Thursday 18th January, 2007


Radical gets charitable with jeans

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Diane Hunte, left, co-owner of Radical Designs, and Joan Dayal, right, the co-ordinator of the Rotary Club of Maraval’s SHAYPE learning centre flank artist Terrance Smith of Jamaica as he surveys one of the pairs of jeans he and 13 other artists will turn into works of art for Radical Designs’ Jeans Art 2007. Photo: Karla Ramoo

By Patricia James

Friday December 15, 2006 Radical Designs, in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Maraval’s Shaype (School for Holistic Action for Young People’s Empowerment) project, launched the first Jeans Art for Carnival 2007.

The project/exhibition is open to young and established local contemporary artists such as Sonja Dumas and Dave Williams. The artists are given a pair of Radical Designs jeans to create a work of art to be subsequently exhibited in public. The work will later be auctioned and a portion of the proceeds will go toward the Rotary’s Shaype project.

Director of Radical Designs Gary Hunte explained, “It was an idea we had nine years ago in Diane’s (Hunte, Radical co-owner) office.

Hunte said, “Diane was doing some paintings on some jeans and while we were looking at it we said it would be a really nice thing if we could give various artists jeans and let them express themselves on it and put a piece of art on it and do an exhibition.”

The idea spawned from there and with ideas from the Hunte duo and artist Mario Lewis the project took shape until it eventually became Jeans Art 2007.

Hunte further elaborated that although the project had its inception nine years ago, the company had stumbling blocks in bringing their dream to fruition.

Since (the idea was conceived) we’ve never had the money, we’ve never had the time or we couldn’t find the space to do it.

Now that we have the time and we could put some money to it we’ve decided to do it like this.”

Hunte was quick to praise the efforts of the artist liason Mario Lewis. “Mario has been a catalyst. He’s made it easy for us.”

Hunte said he’d long admired Lewis’ art and when, during a conversation between the two, Lewis mentioned that he’d been trying to get into administration of art, Hunte jumped at the opportunity to work with the artist whose work he called “different, modern and progressive.

“I said, ‘Great, Mario. This is my idea.’ We hired him and he’s assisting with the logistics of the entire project.

“We hope it to be something really exciting. At the end we hope to do an exhibition timed to be around Carnival when all the creativity is coming out and there are a lot of visitors to Trinidad and the art can get a lot of exposure.”

Hunte also said that at the end they hope to auction off the various pieces of jeans art.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the charity—the Rotary’s Shaype Programme—a portion will go to the artist, and a small portion goes back to administrative fees.

Hunte said they are waiting to see what comes out of the project to see if any of the designs will make it to the racks at Radical Design.

We have a diverse pulling together of artists from various back grounds.

We have sculptors, jewelry designers, painters, choreographers. We told them just go wild, do what you want, you have total freedom. And they were really happy that they were given this freedom.”

Trinidad is a creative place,” Hunte explained, “but when you drive around Trinidad you don’t see it. This is our way of doing it.”

The jeans will go on exhibition from January 31 to February 7. After the exhibition they will go on auction to partly benefit the Rotary Club of Maraval’s Shaype Project. The Shaype (School for Holistic Action for Young People’s Empowerment) project has become the umbrella under which the Rotary Club of Maraval will provide several programmes, including music tutoring and family counselling services, to address some of the critical social problems facing our youth.

The artists selected for Radical Design’s Jean’s Art Project 2007 are:

Dave Williams

Paul Kain

Lesley-Ann Noel

Sarag Chong Sing

Sonja Dumas

Suzanne Nunez

Richard Rawlins

Terrance Smith

Christian Alexis

Rhoda Gayadeen

Jacelle Alexander

Gabriela Joseph

Kwynn Johnson

Lauralin Maynard


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