Saturday, June 30, 2007

An Art centre in limbo

A balance between support and outcome, getting what you pay for

This is the floor plan of Caribbean Contemporary Arts, CCA7. It is the actual invitation that launched the inauguration of the center seven years to the day. Back then, the centre housed two galleries and seven small studio spaces. One of which the was the InterAmera Space gallery. The latter was supported by the Reed Foundation of New York and hosted many exhibitions from local and International Artists. Overall, one memorable exhibition was the British Council show on fashion. The center also provided studios for artists and those recipients on residencies offered by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Triangle Trust Fund.

But soon after the New York attacks, things changed. Funders were perhaps more cautious where their money was spent and this had a diverse affect on the Arts and particularly those organizations that entrusted it for their survival. At CCA7, shows were less frequent, and the major gallery was later converted to smaller spaces of which some were commercially leased out and this impacted on the dynamics of the place. See another exhibition in the gallery as thebookmann header.

One of the major issues also was the centre's location. Housed on the upper floors of the building #7 Fernandes Industrial Centre, Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago, getting there took great effort compounded by a dubious management who were responsible to ensure that the gallery was opened. Visitors were often met with closed doors. And the place seemed closer to the edge of just not existing. There were also the steep stairs to get to the gallery which harbored those less fit to climb them. So the conflicts of how or what or who and why centre should run, its future is in debate for the time being.

In an island that lacks the foresight to understand the importance of contemporary art, CCA7 in its prime showed that there was much more, but swayed to stay true to its mandate, nevertheless all the bickering artists got some piece of the pie. So where does
Caribbean Contemporary Arts go from here? Many questions as to unclear answers. - thebookmann

See the last open studio show CCA7

1 comment:

thebookmann said...

The following post had been put on hold in regard to CCA7's closure

Polly said...

is CCA7 shutting down? I haven't seen anything in the papers (online versions); if it is, do you know when it's to close? I write a guidebook to T&T (the Rough Guide) and we're just about done on a new edition so if it's shut I'd be really grateful if you could tell me – so I can take it out.

What a shame.

I love your blog by the way, visit you all the time. And put a link to it in the new ed of the book via Global Voices – hope that's OK.


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