Starving Artists Day at the Whim Museum Grounds

Beekeeper Toni Downs sells her honey and honey-based products at the Starving Artists’ sale Sunday.

Starving Artists Day at Whim drew folks from all over the island on Sunday morning and kept them coming until closing at 4 p.m.

The absence of the huge traditional tent opened up the grounds for individual canopies that beckoned onlookers, buyers and the usual crowds of children and adults at the yearly event.

The Landmark Society has been offering the annual fair since the 1980’s, giving local artists and artisans an outlet to display and market their talent.

Artist and artisans were selling jewelry, paintings, music, books, plants and unusual gift items. Vendors were on hand with local food and drinks and several tables and benches were set up for the day.

Aliza Rose is new to St. Croix and works in wood, macramé and acrylic. This is Rose’s first year at Starving Artists Day.

“I am so happy with the response I’ve received today. This morning I had tons of sales,” she said. “People really like my work. I had to put out more macramé, because I sold everything on display,” Rose said.

Aliza Rose's macrame hangs in her tent at Whim Museum.
Aliza Rose’s macrame hangs in her tent at Whim Museum.

Rose paints on canvas, draws with pen and ink on wood panels, and makes macramé ornaments and plant holders. Her printed wooden coasters are handy for beer and other drinks, she said.

Robin Barlow Jones did some of her Christmas shopping and made small purchases for friends and family. She said, “these gifts are easy to package and mail to the states.”

Diana Warren has lived on St. Croix for eight years and has worked in jewelry for 13.

“My first Staring Artists Day was in 2011, and I have been selling here ever since,” she said.

When Diana began selling in her first year, there were two days at Whim for vendors.

Diana Warren displayed jewelry at the annual arts show.
Diana Warren displayed jewelry at the annual arts show.

“Now we only have one day a year,” she said. “I think that Whim should consider going back to two days a year and do one in Christiansted, maybe in the park by the fort,” Warren suggested.

Toni Downs is a beekeeper and she traveled to New York in August to show her wares with other artists in the territory. The trip was to showcase their work at the NY NOW Summer 2018 Trade Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

“It was quite an experience,” she said.

Downs hails from Kentucky and has lived on St. Croix since 2011.

“This is my seventh year at Starving Artists. I’ve done the Agriculture Fair and other venues to showcase and sell my work,” Downs said.

Lea Ann Robson displayed art made of sea glass.
Lea Ann Robson displayed art made of sea glass.

“Honey was my only product and I found that I had to find something else to do with the honey to increase my income,” she said. She began making soaps using honey and beeswax as an outgrowth of her product. With her background in the culinary arts, Downs began making jams and jellies, all with her base of honey, she said.

Downs received a grant from the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture to expand her fruit production to assist with her preserves.

“I am a gardener and I have begun to grow a variety of greens in addition to growing my fruit trees,” she noted.

Art Thursday is also another venue that gives Downs an opportunity to show and sell her locally hand made products, said added.

Lea Ann Robson crafts her jewelry and ornaments from sea glass. Robson has been selling at many of the venues around Christiansted and Frederiksted for many years, she said.

“Starving Artist is one of my favorite places to sell. I like the wide open space,” said Robson.

Norma DeJournette and Joan Keenan enjoyed the beauty of the day and the variety of the items the vendors had for sale, they both agreed.

DJ Edney entertained the crowds with continuous local music. There were door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.