Up-and-Coming Antiguan artist unveils new collection

One of Antigua’s bright young artists unveiled a new collection of Caribbean-inspired art at a one night, pop-up gallery at The Royal Palm Plaza on Monday evening, Alicia Simon reports in Antigua’s Observer.

A handful of spectators were treated to vignettes of Antigua & Barbuda, as seen through the imagination and brush stroke of burgeoning artist, Rachel Bento.

The 20-year-old said that her artwork is permeated with the sights and soul of Antigua & Barbuda.

“When I started preparing for the show. I thought, ‘I am not a Caribbean artist. I didn’t know what I was doing.’ But then I looked around after doing 10 pieces, and it was all about the Caribbean.”

Bento presented 45 pieces of artwork in three separate mediums – pen, acrylic and watercolour. She said that her training in Canada has greatly expanded her horizons.

“Being in art school makes you want to learn new things,” the artist said. “Students come from a lot of different places internationally, so they inspire you to do other things.”

Bento said she is now focused on building her brand on island.

“Being an artist is like having a brand. You want to have a good brand and have it be your own. You don’t want it to be lost,” she added.

Bento is also encouraging indigenous artists to step up to the plate and produce pieces that speak to the Antiguan experience.

“A lot of artists that I see are older women from England and that is fine, but having local artists is what we need,” she said.

As for advice for upcoming artists on island, Bento said,  “Just don’t be afraid. All you have to do is pick up a pencil or a paintbrush and focus and draw and do it every day.”

For the original report go to http://www.antiguaobserver.com/?p=78807

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