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“The “Color of Light” exhibit will be displayed in the Cane Roots Art Gallery, downtown Christiansted. It runs from 6:00 pm to 8:00 after. There will be art by El’ Roy Simmonds and the Niarus Walker both generations of Crucian artists with similar fields of expression. This resulted in an “unconscious attempt” that culminated into an exhibit that showcases the individuality of each artist’s approach to the expressive power of light and shadow. It is open to everyone until the end of May. Open from noon till 5 pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Born and raised in Christiansted, David Simmonds pursued his academic goals by obtaining an BA degree from the College of the Virgin Islands (now the University of the Virgin Islands). In the following years, he worked as an exchange student at the ***** Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he conducted research on the history of the relationship between Denmark as well as the US Virgin Islands — research that has been reflected in his subsequent work. In the years following, Mr. Simmonds received an Masters in Fine Art from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and harnessed the skills gained there to draw, painting and sculpting with live models. When he returned to his home country to teach, he taught for several years.

In the year 2000, Simmonds left the profession to receive acclaim and recognition for his accomplishments in a wide range of areas, such as fine arts, teaching, music, entrepreneurship, and sculpture. Many of his international shows which included New York, Denmark, Haiti and New York, have earned the name “culture creator”. His exhibition “If Walls Could Talk”, he examined the shapes, colors, and patterns in Frederiksted Fort’s architecture. Through this exhibit, he wondered what might have happened. Simmonds was awed to think about the slave events within these walls.

We are only able to speculate on the background of the Danish Empire. But if these walls spoke, then we may gain some insight. Nigel Simmonds’ artworks, for instance “The Color of Light” as well as “Miss VI America,” show this. Simmonds says that “Miss VI America” has clothes from the older generations. She is a proud older woman who goes out to enjoy the day in her finest hat, strikingly different from what young people wear today which Walker’s painting.” Walker is an artist who either figuratively or still-life, seeks out beauty and to communicate a sense its infinite value.

Walker clarified that the idea of “generational memory” involves recording and passing on emotions, whether the fear of pain or joy, which shape an individual’s identity and further influence their family. When she painted her students she observed that they are building the self-image and their identity, and also observing beauty at the time. In addition, Walker stated that she and Simmonds draw inspiration from an old-fashioned design of light and shadow in their artwork. She described herself as a art teacher and visual artist.

Walker who hails from Dominica, WI and having been to St.Croix at a very young age, is not new to the field of art. She is a distinguished graduate of BFA of Moore College and an MS in Arts Education in Art Education from Florida State University, she is an art instructor at St.Croix at the middle and high school levels for the past time. She has had works displayed in galleries throughout the United States as well as internationally. When she was asked about her show alongside legendary artist El’Roy, Walker expressed her honor and said “I am extremely honored to exhibit with an artist as talented as El Roy.

Learning Outcomes and Results

Walker’s understanding of generational memories is the foundation of her expression of art. Based on this concept of memory, she’s come up with a unique technique and style for making stories and documenting the fleeting moments. Her artistry sees beauty within the everyday and demonstrates the importance of identity as well as self-expression. Walker’s art encourages viewers to think not just about their feelings and experiences as well as how they will carry these over generations to their children.

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