by Erin Hylton
As a life-long Bronx resident I was elated and proud to have curated an exhibition that celebrates my West Indian heritage. With the support of BXArts Factory and hosted by the Montefiore Fine Arts program ArtViews gallery, the exhibition was on view July 13, 2017 – Oct 6, 2017 at Montefiore Moses Campus, 90 East 210th St. Bronx, NY 10467.
Reflections: Celebrating 50 Years of the West Indian American Day Carnival celebrates and honors the history of the Caribbean carnival by reflecting on the West Indian population in the Bronx, NY and noting their impact and long-lasting influence on their community and NYC. Through the lens of 5 Bronx-based photographers, the vibrancy, tradition and impact of West Indian Americans are captured by the photographs on display. Artists Trevon Blondet, Ijeoma D. Iheanacho, Jonathan Joseph, Omesh Persaud and Harri "Indio" Ramkishun each take on a subtheme of inspiration from the West Indian community. Together the photographs share the energy and strength of the West Indian population and the groups influence to the political, economic and cultural vitality of the North Bronx.
The West Indian population of the Bronx, NY is 8% or 106,000 people from various islands lying between southeastern North America and northern South America bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic and comprising the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Bahamas. The largest event in New York City that celebrates and honors Caribbean culture, arts, history and traditions is the West Indian American Day Carnival, which is comprised of week-long festivities and a grand finale. The grand finale Carnival reaches over one million people in attendance during Labor Day weekend with participants and tourists from all over the world.
The turnout for Opening night was excellent, and we had a wonderful reception for the show. Visitors have stated it made the hallways more vibrant and relatable as the images on the walls reflected their own personal and familial histories. In fact, I received a hand written note from my doctor thanking me for my work on the show.
For more information and to enjoy some photos of the event, please visit this link: https://montefiorefineartprogram.squarespace.com/artviews-gallery-1
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