THE BASE PAINT TENTS Project Art Basel Miami Beach 2010

During the week of Art Basel Miami Beach 2010, Fundación Manos del Sur and Step by Step Foundation, under the artistic direction of Antuan, will unveil their latest collaboration, Base Paint Tents. The project will showcase an exhibition and cocktail event hosted by EPIC Residences on their Green.  At almost a year after the devastating earthquake, this exhibition is a call for attention to the reality of a country that tries to carry on with life as usual, still amid ruins and tent towns. The tents will ultimately function as multi-purpose classrooms in earthquake-ravaged Haiti on the property of a foundation called L’Athletique d’Haiti. They will function as shelters where more than three hundred children are able to receive education in a positive and safe environment.

The project was conceived as a collaboration of international artists and nonprofit organizations to support the reconstruction of education in Haiti through art. The distinctive elements include creation and exhibition of the tents at a series of locations and then finally setting-up the finished tents in Haiti.

The tents are 20x15x13 feet and were custom made by Armbruster Company, America’s oldest tentmaker.  The paint and material for the tents were carefully chosen as they must be able to withstand the extreme weather of Haiti.  The tent layout, personally designed by Antuan, is specifically constructed in order to allow for maximum durability, water and wind resistance, paintability, security, and ventilation. The painted exteriors of the tents will brighten the interior of the classrooms when the sun shines through. The tents will dually function as an art installation and iconic representation of educational progress for children in Haiti, as they will be visible flying to and from the international airport.

An international group of artists from across the Caribbean and Latin America have gathered in order to collaborate and create the tents; the artists, using the tents as their canvases will communicate their interpretations and perspectives of Haiti’s political, social, and environmental history. The painting of the tents is currently taking place at IRON SIDE, a multi-purpose warehouse in Little Haiti (in Miami’s newly named Industrial Business District) and is open to the public.

The twelve international artists come from seven different countries: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Spain, Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the USA. Their artwork conveys a strong narrative about Haiti’s current challenges and explores different themes, such as the history of Haiti, its economy, folklore, religious beliefs, traditions, ecology, recreation, and the environment. The artists are: Antuan and Elba Luis Lugo, Pedro Barbeito, Jose Bedia, Edouard Duval-Carrie, Jose Garcia Cordero, Nicolas Leiva, Leonel Matheu, Ruben Millares and Antonia Wright, Gean Moreno, and Damian Sarno,.

“More than aesthetics, in this project art is history, art feeds from the present to enrich the future of Haiti. In the course of art, one must act. An exceptional aspect of art is the link between public and private spheres, achieving aid for a segregated country, creating unity, fusion and international action. Our wish is that this installation, intended to be visible from the air, will serve as a magnet, icon and message to the world, to appreciate what we have inherited from the Haitian people and their insatiable struggle for freedom,” says Antuan.

The painted tents and models will be showcased at the following events before they are shipped to Haiti:

  • The Base Paint Tents Opening Exhibition (by invitation only)

WHEN: Monday, November 29th

6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

WHERE: EPIC Residences at the GREEN, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Downtown

COST: Invite Only / Complimentary

  • The Base Paint Tents Public Exhibition during the week of Art Basel Miami Beach 2010

WHEN: Tuesday, November 30th – Sunday, December 5th

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

WHERE: EPIC Residences at the GREEN, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Downtown

COST: Complimentary and open to the public

  • The Base Paint Models at FIU’s 8th Annual Breakfast in the Park event to celebrate Art Basel Miami Beach 2010

WHEN: Sunday, December 5th

9:30AM – 12:00PM

WHERE: FIU’s Frost Art Museum, Modesto A. Maidique Campus

COST: Complimentary and open to the public

  • The Base Paint Tents exhibited at FIU during various events to commemorate the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti

WHEN: Monday, January 10 – Saturday, January 15, 2011

WHERE: FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus

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