28 May 2015


On Saturday 2 May 2015, the Arima Public Library placed the spotlight on artists and craftspeople primarily from Arima, with “Collage: A Day in Appreciation of Art and Craft.” The library was transformed into part craft market/part art exhibition where members of the public were exposed to some of the best craft and artwork Arima have to offer.

The event was the brainchild of staff member Johlee Treavajo, who shared a deep passion for art and wanted others to be exposed to the talents of individuals with the hope that they might inspired to follow their dreams. She collaborated with another staff member Josephine Bando, and the two ladies set out contacting and networking with various artistes and craftspeople from Arima, and environs, seeking their participation for this event. Librarian Lyndon Jackson commenting on the importance of such an event stated, “..the reality is that the vast majority of these types of events take place in and around Port-of-Spain. Libraries are all about offering community-oriented services and outreach activities are major mediums for achieving this. Though libraries have to stay ahead of all the new social trends to remain relevant, we also have a duty to shed a light on aspects of our society, heritage and culture which may not necessarily reach the mainstream. We felt that it was time for us to play our part and thrust art and craft into the spotlight.”

Some of the artists displaying their work at the exhibition were Luke Lashley, Sarah Bellesmythe, Courtney and Angela Lopez, Bruce Charles, Sheldon Badal, Harold Jimenez, Illya Bord. Also displaying work at the exhibition was Jason Gour, who showcased eye-catching collection of metal sculptings; Robert Fraser, with an impressive set of wood sculpting, and Lester Brahzer, who displayed tie-dyed T-shirts for both men and women.

Simultaneously, workshops were held during the day in henna design, origami and calligraphy. Chris Riley, ace-comic creator and creator of The Midnight Robber comic book, was also there displaying his work while caricature specialist Ellij Nicholas was a hit with a number of patrons who either interacted with him or got their portraits done. Other activities and crafts included face painting, costume making, flower arrangement, jewelry making, nail art, card, candle and soap making.

By all accounts, Collage was a rousing success with there being calls for similar events in the future. The artists were very much impressed with the professionalism and organization shown by the staff especially as it was their first time hosting such an event. Many remarked that the success of Collage showed that the community of Arima was receptive to such an endeavor and hoped that it would not be the last of its kind. When asked about the possibility about staging similar events in the future, Johlee enthusiastically said “..well why not…this is the stepping stone…this is the first time and it clearly was a success so why not..”

The Arima Public Library will like to specially thank Arima Discount Mart(ADM) and the Queens Royal College as well as the talented artists and crafts people who came together to make this event a success. For further information on this event as well as upcoming programs at the Arima Public Library call 6673370 or visit the NALIS website to get contact information for any library within your community.

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