CMCArts: Six Caribbean artists explore traditions of spirituality, ritual and religion

CMCArts (St Croix Source) writes, “The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (CMCArts) has announced its next exhibition, titled “Diaspora Expressions — On Spirituality & Ritual.” Six Caribbean artists examine traditional spiritual practices of the African descendants of the Caribbean Diaspora and their attendant rituals in the context of such practices in contemporary Western society.” Also see previous post Diaspora Expressions on Spirituality Ritual. [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

The exhibition is curated by Anderson M. Pilgrim of Barbados and New York City. CMCArts is located at 10 Strand Street, Frederiksted, U.S. Virgin Islands (

Pilgrim is a noted curator and president of Diaspora Now Inc., an artist management and exhibition production company. He is also the executive director of the Caribbean Fine Art Fair Barbados (CAFA), the Caribbean’s only fine arts fair held within the region. Pilgrim describes the focus of the exhibition, “As African people were scattered across the New World during the Middle Passage and 400 years of human trade, so too were many of their cultural practices, modes of worship and rituals surrounding life moments.

These ancestral elements manifest themselves in religious movements, and cultural expressions, such as dance, visual arts and carnival arts, many of which have entered the mainstream, while some others have been maligned in popular culture.”

The artists featured in this exhibition have made a practice of exploring various aspects of this ethereal energy that manifests itself throughout the African Diaspora. Arlette St. Hill (Barbados) and Bernard Stanley Hoyes (Jamaica) both capture those elements of spirituality that express themselves through dance, song and the drum. The rituals of the various spiritual Baptist sects in the English-speaking Caribbean are of particular interest. Ademola Olugebefola (b. USVI / NYC) and Diogenes Ballester (Puerto Rico) each powerfully fuse disparate ancestral symbols into their own unique visual language.

The late Earl Etienne (Dominica) celebrates the ubiquitous Sensay character who has become an integral element of so many Caribbean carnivals across the Americas. His “Kibuli Dancers” depict all the rhythm and vibration of that ancestral energy.

Patricia Brintle (Haiti) explores a level of syncretism between mainstream religion and the deities of traditional diaspora practice.

CMCArts also announces that artist Ademola Olugebefola (USVI/NYC) will be visiting as artist-in-residence for three weeks during the exhibition. He will be conducting teen workshops Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 and an adult workshop at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2. Ademola will give an artist talk and presentation from 1-2:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3. All class and lecture details can be found at and

[. . .] Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands as Bedwick Loyola Thomas, [Ademola Olugebefola, Ph.D.] was four years old when his family moved to New York City. Throughout his artistic career, Olugebefola became a highly respected cultural activist and renowned Harlem artist within the Afrofuturist movement. He played an important role in Harlem’s Black Arts Movement beginning in the mid-1960s when he co-founded the now-celebrated WEUSI Artists Collective. [. . .]

For full article see

The exhibition:
Diaspora Expressions – On Spirituality & Ritual
Curated by Anderson M. Pilgrim
November 18 – December 24, 2022
Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, 10 Strand Street, Frederiksted, St Croix 00840, USVI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s