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Local Art Association Broadens Interests

Buy Local exhibitionAntigua St John's - President of the Antigua and Barbuda Arts, Craft and Designs Association Niobe Benjamin said the association has big plans to boost the art form both in the local and overseas domain.

Caribarena.com caught up with the local artisan/designer during the association’s "Buy Local" exhibition held in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture as part of activities for 30th independence celebrations.

Benjamin, who has been involved in art and design for many years, said she is pleased with the support from local artists. Although there were a lot of items reflecting the colours of independence, a lot of other local products caught the eyes of both locals and visitors in St John’s on St Mary’s Street.

“This is our third buy local exhibition, and our first for the independence celebrations," she said. "The local artists have been quite supportive, and members of the public have also shown great interest in our pieces that are on display.”

The association has been around for about a year, but was officially launched six months ago.Buy Local exhibition

Benjamin said a number of plans are in the pipeline to broaden interest in things local, including a number of fundraisers, shows, and exhibits. "Actually, the proceeds from one of our fundraisers will go towards travel to St Thomas to participate in an agriculture exhibition," she said.

"This is a big event held in St Thomas, where various artists get a great opportunity to display their products, meet other artists, and share ideas and opportunities. So we will be making full use of this opportunity early next year. We also plan to have a few auctions on some of our pieces and things like that.”

Benjamin was asked to comment on the beliefs in some quarters that local art is expensive, and interest in art in general is lacking among locals.

"I think we need to put ourselves out there more, advertising our products, let the people know how it is done, the high quality of material used, the time spent on doing these pieces, the uniqueness of these pieces, and I think they will show more appreciation and buy local," she said. "We are designers. We spend long hours creating and designing a piece that is unique, different from the usual items you will find, and time is money so to speak.”


Benjamin also suggested that all schools place more emphasis on local art.

"It’s not all students who would love to be a doctor, or a lawyer," she noted. "There are those who would like to use their hands and find their niche, and this should be encouraged from a very early stage.”


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3 Comments In This Article   

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Re: Denise/Kelsic

#3 Caribarena admin » 2011-11-04 17:42

Niobe Benjamin's contact number is 725-1102
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Caribarena admin

Please Do Caribarena

#2 Denise » 2011-11-03 14:58

I'll keep watching this story to get contact info for myself too. So, hopefully, Caribarena will come through
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Denise

Contact info for Ms. Benjamin

#1 Kelsic » 2011-11-03 12:08

Dear Caribarena, is there a contact email or phone number for Ms. Benjamin that persons can use. My friends and I would love to get in contact with her.
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Kelsic

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