Saving Grace: A Celebration of Haitian Art in New York City

New York, NY. Affirmation Arts is pleased to present Saving Grace: A Celebration of Haitian Art, one the first historical exhibitions of its kind in the United States.   The exhibition consists of more than 50 pieces including sculpture, paintings and works on paper, most of which have never been seen outside of Haiti.

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Salnave Philippe-Auguste, Birds and Flowers,
c. 1978, 24 x 20 in., oil on board,

The eclectic selection features art from the 1940s to today and represents the vast variety of styles and influences present in Haitian culture.   Gérald Alexis – art historian and author of Peintres Haïtiens, a book acclaimed as the most comprehensive study of Haitian art – will curate Saving Grace: A Celebration of Haitian Art.

In his essay “Haitian Art: A Celebration of its Diversity,” Alexis states:

Already in 1949, during a visit to Haiti, Georges Henri Rivière, then assistant director general of the International Council of Museums, declared having witnessed the most beautiful, the most impressive, the most promising diversity: primitives, expressionists, abstracts — all of them expressing that which is specifically Haitian yet universal as well”¦ Particularly in these moments of crisis — it is necessary for us to celebrate this diversity.

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Saving Grace: A Celebration of Haitian Art opens on Friday, October 1 with a reception at the Affirmation Arts gallery and features the following artists:

Gesner Armand, Castera Bazile, Wilson Bigaud, Bourmond Byron, Dieudonné Cédor, Didier Civil, Philippe Dodard, Roland Dorcély, Préfète Duffaut, Marie-Thérèse Dupoux (Maritou), Édouard Duval-Carrié, Célestin Faustin, Jacques Gabriel, Jean-Claude Garoute (Tiga), Jacques Enguerrand Gourgue, Hector Hyppolite, Carlo Jean-Jacques, Jean-René Jérôme, Antonio Joseph, Reynald Joseph, Lionel Laurenceau, Joseph-Jean Laurent, Peterson Laurent, Luckner Lazard, Jean-Claude Legagneur, Rejin Leys, Franck Louissaint, Stivenson Magloire, Michèle Manuel, Pierre-Pascal Merisier (Pasko), André Normil, Salnave Philippe-Auguste, André Pierre, Prosper Pierre-Louis, Lucien Price, Camy Rocher, Pétion Savain, Bernard Séjourné, Pascal Smarth, Hervé Télémaque, Luce Turnier, Gérard Valcin, Bernard Wah, and Frantz Zéphirin.

“With this exhibition, Affirmation Arts is honored to present the beauty and complexity of these historical works to Americans and the art world at large for the first time,” said Marla Goldwasser, Director, Affirmation Arts.   “Against the backdrop of the earthquake’s devastation, we celebrate some of Haiti’s greatest artistic talents and its rich culture.”

Affirmation Arts recognizes the importance of the Smithsonian’s Haiti Cultural Recovery Project, an ongoing effort to rescue, recover, safeguard and restore Haitian artwork, artifacts, documents, media and architectural features damaged and endangered by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti and its aftermath.   Two paintings featured in the exhibition – Hector Hyppolite’s Pot de Fleurs and Faustin’s Un Beau Rêve – were rescued and restored by the project.

Saving Grace: A Celebration of Haitian Art runs through November 24 and will be complemented by the Celebrate Haiti festival on October 16. This free event, to be held throughout the arts complex, will give the community an opportunity to experience Haitian culture through dance performance, live music, art demonstrations, hands-on art projects for children and other activities.

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Affirmation Arts is an institution comprised of an art gallery, studios and office space that provide an anchor to the up and coming arts neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan.   The gallery offers temporary exhibition space for curators, galleries, artists and in-house shows.   The Affirmation Arts Fund supports professionalism in the arts through exhibition, outreach and arts education.

Saving Grace: A Celebration of Haitian Art
Curated by Gérald Alexis
October 1 – November 24, 2010

VIP Press Preview: Thursday, September 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Opening Reception: Friday, October 1, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Celebrate Haiti Festival: Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Affirmation Arts, 523 West 37th Street New York NY 10018
T: 212 925 0092
Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is rhe communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). Its Executive editor is Jim Luce, with Nigel Roberts Managing Director, John Lee as Culture & Lifestyle Editor, and Jeremy Hu Executive Director. There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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