Young, Grenadian Creatives to Experience Venice Biennale
The Biennale di Venezia has completed its first of its seven months residence as the world’s oldest and largest exposition of contemporary art in the world. In July, a group of 4 creatives from Grenada will go to Venice on an educational venture led by one of Grenada’s Biennale alumni, Asher Mains. The 4 creatives were chosen in response to a call for local artists and creatives interested in the development of the art scene in Grenada as part of a partnership between Grenada Arts Council, Art School Greenz, and the Grenada National Pavilion in Venice. Local sponsors, including Century 21 Grenada, along with the Government of Grenada through Norland Cox and the Ministry of Culture and the National Lottery Authority have made it possible to expose these young creatives ranging in age from 21 to 34 to the high standard of art and exhibition that the Venice Biennale presents. Grenada Arts Council are encouraged by the response to the call and the strength of the successful applicants in contributing to and expanding the conversation of contemporary art in Grenada. The following creatives will be engaging in introductory sessions before traveling to Venice, Italy on July 1st. The participants will then visit the Giardini and Arsenale and see the work of the 70 plus artists there, as well as many as possible of the 90 National Pavilions found around the city. These young creatives are forging ahead as leaders of the now generation of art in Grenada.
Haron Forteau – Haron has had multi-disciplinary experience across a range of mediums but is most noted for his work in photography. Forteau has not only set himself apart as one of Grenada’s premier sports photographers but has also invested in himself, attending the IAAF World Championships in London, as one of the youngest of 80 – 90 global photographers at the event. Forteau sees this intensive course as, “… a golden opportunity to represent Grenada and learn from international creatives”
Tamika Gilbert – Tamika has been increasingly invested in art and the development of art in Grenada over the last few years. Many know her for her experience as a dancer, she has since been involved with Art School Greenz, expanding her skills in the visual arts but also Grenada Arts Council where she currently serves as the Public Relations Officer. Tamika says about the Biennale, “Experiencing the Biennale, I believe, will give me a higher purpose for the work that I do to promote and develop Art here in Grenada (sometimes at the expense of my own practice); it will make that work more enjoyable and purposeful as now it can put into serious perspective how far the Art and Artists that I’m working for can reach.”
Carol Youssef – As a painter and an interdisciplinary thinker, Carol’s experience of the Biennale will likely impact our own creative community as much as it does her personally. She has demonstrated an ability and willingness to work collaboratively to improve the state of the local art scene. As one the younger participants, she will have many years after the Grenada-Venice intensive to not only continue developing her own practice towards a world stage but also to ensure that others are affected by her experience.“I want to be able to share my experience with other growing artists, so they can keep practicing and influence them to develop art in Grenada.”
Samuel Ogilvie – Samuel has been deeply intertwined in the creative community in Grenada for a number of years. His professional involvement involves his own video production company, SO Productions. His creative activity involves performing with La Boucan Creative Center as well as work behind the camera with one of this year’s artists at the Grenada National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Billy Gerard Frank. “To witness the pinnacle of art in a city so rich in art history will likely help to inform and improve the artistic aspects of my video work.”
Grenada Arts Council are proud of these 4 successful applicants to the program and look forward to expanding the conversation in Grenada about contemporary art and the international art scene. The participants’ variety of backgrounds and interests will be complemented by the wide variety of art being exhibited in Venice. The Grenada National Pavilion has already welcomed thousands of visitors. People are keenly interested in the art in the beautiful Palazzo Albrizzi. Curator Daniele Radini Tedeschi along with Commissioner Susan Mains have created a Pavilion that is unified in its theme of “Epic Memory”. Look out for social media posts from the Grenada-Venice intensive!
A partnership between Grenada Arts Council, Art School Greenz and the Grenada National Pavilion in Venice to bring artists from Grenada to see the Grenada National Pavilion as well as a curation of the exhibits from amongst the 90+ National Pavilions and Collateral Events and 80+ individual artists curated for the 58th Venice Biennale.
The purpose of this intensive is to broaden our local base of artists who have been exposed to contemporary art at the highest level. The experience of the city of Venice and the Biennale di Arte cannot be communicated in words and we are hopeful that this intensive can propel our developing artists forward as well as providing a broader audience locally who are familiar with the event. The intensive will span 1 week in Grenada with preparatory readings and assignments followed by a 1 week residency in Venice, Italy, and a debriefing in Grenada upon completion. The program will cover some of the costs of travel and accommodation but participants will need to be prepared to contribute as well. Details can be discussed during the interview after applying. The program in Venice will run from July 1st to 10th*
Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in art and a particular involvement in the continued development of art in Grenada.
Applicants should have a valid Grenadian or other passport that allows entry to Italy through England.
Applicants need to be in good health and able to spend several hours during the day walking. 6 to 7 miles with frequent stairs has been an average.
Applicants should be able to read and write at a university level.
Applicants should be prepared to contribute to their own expenses, i.e. food and personal shopping during the intensive.
It is important to note that participants will be required to complete writing assignments and readings to ensure their fullest engagement with the intensive. Writing should be at least college level proficiency and will help not only to serve as a helpful method of synthesising information but also to have as a record that others can read about the experience. Topics will vary but particular emphasis will be on digesting new work and researching artists. Readings will be to give more information on the city of Venice but also on artists and movements with the goal of enhancing the viewing experience and further developing as an artist.
Assignments will begin the week before the intensive in order to cover as much introductory ground as possible before travel. Some writing assignments may translate into published work to broaden the conversation about contemporary art in Grenada as well as Venice.
Participants will use their social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. to broadcast their experience in Venice along with appropriate hashtags. This is important as far as expanding the online content particularly from the Caribbean perspective.
All participants will share an apartment in Venice. This maximises time together in session but also minimises the cost and logistics of separate accommodations. The cost of the accommodation will be covered by the program.
Asher Mains, MFA, as director of research for the Grenada National Pavilion, will be leading the intensive. Having been to 4 consecutive Biennales and having twice exhibited with the Grenada National Pavilion, Mains brings a unique and intimate perspective in engaging with the Venice Biennale. As a lecturer at St. George’s University, and a practicing international artist, Mains is equipped to manage the theoretical as well as practical issues surrounding the Caribbean’s representation at the highest stage of contemporary art.
Applicants should apply with an essay no longer than 500 words stating why they are interested in taking part in the intensive. Applicants who provide a strong case for their participation will then have an interview with Asher Mains before applications are informed of their inclusion in the program. Due to the costs and in the interest in a truly intensive educational experience, the program will be limited to 3 – 4 successful applicants. Essays can be sent to Grenada Arts Council with the subject line “Grenada Venice Intensive”: firstname.lastname@example.org
A program fee of $1,350 ec will be required to assist in covering costs. Scholarships available.
*Subject to change based on availability.