Monthly Archives: October 2010

Haitian Artists Get a Break

Macy’s, the well-known department store, is launching its Heart of Haiti Collection, with an average of thirty-five per cent of each sale going directly back to Haitian artists. We’re talking about paintings and metal crafts to be sold at branches of Macy’s. There are forty items available, including a $10 metal pendant, a $275 oil painting, and many items priced more reasonably from $25 to $60, with the idea being that almost anyone could afford an original piece of Haitian art. Candle holders, clutch purses, napkin rings, trays, mirrors, coasters and fruit sculptures are among the offerings. Roughly 350 artists have been employed in this effort.
Highly acclaimed metal sculptor Serge Jolimeau has work in the Heart of Haiti Collection. With ten employees, according to a Sunday story in the Miami Herald, he was quoted as saying that the order from Macy’s has been a boon to him and his staff: “A lot of people are working.”
The project grew out of a May meeting convened by the William J. Clinton Foundation to figure out how to revive the Haitian art community. Good for Clinton and good for Haiti, where so much progress after January’s earthquake seems to be in pathetic slow motion. And this first collection is not just a one-shot deal. A spring collection is already in the works.
If you want to attend a launch partying South Florida, head to Dadeland Macy’s Home Store at 7675 North Kendall Drive in Miami this Thursday at 6 p.m.. Several Haitian artists whose work is featured in the collection will be on hand to show and discuss their work.
–Candice Russell