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What about art?

Friday, June 27, 2014
Sharon Burford, left, shows her painting Dulaha to Lesley Dopson during the Up close and Personal launch of the Southern Art Scene, at Nichossa Restaurant, San Fernando.

What about art? This was the question Lesley-Ann Dopson asked herself when faced with the task of choosing a design for a bare wall in her restaurant three months ago. 


Because of her love for art, Dopson decided to invite southern artists to display their works on the wall to gain more exposure. Today, the wall stands proudly covered in canvases.


Dopson recently hosted the first art show at Nichossa Restaurant and Bakery, Rainbow Plaza, Gulf City. In an interview Dopson said the show was also intended to bring a touch of elegance to southern nightlife. 


“This event was not about exposing the artists only, but also to bring elegance and class to southern nightlife. Normally for southerners to experience this type of event, they would have had to go Port-of-Spain,” she said.


The success of the show was tremendous, not just as a social experiment, but financially as well, Dopson said.


“Five of the seven artists we showed sold numerous pieces that night and via our social media campaign, many of the remaining pieces are going quickly as well. The place was overflowing with patrons, we had to monitor the amount of people coming in.”


Dopson said pieces are also sold off the wall during regular restaurant hours.


“Customers come in for a meal, see a piece and fall in love with it.”


Speaking at the event, Sunday Guardian columnist Angelo Bissessarsingh of the Virtual Museum of T&T, dubbed the event the genesis of a southern art movement. 


“There are so many people here that need the exposure for their work,” Bissessarsingh said. “I don’t think we can underestimate the wealth of talent we see around us here.”


He said South has always been a pool of creativity but there was need for the revival of its appreciation of artists and their offerings.


“You need this type of event in South...Federation Park is a little too far for southerners to drive to, especially considering the pool of creativity present here.” (Federation Park, Port-of-Spain, is the home of the Art Society of T&T.)


Works featured were done by Sharon Burford, Rebecca Foster, Katrina Inglis, Shinhuey Ho, Camille Brooker, Sayada Ramdial and Marsha Trepte. 


Any southern-based artist wishing to display works on the Nichossa art wall can contact Sharon Burford at [email protected]