Art and the soul are locked in a love affair older than time itself. And, there is no place on St. Maarten that exemplifies that epic story as Roland Richardson Gallery Museum in Marigot. This historical building stands testament to the families who made their lives within its walls and courtyard, and has transcended to today in the life of a descent – the knighted Artist Roland Richardson and his poetess wife Laura.
After Hurricane Irma, the couple set about restoring this grand dame of a stone and wood building that has housed the gallery museum in for the past 22 years. Their efforts have brought back to life the enchanting gallery museum in the heart of Marigot.
To make yet another milestone in the history of the old house and in the story of the gallery museum, the Richardsons invite art lovers and those curious about history to join them in a toast to this island treasure, and to the 22nd year of the gallery museum on Valentine Day, Friday, February 14, from 5:00pm to 800:pm.
Why celebrate at this seemingly odd anniversary mark? The Richardsons said that following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 and marking two decades of devoted years to this unique location, they were faced with the soulful decision to restore or retire. Their hearts told them that this magical setting, spanning almost 300 years, should remain a treasured destination for everyone, especially future generations to enjoy.
Thanks to their hearts and the commitment to the island’s tangible and intangible history, the magic continues, and the doors of the special island treasure will be thrown wide open to welcome guests to a lovely reception on the day of love.
The Artist, Knight Roland, shares his thoughts on the renovation and the gallery museum accomplishments: “Our effort with Roland Richardson Gallery Museum has brought us much joy by sharing our unique Caribbean culture through a combination of art, history and nature in this most enchanting setting that spans many generations in my family.”
He added, “Years ago my wife and I imagined this possibility, but after 22 years of devotion, having touched thousands from all over the world with happy memories of their visits, we recognize most that this is an intrinsic gift to our community. We, as a nation, need cultural landmarks that enrich our children’s understanding of their past and teach them to revere and protect them for the future.
“Through decades of economic cycles, some devastating,” Roland said, “We’ve struggled to strengthen the roots of this gallery museum, so that it has become part of our island history as well. We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for their encouragement and support to having made it possible to pursue this dream.”
Indeed, stepping into Roland Richardson Gallery Museum is like walking into a beautiful dream that travels in time. The grounds feature three authentic styles of architecture, each from a different century, dating back to the 1700s. Within its courtyard is a lush garden that feels like Eden. Sir Roland Richardson’s serene artworks, spanning 50 years, grace the walls of this 19th century French Creole townhouse, which once served as City Hall to French Saint Martin. His magnificent art collection, all painted from life on location, “En Plein Air,” is passionately presented with thoughtful curation that enriches the viewer’s understanding of the artist’s Caribbean homeland.
This wonderful world is open to visitors every Thursday from 10:30am to 5:00pm. The Artist, Knight Roland, joyfully greets everyone with an intriguing talk and painting demonstration, complimentary to all, sharing his profound knowledge of light and colour earned from painting in the field his entire life– A memorable experience to be treasured forever.