The visions of Arnim’s Art Galleria Ltd and artist Sarah Beckett converge in the upcoming August 13 Creative Insight Art Workshop.
The one-day workshop will be held from 10 am-3 pm at the gallery on Tragarete Road, Newtown, Port of Spain. It will be open to 15-20 participants of varying skill.
For Arnim’s, the workshop – one of many it has hosted and intends to host – is its way of giving back to the artistic community as well as building Trinidad and Tobago’s artistic talent.
Manager Sandy Maraj said when owner Arnim Ali opened the gallery, he dreamed of providing a space for artists who weren’t accepted by traditional galleries. Maraj is also the manager of Arnim’s Framing Solution Company Ltd.
Education was a major part of helping aspiring artists. This is where the workshops come in.
“Sometimes to put on a show or workshop is a lot of overheads and we have been able to support that and give the artists an opportunity to say, 'Okay, I can come to Arnim’s and meet people who can direct me and educate me further in this career.’”
Beckett, a mixed-media artist, has been painting for the past 50 years and still learns new things. She has also been hosting workshops for many years, locally and internationally.
In a 2009 interview, she said she came to TT in the 60s and that was when her painting life began.
She did drawing for a year in France at Beaux Art, Fontainebleau. She also trained at Byam Shaw School of Art, London, and St Martin’s College of Art and Design as well as Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.
The workshops can provide a “lovely way for people who are beginning to express an interest (in art) or even those who are more skilled to spend a day concentrating on specific aspects and gaining more knowledge, in depth, of the technicalities,” she said.
It will focus on techniques and ways of handling colour as well as drawing as the root of good art.
Art is like any discipline, where the more you learn, the more there is to learn, Beckett said.
“The whole creative process – in whatever field we are in – never stops. I think we always, always just keep on learning, even though we acquire – eventually, and with modesty – a certain amount of confidence in our ability by virtue of having worked hard for many years.”
She believes in workshops as they provide an opportunity for the artists to meet and learn from each other.
The fact that this group won’t be large will allow for individual attention. Its format will include a theme, the introduction of that theme and then talking to each participant to learn of their interests.
For Beckett, workshops provide a cost-effective way for artists to learn more.
“I think it offers a very creative and gratifying way of spending one’s time and opening up new doors to unthinking and one’s imagination.”
The idea for the workshop came after Beckett held an exhibition at the gallery last year and was also involved in its Christmas fair.
Maraj said, “She wanted to do something, and she usually has her own workshops in her house, studio and so on. But she wanted to do something at our gallery, and the idea came up that she should do a workshop."
This is the first time the duo are collectively hosting a workshop
Beckett’s is one in a series of workshops the gallery will host this year. It intends to have wire-bending artist Antonio Butts give a workshop too as well. This will be held close to the Carnival season and will teach people how to make their own costumes.
There will also be workshops on drawing techniques, Maraj said. These, however, will depend on artists who are willing to come forward and teach their skills and techniques to others, she added.
Ultimately, the gallery wants to build a relationship with new and emerging artists as well as give them an introduction to the wider art world.