The gallery will host an Artist Talk and Open Forum at 4:30 p.m., Sunday, July 15, featuring St. Croix artist La Vaughn Belle and Danish artist Jeannette Ehlers, who are the creators of the “I am Queen Mary” project.
I am Queen Mary used a mix of traditional and high-tech sculpture techniques to create a large scale temporary monument in Denmark, which is the point of departure for the historical figure Mary Thomas, an important leader of the ‘Fireburn’ labor revolt on St. Croix. The Fireburn began on Oct. 1, 1878, as an uprising against the contractual servitude that continued to bind workers to the plantation system after the 1848 abolition of slavery in the Danish West Indies.
On March 31, Belle and Ehlers inaugurated their collaborative monument in Copenhagen and created a global conversation around Denmark’s colonial past, Queen Mary and the Fireburn and the impact of public art. The project was covered in over 100 media outlets, including the New York Times, the BBC, the Guardian, Time magazine and Le Monde, with an estimated reach of 1 billion people.
Sponsored by the U.S.V.I. Department of Tourism and CHANT, the artists have launched a three-island artist talk tour and public forum.