he is drawing.

A few buildings away is a gallery with student work on display.  Check these beauties out.

Later that day we went to the Nola Hatterman Art Academy for our final workshop/presentation in Paramaribo and an exhibition of our artwork.

I'm including this image for Dean Kugler since he made a giant bee for our project,  allinitogether, this past Summer at The Figge Art Museum.

A student at work in the studio.

Immediately next door to the Nola Hatterman Art Academy is Fort Zeelandia -a former political prison and the site of the December Killings (link to Wikipedia article on Fort Zeelandia).  Fort Zeelandia, I am told, is now a museum.

A panoramic shot from the second floor of the Nola Hatterman Art Academy looking out over the Suriname River.

Immediately following our presentation on the second floor, Terry and I had an exhibition entitled Colloquy (which is also the name of the sculptural installation we were hoping to build in Moengo) in the gallery on the main floor.  Two of the people who showed up for the reception were local artists Melany and Brian.  I had a fabulous chat with them and I was impressed at how excited, knowledgeable, and passionate they were about art.

With the bulk of our activities in Paramaribo behind us, it was time to devote all energies towards our teaching and sculpture creation in Moengo for the Moengo Festival of Visual Arts.

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