The Virgin Islands Arts Council will host its fourth âDorsch After Darkâ pop-up exhibition on Tuesday at the Frederick D. Dorsch Cultural Activity Center in downtown Frederiksted. The monthly event highlights the talent of local artists who share the stage in presenting their cultural works.
VICA invites the community to the free event with a cash bar on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Social distancing and mandatory masks.
There is something for everyone at these events, said Kendell Henry, VICA’s special events coordinator. âWe are committed to creating opportunities for local artists to showcase their cultural art for the community to see and buy. “
The July exhibit will feature photographer and visual artist Chalana Brown, educator and poet Geron Richards, visual artist and educator Christa-Ann Davis Molloy and singer / songwriter Gyasi Clarke providing musical entertainment. At the end of the evening, the artists will participate in a roundtable of questions and answers.
Dorsch After Dark has grown into a regular monthly event that brings together new and old patrons in a rewarding effort for the artists in attendance. âI look forward to the first Tuesday of each month for the ‘Dorsch After Dark’ musical entertainment and variety of artwork on display for purchase,â said a returning customer. “I wouldn’t miss it,” he added.
Chalana Brown was not always a photographer. âI was a dance teacher at Central High School and my job was gone. I was depressed and I knew I had to do something to get myself out of the depression, âshe said. With her last salary, Brown bought a camera with the idea that she could earn her own income. It got her out of depression, she added.
âI picked up the camera and learned everything I needed to know and started taking pictures of my favorite subject – women. It has worked for me ever since.
And worked for her, it does. Brown has exhibited his photographs since that fateful day in “Photography as Art”, “Fabric of Caribbean Consciousness” and “New Blood 4: The Rebirth”. This month, his solo exhibition, âClaiming Spaces: The African Story of the Sugar Millâ, can be seen through August 7 at the Caribbean Center for the Arts with his assemblage of works of art, âErasureâ.
Brown’s photographs that embrace a myriad of subjects will be available for purchase.
Geron Richards is a published author and English teacher at St. Croix Central High School. Growing up in St. Croix nurtured Richards’ knowledge of the history of the Virgin Islands and this is reflected in his first book of 88 poems, “Roots ah de Baobab”. âI tell stories of my ancestors through my words,â said Richards. His poem, “Ndongo” is a tribute to a colony of the escaped slave population who lived in the northwest region of Sainte-Croix during the 1600s.
Richards’ hopes of being “an inspiration to a generation of young writers who will tell their stories and preserve the authenticity of Virgin Islands history” were apparent at a recent event at Dorsch. Richards’ English students shared their own poetry in an eloquent speech to the audience in the hall.
Through his words, said Richards, he seeks to solve the pressing problems of the day by using lyrical creativity to manifest words that call attention to themes such as justice, social inequity, action. social and social change.
Richards is currently working on a book which he hopes will “continue to inspire and bring light to the masses of humanity.” He will share his written and spoken words
during the evening at the Dorsch.
Christa-Ann Davis Molloy is the artist, owner and operator of Christa’s Art Gallery in downtown Christiansted which provides space for a cultural and historical perspective through her paintings and artistic products.
For more than 10 years, the Molloy Gallery has been the evolution and celebration of art and culture with works of art aimed at residents and visitors “that epitomize the intercultural experience of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the United States. -of the “.
Molloy credits his artistic abilities to his mentors Betsy Campen and Marcia Jameson.
She recently released her first cultural coloring book which will represent USVI. Molloy also designed posters for the USVI Agriculture and Food Show in 2016 and 2019.
As a professional educator for 30 years at USVI, Molloy’s work echoes history, culture, celebration and patriotism. His work can be found in several hotels, establishments and businesses in the Caribbean and North America.
Cultural icons include moko jumbies, steel pan musicians, quadrille dancers, historic buildings and the legendary Ten Sleepless Knights that adorn shower curtains, cushions, cutting boards, aprons and many other products. available for purchase in addition to its original framed art.
Singer and songwriter Gyasi Clarke will be heard throughout the evening at the Dorsch, playing his original lyrics on acoustic guitar for the patron’s entertainment.
Clarke returned home to St. Croix in 2016 and began writing songs and singing lyrics that brought him to a new profession from one he left in Florida as an AT&T wire technician. He began to realize his dream of becoming a successful singer and songwriter.
After Hurricane Maria devastated the islands, Clarke wrote and recorded what became the VI’s most popular song, “Caribbean Strong.” He has been a popular artist with concerts on Lyric Sunset Sails, at the Buccaneer Hotel, and at restaurants across the island.
“Stir it Up” and “Walking in Memphis” are two other of his hits to find on YouTube.
“We From De VI”, “Attention”, “So Into You – Tamia” and “Maria Maria” can be heard on soundcloud.com.
Clarke said, âFor the past two years, I have auditioned for the ‘Tiny Desk’ concert competition. It’s a competition for independent artists who want the chance to be seen. The winner of the competition performs in the ‘Tiny Desk’ studio. It would be a big boost for the exhibition, âsaid Clake, referring to the competition sponsored by National Public Radio.
Clarke was the musical entertainment for the first Dorsch After Dark pop-up show.
He’s coming back with more of his music for this fourth of the pop-up series.
Further information on âDorsch After Darkâ is available on the VICA website or by calling 340-773-3075.