Chocolate Festival And Art: A Strong Connector Of People

By Christina Cornier

My husband and I moved to Grenada, West Indies at the beginning of the year for him to attend medical school at St George’s University.

As the significant other of a medical student I was on my own to explore the island while my husband was busy studying and attending class. Coming from a big city and having a background in art, I immediately looked for ways to get involved in the community and learn about the culture. I sought out other artists and was excited to find Art and Soul Gallery in Grand Anse which opened my eyes to the thriving art scene here.

Art and Soul Gallery is owned by renowned Grenadian painter Susan Mains. Main’s work covers the walls of the gallery along with that of many other local artists and is often host to various art shows. 18-24 August was Grenada’s Chocolate Fest, and to participate the gallery held a cocoa themed art show titled “In Celebration of Chocolate.” Artists from all over the island were invited to submit work that conveyed their interpretation of the cocoa theme. The resulting show featured art in different media and from artists with many different backgrounds. Some of the artists included in the show were self-taught and some had traditional art training, some were born on the island and some were from far away but all currently call Grenada home.

In Celebration of Chocolate at Art And Soul Gallery
In Celebration of Chocolate at Art And Soul Gallery

The opening of “In Celebration of Chocolate” was interactive and fun. It included painting, photography, mixed-media, sculpture and an interactive installation. There were several colorful paintings of women in flowing dresses dancing in drying cocoa beans and others featured bright red and yellow cocoa pods hanging from lush green-leaved trees. A couple works of art that stood out to me include Chris Mast’s four mixed media colleges made with string, tape, marker, paint and woven chocolate foil wrapper. Another piece that I loved was Teddy Dwight Frederick’s large photograph of a close up of a cocoa pod in a red background dripping with melted chocolate. In the center of the room Renee Froehlich created a life size cocoa tree installation that invited the viewer to sit inside of it and become part of the work. Guests sat within the hand-made foliage and posed for pictures. The night was also the debut of Jouvay chocolate from Diamond Chocolate Factory, the joint project of LA Burdick Chocolate and the Grenada Cocoa Association. The project brings single source beans to chocolate bar at the Diamond Estate in St Mark, Grenada. Everyone sampled the delicious chocolate while looking at beautiful art and meeting new friends.

This was a show that everyone could enjoy and feel a connection to. It’s so refreshing to see art in an environment where everyone is equal, where you don’t have to already have an understanding of the art world to appreciate the work being seen. It was also a great event for my husband and his peers to attend to balance the rigour of medical school.

I’m glad to have found this welcoming community. It can be hard and lonely as a significant other in a new country with a partner who is preoccupied with school. Grenada has a lot to offer along with its beautiful beaches and scenery. There are people willing to share their passion and how they see the island and the world.

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