Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs (centre) flanked by “All You Need is Art” initiators Annemiek van Kerkhof-Posthuma (left) and Tes Verheij admiring one of shop windows turned “mini gallery”.
PHILIPSBURG--Showing that art is an important and indispensable element of the culture of St. Maarten, and to enhance and lift up the spirit of Front Street, Artists United have launched the “All You Need Is Art” shop-window exhibition on Friday. Until December 30, a number of shop windows in Philipsburg’s shopping area will literally and figuratively lighten up with various works of art by local artists who have joined this initiative.
Combining the needs of Front Street businesses and those of local artists, a number of Front Street entrepreneurs have lifted the rolling shutters in front of their shop windows, and made these available as temporary “mini galleries”.
In the past couple of years, tourism and business in Front Street have been in decline due to the devastating power of Hurricane Irma and the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the economic and humanitarian crisis, visual artists also have to adjust their way of introducing their artwork to potential clients.
Participating artists include fashion and print designer Zillah Duzon Hazel; Art House St. Maarten owner, teacher and children’s book author Tim Dowling; painter Colin Boosman; art teachers Daphne Prevoo and Annemiek van Kerkhof-Posthuma; Kip Art’s Saskia Kliphuis; photographer Jean-Marc Augusty; ceramist Laurey-Ann Fairbairn; art gallery owner Tes Verheij; Elena Bryan; and founder of Recycle Art SXM Nascha Kagie.
Prime Minister Jacobs commended Artists United, the participating artists and the Philipsburg Promotional Board for their initiative and wished them much success in selling art to tourists, locals and abroad, and in lighting up the Philipsburg shopping area.
Several of the “All You Need is Art” shop windows.
The artistunitedsxm.com website was launched by Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs on Friday. The website contains information about the participating artists and their work. On the website, art lovers can also bid on the various artworks on display. Quick Response (QR) codes are available for easy online access. The winning bids will be announced during a closing ceremony at Royal Palm Plaza 5:00pm until 7:00pm, December 30.
The shop windows turned galleries are centred around Royal Palm Plaza shopping mall, between the former L’ Escargot restaurant and Orange School, and Sea Palace hotel.
The works of art cannot only be admired in daylight, solar lights have been installed so that the artworks can also be viewed at night.
Business owners interested in making their shop windows available to the project may contact Annemiek Van Kerkhof-Posthuma at tel./WhatsApp 553-0081.