Tilting Axis: Within and Beyond the Caribbean

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The Fresh Milk team has shared information on the recent visual arts conference, ‘Tilting Axis: Within and Beyond the Caribbean – Shifting Models of Sustainability and Connectivity,’ which was held in Barbados on February 27-28, 2015 and was dedicated to forging infrastructure between several independent art organizations and museums operating across the Caribbean, U.S., E.U., and China. The conference was organized by The Fresh Milk Art Platform, Inc., where the event was held, in collaboration with ARC Magazine, Res Artis and the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Tilting Axis—which was supported by the Prince Claus Fund, the British Council and The Davidoff Art Initiative—is a game-changing development for sustainable economic development in regional visual art. The following is information (excerpts) from the press release.

The two-day conference brought together the diverse leaders of these visual art development organizations to negotiate strategic regional and international alliances for the formalization and further development of infrastructure, production and markets for Caribbean art.

According to co-organizers Holly Bynoe and Annalee Davis, the conference seeks to create opportunities for visual artists living in the Caribbean and provide professional and economic development in the region through formal collaborations between key art organizations and foundations across the Caribbean and beyond. The conference also aims to build and redefine relationships around cultural exchange between the Global North and the Global South.

“It is not just about contemporary art. One of the tasks we have undertaken at the Pérez Art Museum Miami is the building of Caribbean art histories in the consciousness of the American public. We see the Pérez Art Museum as strategically placed to undertake this,” stated Tobias Ostrander.

[. . .] “In creating markets for contemporary art in the Caribbean, we are developing the ecosystem and all the underlying components that drive that market: The environment for artists to make great work; art writers, researchers and funders to help make that work accessible to the public; international museums and galleries to show the work; advisors and dealers to get the work placed in collections. Shared programming, exchanges, and educational initiatives developed between the institutions present addressed these key components,” stated Deborah Anzinger.

[. . .] Annalee Davis stated in her welcome address that “Many of us working in the region have been speaking with one another, in some cases for many years, but today is the first time that artist-led initiatives have come together from the Dutch, Spanish, French and English territories to meet physically in the Caribbean. It is critical that this gathering is taking place on Caribbean soil, and that we consider the visual arts sector from within the archipelago as a counterpoint to the many decisions that have been and are often made about the region externally.”

Mario A. Caro expressed his enthusiasm for the collaborations to be developed between members of Res Artis, a worldwide network of art residencies, and organizations in the Caribbean. “It is clear that the cultural sector in the Caribbean is undergoing exciting and, at times, dynamic changes, and many of these have to do with relationships being established with new partners around the globe. The increase in the mobility of artists through art residencies, both into and out of the region, is one critical factor.”

Holly Bynoe echoed positivism: “The meeting of professionals who are actively engaging and challenging collaborative strategies acknowledges the changes rippling across the Caribbean, and reaffirms the critical value of innovative emerging networks. As more eyes are turning to look at this space, we need to be cognizant of what they are seeing, and consider how and what we want them to experience. Tilting Axis aspires to become a conduit; supporting the professionalization of artists and formalizing engagements, leading to greater visibility and accessibility of contemporary Caribbean art.”

[Photo above  taken by Sammy Davis.]

To find out more about the organizing institutions and funders visit http://arcthemagazine.com, http://freshmilkbarbados.com, http://www.resartis.org/, http://www.pamm.org, http://www.princeclausfund.org, http://www.davidoffartinitiative.com, http://www.britishcouncil.org/

For further information about the Tilting Axis conference contact:

Annalee Davis & Holly Bynoe
tiltingaxis@gmail.com
246-230-8897

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