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Vassar Haiti Project presents 11th annual Haitian Art Sale and Auction, March 30-April 1, 2012

  |   March 25, 2012  |  Comment

The Vassar Haiti Project (VHP) will once again create an outpost of a Haitian Village at the college with the 11th annual Haitian Art Sale and Auction, scheduled from Friday, March 30, through Sunday, April 1, in the multi-purpose room on the second floor of the College Center, located in Vassar’s historic Main Building. Proceeds from the art sale and auction will benefit Haitian artisans and the village of Chermaitre.

There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 30, at 5:00pm, which will include a screening of Haitian documentary filmmaker Romel Celestin’s footage from the VHP’s Spring Break trip to Chermaitre as well as conversation with Celestin and some of the ten students about their recent trip.

The 11th Annual Haitian Art Sale and Auction will feature over 350 original Haitian paintings, handpainted silk scarves, iron sculpture, vodou flags, and a wide variety of handcrafts. All proceeds will benefit the four initiatives in Chermaitre, Haiti: education, reforestation, water, an health. The art sale will open on Friday, March 30 from 12:00 – 8:00pm with the reception at 5:00pm. On Saturday, March 31, the sale will open at 10:00am with the auction by Bill Rinaldi of Rinaldi Auctions from 4:00 – 6:00pm (registration and preview from 2:00 – 4:00pm, with absentee and telephone bidding accepted). The sale continues on Sunday, April 1, from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Some of the artists, whose work will be included are: Joseph Aderson, Raymond Beauduy, Albott Bonhomme, Reynald Joseph, Raymond Lafaille, Jean Laguerre, Fritzner Lamour, Eric Jean Louis, Pierre Maxo, Makenol Profil, Serge Pierre, and Yosephat Tissaint. The Vassar Haiti Project enables these Haitian artists and artisans to be self-sustaining through the sale of their artwork. Lila and Andrew Meade, who co-direct the project, noted that sales like Vassar’s are one of the only avenues for Haitian artists today to reach a marketplace.

Andrew Meade remarked that: “We are thrilled, both that our students will have the opportunity to interact with this amazing filmmaker, Romel Celestin, and also that we will get them all on film at work in Chermaitre, painting, mapping, and doing other projects – including digging that lovely new latrine!”

This year ten student will accompany the Meades to Haiti and will see first-hand how their work on behalf of the VHP helps to benefit the Haitian communities. They will report on their experiences through the VHP blog (http://blogs.vassar.edu/haitiproject/). Students making the trip are: Caitlyn Anderson ’12, David Bridgman-Packer ’12, Tamsin Chen ’15, Alex Ciucu ’12, Cindy Fung ’14, Fiona Koch ’12, Laura Livingston ’12, Sarah Oliver ’15, Charlotte Ong ’14, Sahara Pradhan ’15. In addition, Caryn Halle, a nurse and VHP volunteer, as well as Vassar alumnus Francis Meyo, class of 2011.

“‘Tipa, tipa’ means ‘step by step’ in Haitian Creole and that is how the Vassar Haiti project project developed,” remarked Andrew Meade, director of international services at Vassar. “We have an extraordinary legacy owing to the collective efforts of volunteers, organizations, our partners in Haiti, as well as the unwavering support of art buyers and donors. Our work has never been more important than it is today.”

When Meades, who both had lived in Haiti, began working with members of the Vassar community to review possible ideas to channel their support to in Haiti in the fall of 2001, they were presented with several opportunities that required funding. The one that drew everyone’s attention was the village of Chermaitre, which needed educational support. Over the years, the project, has raised over $650,000. It began by funding a school lunch program and paying teacher salaries in Chermaitre, then funded the construction of a seven-room primary school building that now serves 340 students with nine teachers. Expanding outward, the Vassar Haiti Project’s focus now includes supporting the recently established medical clinic, reforestation, a water initiative, as well as the Haitian artists and artisans whose work is on view during the Art Sale and Auction. Hundreds of Vassar students have supported the project over the years and Andrew Meade noted how each and every one of them has touched, and been touched, by the expressions of gratitude and joy from their Haitian friends.

In addition to the Art Sale and Auction, there will be a several other events on campus. These include an exhibition preview of artwork in the Palmer Gallery, March 26-29. For additional information about these events and the Art Sale and Auction, see http://thehaitiproject.org.

“This year, through the the annual Art Sale and Auction and the other activities, we will continue to celebrate the indomitable Haitian spirit—so vibrant, strong, and free that continually triumphs over disaster and adversity—and which is expressed so powerfully and colorfully in the nation’s artwork and music,” noted Lila Meade.

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