BASE PAINT PROJECT 2010

“A gift of painted tents… Each tent, a mobile port for learning – BASE PAINT is a utilitarian installation of goodwill for the children of Port-au-Prince from the artists of the world, playing literally on the concept pf base paint: A core to build upon, an educational facility pigmented with the components of creativity, scholarship and care.

Base – the home, the core, the classroom, schooling –

Paint – the pigments, the edifying components of an education to achieve independence.

BASE PAINT – an artist’s metaphor: A portable gift of education for the children.”

The tragic earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12 left more than 3,000 schools destroyed or damaged. Some of them will remain closed for years, many of them will never reopen and the construction of new schools will take a long time.

This has left thousands of children languishing in camps or working in the streets to survive, their dreams crushed and their futures uncertain. They have no routine, nothing to look forward to every day, no safe place to spend their time, to meet with their friends, no safe haven. (New York Times 3/6/2010)

Antuan, in collaboration with Fundacion Manos del Sur and Step by Step Foundation, based on an idea by Zelmira Rizo Patron, created an humanitarian art project, an art installation of painted tents, with the children of Haiti in mind. This project is a wonderful collaboration of individuals and organizations to support the education of children and uplift the spirit of the people of Haiti.

A breather for the Haitian children in the midst of the initial and difficult reconstruction process that has just barely begun.

The Project has five distinctive artistic elements:

1- Intervention of tents by the artists . COMPLETE

Different  international artists worked on ten (10) tents which will serve as new classrooms for the children. The selected artists contributed their own perspective of Haiti, using the tents as their canvas.

The tents were custom made by Armbruster Company, America’s Oldest Tentmaker Based in Springfield, Illinois; Armbruster has manufactured tents for the Red Cross and US military during WWI and was the producer of Canvas Military tents for US soldiers during WWII. An environmentally friendly company, it has developed into one of the highest quality tent and fabric structure manufacturers in the world.

The tents were painted  in IRON SIDE, a multi purpose warehouse in Little Haiti, in Miami’s newly named Industrial Business District. The artists  worked with volunteers who worked alongside with them during the whole process. We  recruited them in colleges, art schools and among the artist community. This was open to the public.

2- Exhibition of Tents . COMPLETE

The tents were temporarily set up as an art installation in Miami, where the public was able to  interact with the project, in a similar way to how the children will interact with the tents in Haiti where they will be used as self contained art spaces, classrooms, meeting rooms and workshops.

The installation opened with a private reception on November 29, 2010 at the EPIC GREEN in downtown Miami (270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami). It was open to the public during Art Basel Week from 11 AM to 5 PM.

The models were exhibited at the Frost Art Museum, at FIU’s 8th annual Breakfast in the Park event to celebrate Art Basel Miami Beach 2010, on December 5 from 9.30 AM to 12 PM, Modesto A. Maidique campus. They remained there until the end of January.

The tents were exhibited at FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique campus during the commemoration of the anniversary of the earthquake, from January 10 to 30, 2011.

One of the tents and all the models were exhibited at Arteamericas, from March 24 to 28, 2011.

3 – Set-up of Tents in Haiti    COMPLETE

The tents will arrive in Haiti on May 7, 2011 and will be installed by Antuan and a group of volunteers on the property of L’Athletique d’Haiti in Cite Soleil.

The installation of the Art Tents begins with the set up, but the installation will come alive when the tents, integrated to the space, are part of the daily interaction between the children and teachers.

The collection of 10 tents will be appreciated as a large-scale installation not only from the ground, but also from the air when flying over this area, just 2 miles from the international airport.

4- Exhibition and Auction of Contemporary Artwork  COMPLETE

An auction will be held on May 25, 2011 at Ideobox Artspace with art donated by international artists. The funds raised will finance the new school’s operational costs and will ensure the continuity of the work began by the Base Paint Tents.

The artists who generously donate their work for the auction are free to express themselves, within curatorial specs suggesting a positive view on Haiti’s reconstruction, through the plastic arts as well as to choose any materials and dimensions.
5- Documentary

The whole process, from the arrival of tents to the artists’ studios, the preparation of the surfaces, the design and creative process, the unveiling in Miami to the setup in Haiti, will be filmed to produce a documentary.

This project is under the artistic direction of Antuan in collaboration with Fundacion Manos del Sur, Step by Step Foundation, and L’Athletique d’Haiti.

BASE PAINT – A structure whose pillars are the people of the world. Art becomes a mantle, a protective cover that envelops. A point in time and space where a very dynamic exchange takes place, art for the possibility of education; an exchange that informs and inspires providing a breath of fresh air, creating a sense of wonder in the children of Port-au-Prince. A gift from the artists of the world, their art opens doors of hope and endless possibilities for a new Haiti.

The project Base Paint presents a contemporary proposal with a subtle vision. The artwork conveys a strong narrative about Haiti`s current challenges. This project was conceived as a collaboration among a group of international artist and nonprofit organizations, supporting, through art, the reconstruction of education in Haiti. A portable gift of education for the children

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