Artist to present Black history event with West Indian focus

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH, LEAD STORIES, NEWS

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

Black history and West Indian culture will be featured at Weldon Ryan’s “Art of Carnival’’ presentation this week.

Weldon Ryan and his wife, Michelin Burnett-Ryan, own Calypso Fine Art Gallery.

An opening ceremony of the “Art of Carnival’’ exhibit will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 18 at Ryan’s Calypso Fine Art Gallery, located at 4601 E. Moody Blvd., inside of Marvin’s Garden Business Center Complex.

“Art of Carnival” is a series of 20 paintings by Ryan depicting the Carnival, the Caribbean celebration originating in Trinidad and Tobago. Weldon’s paintings are on oil canvas and board featuring West Indian carnivals from Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg and New York.

“We have been doing it as a family. My wife and I are of West Indian heritage. I’m from Trinidad and she is from Guyana. …We get together from different regions and nations and have the celebration. We dress up in costume. We free ourselves from the confines of society,’’ he explained.

Peabody first
The exhibit was first displayed at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona last year. It was later displayed at a carnival in New York City.

“After the first show in Daytona, we figured that this show should be in other parts of the country.

Weldon has taken photos at other carnivals, parades and celebrations and put it into his artwork.

The carnival itself is an expression of art. Artists spend an entire year creating costumes, themes and expressions. In New York, we had such success that we decided to continue it,’’ said Richilin Burnett-Ryan, the show’s curator and Ryan’s wife.

2016 gallery opening
Calypso Fine Art Gallery opened in May 2016.

“Bunnell and Palm Coast are unique communities. Both don’t have a lot of Black businesses. It was important for us to stand on our own and be the owners of our destiny and create our own cultural theme to our gallery,’’ she continued.

Burnett-Ryan said the couple also decided that Black History Month will be an ideal time to showcase his art.

Weldon Ryan explained, “African-Americans and West Indians cultures have a lot in common and very few differences. They have similar ways, artistic impressions, innocence and similarities. The only thing is that the British abolished slavery before America.”

For more information, call 386-313-5123 or 386-916-4483.

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