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Local Artists Should Seek Lucrative Markets

Dunelyn ParkerAntigua St. John's - A local artist is appealing to her fellow artists to focus more on lucrative markets in order to realize their full potential for economic gains in the field.

The call comes from Dunelyn Parker, who has been involved in art nearly all her life.

“I started to draw when I was very young ... it’s something I love to do personally, although there is some interest in art within the family ... like my mother she does a bit, but any help she needs being a seamstress I would do it.”



In an interview with Caribarena, Parker said she believes that in these economically challenging times artists must do research, examine the market and see what appeals to the eyes of the customer.

“It doesn’t make much sense for an artist to be doing lots of work that will not sell.  Find out what type of art people like and focus more on that. If you keep drawing or painting work that people may not like, you will be stuck with the pieces, then you will become frustrated and may eventually give up.”

She was asked to give her views on why most artists in Antigua cannot use their discipline as a regular ‘job’, as they complain that it is just not feasible.

Parker replied: “You know what ... we can, depending on what type of art we specialize in.  The graphic designers, magazine artists, billboard artists etc, these artists would make more money as opposed to other artists who draw or paint a piece and try to sell it.

When we paint or draw a piece of art, we can’t afford to  sell it for little or nothing after we’ve put in our skills and time to create that particular piece and finances for the materials.

Dunelyn art work

“Most times, people say they love the piece yes, but they just can’t pay what we are asking for.  A lot of the times it’s the foreigners/visitors who would look, choose and buy on the spot. I think it’s easier if artists take their art to a store who sells artwork rather than trying to sell it on their own.”

Parker said she loves art in general, and doesn’t have an area that she specializes in or particular scenery that she enjoys doing.

“I draw whatever I feel like drawing. Sometimes I start out with this particular focus and end up with something else. I mostly work with acrylic but I also use various techniques such as pencil, crayon, oil pastels, charcoal and graphite.

“I also use different types of materials to get various effects. I also do a bit of photography. When I started first, I use to take my work to studios to get prints but I wasn’t too happy with the results, so I started to do my own printing as well.”



Parker said she participated in a number of exhibitions at the former Woods Gallery, State College and Art at the Ridge to promote her work and the reviews have been encouraging.

“I’ve been drawing like forever and I’ve gotten better and better at it over the years.”

She also spoke of certain areas that she will like to promote in order to excel in the art world.

“I want to market my art more and develop my skills. I do a lot of research on the web to see the latest trends in art. I love glass art ... I don’t really do that type of art but I love it and have an interest in its latest creations and how it is done. Also I want to sell more of my work and if there are young people who have an interest in the field and would like my help, I am willing to work something out.”Dunelyn art work

To parents who may have budding artists in the household she advised: “Don’t discourage them ... a lot of students use art as a ‘make-up’ subject maybe because of the limited understanding and negative feedback they’ve been getting about art. Whether or not they have art as a main focus, they must ensure that they develop their skills in other areas as well in order to be multifaceted and not become ‘starving’ artists.”

Parker also pushes the importance of exposure and practice to become ‘masters’ at what they do.

“Always scope out the market and try to enter exhibitions as much as possible … draw more and paint more … I know some artists today who were ‘green’ so to speak when they started out and if you see their work today it’s just amazing. So that’s why practice and more practice is very important. Art is one of those things you just have to practice.”

Parker reminds everyone that art is reflected all around us in our everyday lives, and if the public is more sensitized on its impact she believes appreciation for the discipline will definitely increase on the local level.

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8 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Local Artists Should Seek Lucrative Markets

#8 Daughter of the Soil » 2013-02-14 09:57

Dunelyn, Congratualtions on your art work! Don't give up because you have talent. Also, do check out this rising star artist in the UK - KELVIN OKAFOR - he has done Amy Winhouse and Mother Teresa...Absolutely Amazing...looks like a photograph. Good Luck Dunelyn!
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Daughter of the Soil

Antiguan Artists

#7 Art At The Ridge » 2012-10-22 10:42

Very nice article. We are familiar with Dunelyn Parker's work and agree that she is one of our island's great young artists. We have a wide range of artistic talent on island, an established and growing art community and a developing art scene - for example, Jumby Bay now has an annual art show during the high season which attracts high-end buyers from all over the world. Art At The Ridge has a shop gallery at Sugar Ridge and is open all year around, promoting Antiguan artists and craftspeople through regular art exhibitions (including the art exhibition at this year's Antigua Sailing Week), events and competitions. Our 2nd Juried Art Exhibition is currently inviting artists (aged 19 to 39) to submit artwork as we look to encouraging and promoting young artists such as Dunelyn. We are also running the island's children's Christmas Card competition again this year - a popular and much-loved annual event which sends our artwork all over the world. We also work collaboratively with artists, craftspeople and others on various projects to help develop this area. Please contact us if you would like further information.
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Art At The Ridge

Human Capacity at its Creative Best!

#6 John French II » 2012-10-21 22:37

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! Ms. Parker Thanks.
Here's to wishing you all the Best & Success in Your Creative & Entrepreneurial Endeavours. The Country Is Much Better for Your Works.
Go Well! Much Respect!
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John French II

RE: Local Artists Should Seek Lucrative Markets

#5 Dunelyn Parkre » 2012-10-21 12:33

Thanks to everyone for their support. It's greatly appreciated
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Dunelyn Parkre

Good Work

#4 Watchful » 2012-10-21 11:33

Dunelyn Parker has the kind of demonstrated talent that makes me proud to be a citizen of Antigua & Barbuda! Every effort should be made by our educational system to develop prodigies like this lovely young lady! Another fantastic artist on the rise is a dedicated teacher by the name of Mr Norman Massiah, who does excellent work! It is unfortunate that we have a decaying corrupt UPP Mal-Administration leading our country, since they have no care or concern about developing the arts and sciences, for the betterment of our people!
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Watchful

would be good

#3 tenman » 2012-10-21 11:19

Would be good that at the end of articles like this that contact information is provided for persons interested in doing business with the artist. I for one am interested in purchasing local art. I recall the times when there used to be an art competition every year and the painting would be displayed at Bryson's, which is now customs. Would it not make sense to use a place like that again, near to the cruise ships?


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tenman

@ Dunelyn Parker

#2 skyewill » 2012-10-21 09:14

This is wonderful and thanks for contributing to our very rich culture. I have seen art work that sold on the streets of West Africa for less than $100, sell for more than $5000 at art shows. There is an African designer, Priscilla Amofah who broker African culture in the USA and expanding. They distribute Shea **er, jewelry, clothing and gather art from various artists and show them to a more affluent clients the have a show coming up at the African American museum in a few months. You can email them at
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skyewill

RE: Local Artists Should Seek Lucrative Markets

#1 Morris » 2012-10-21 09:12

Absolutely fabulous! Keep up the great work, one day it is sure to pay off.
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Morris

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