Putting Art Into Recovery (PAIR)
The Saint Croix Walls Project's mission was expanded after the devastating 2017 hurricane season. At this crucial turning point on St. Croix, PAIR offered an outlet for artists to express their representation of the effects of the storms and give them a way to contribute to
recovery of the island through art. Locals and visitors would see how our community is bouncing back, beyond new power lines and waste removal, by presenting art as a beautiful expression of our spirit.
PAIR is a post-hurricane endeavor to bring color, positivity, beauty and heART to St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. St. Croix Walls Project received a Care Fund Grant from the St. Croix Foundation to support PAIR as part of the recovery effort after
Irma and Maria. St. Croix Walls Project secured sites to serve as diverse “canvasses” across the island.
In the first weeks of the project, blank walls at Sunshine Mall were transformed by local art students and professional artists.
Artist Tamara Michael
Tamara Michael was born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada. She says that during her childhood she was blessed with living in a “rich artistic atmosphere in Canada.” After graduating from Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology in Barrie, Ontario with an fine art, degree she moved to Florida where she met and married her husband Jay. After 30+ years in Central Florida they pulled up stakes and moved to St. Croix to find adventure. Tamara enjoys painting murals, portraits and landscapes, as well as assembling sculptures from “lost and found” objects.
Artist Annie Bao
Annie Bao is a Manhattan-based Contemporary Surrealist painter who specializes in oil portraits of people and animals. Her work depicts a fascination with the complexity of the human condition and is a careful negotiation between real life and the fantastic. She aims to redefine chronicling contemporary life through pictorial satire and evocative whimsy.
Annie learned the fundamentals of painting as a child from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing where she earned a place to study Piano Performance at the Central Conservatory of Music. She continued to draw and paint after her family moved to California when she was 12. Annie went on to study Political Science and graduated from Columbia University with a Masters degree in International Affairs. She began pursuing painting seriously after graduate school and has since studied under Cornelia Foss and Robert Cenedella at the Art Students League of New York. In 2012, Annie left her job as a political analyst to pursue her painting business, Annie Bao Art, full-time. The business has since flourished, selling both commissioned portraits and non-commissioned paintings to private collectors and clients.
Artist Vitaly Lopez
Vitaly Lopez was born in 1997 in the Dominican Republic. When she was 17, her family moved to St. Croix where she finished high school at the Complex. While on St. Croix she was a part of the Association of Art of St. Croix. Vitaly is now studying fine art with an additional concentration on production of TV and radio at the Pontifical University Catholic of Puerto Rico (PUCPR). Her work has been exhibited at the law library at PUCPR and she has exhibited her work at various museums and theaters in Puerto Rico. Vitaly is a returning artist to St. Croix Walls Project. Her first outdoor mural was painted in Cotton Valley on the east end of St. Croix. Vitaly also created a 12’ x 20’ outdoor mural in Frederiksted, VI.
These young high school students are also LIT members (Leaders In Training) at the Caribbean Centers for Boys & Girls Club, VI.
They all are living in the Frederiksted area and are great students. Emmanuella Perez-Cassius, the Frederiksted Unit Director for Boys & Girls
Club, goes by “ Ms. Bella”. Through her supervision and guidance she exudes everything a director of our youth should possess.