Starving Artists Day Set for Dec, 1 at the Whim Museum

A Christmas Cactus by Lea Ann Robson Sea Glass. (Submitted photo)
A Christmas Cactus by Lea Ann Robson Sea Glass. (Submitted photo)

Set on the Whim Museum grounds the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Starving Artists Day draws a diverse crowd of children and adults from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1. The Landmarks Society will host the annual “Pop-Up” fair with offerings from local artists and artisans for the community to enjoy.

Displays of jewelry, plants, greeting cards, books, paintings and a host of craft and gift items will be available for purchase. Musicians will entertain throughout the day. Island food vendors will share their culinary skills and the Whim Museum bar will be open to serve a variety of beverages.

Starving Artists Day is a yearly event the community can always look forward to and participate in, executive director Sonia Jacobs Dow said.

“It is a leisurely activity where friends meet up and hang out, the grounds are an outlet for children to roam freely, and live music can be heard wafting through the air all day.”

The Crucian Coconut Festival is happening on the same day as Starving Artists, Dow said.

“Both entities look at this as a ‘win-win’ situation. The Coconut Festival will open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and our fair will open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.”

“We have been on the radio talking up the events and inviting the community to come out and enjoy them both. They’re a ‘stone’s throw’ away from each other.”

WSTX Radio Host Doug Canton calls it a “Double Header,” Dow mentioned.

Local author Richard Schrader Sr. has participated in this community event for so

many years that he has become a fixture. Not to be taken for granted, Dow said, he is a gift to the Starving Artists Fair and to the Virgin Islands community-at-large.

“We are honored that he chooses to participate and that the public comes out to support him. We have named him our ‘Featured Author’ of the year each year he comes out.”

Lea Ann Robson's Sea Glass Reef Creatures. (Submitted photo)
Lea Ann Robson’s Sea Glass Reef Creatures. (Submitted photo)

Lea Ann Robson has been exhibiting her sea glass creations at the fair “for more years than I can remember,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite places to exhibit my work. My customers love my jewelry and ornaments and they come back year after year to purchase for themselves or for gift items.”

Robson said she has gone a little bit over the top this year with her newest designs, which have taken her many hours to complete yet have given her much joy to make. She will show her new Christmas Cactus and Reef Creature designs this year, with lots more sea glass and glass beading.

“I hope the love and fun I had making them shows,” she said.

Dow talked about the damages to the Great House due to Hurricane Maria.

“The staff and I realized that the crisis was an opportunity for us to rethink who we are and what we do.”

“We have reimagined our Great House as an exhibit space for the furniture and the stories of the furniture craftsmen and their families. Our new image will be on display for all to see.”

CPR Upcycle Art aluminum can designs. (Submitted photo)
CPR Upcycle Art aluminum can designs. (Submitted photo)

As an answer to recycling cans, Grace Clark and Deni Trombino have come up with a creative alternative. CPR Upcycle Art produces 14 different designs cut from cans. It is the brainchild of accountant Clark in an effort to protect the environment. She creates the designs and partner Trombino does the cutting.

“This is our third time showing at Starving Artists,” Trombino said. “We create palm trees, turtles, sea horses, geckos, dolphins and several more as magnets and cards and ornaments. We’ve also begun to make earrings. Our newest butterfly design will adorn an entire Christmas tree at the St. George Village Garden’s fundraising gala this year.”

“Our logo CPR is Creating art; Protecting the environment; Recycling.”

The Children’s Museum of St. Croix has partnered with the Landmarks Society and the organization will host a children’s tent. Santa Claus will be featured and the entertainment will continue throughout the day with activities for children of all ages.

Laura Marie Forbes is the director of pharmacy at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center She began a hobby creating handcrafted cards 12 years ago.

“It was therapeutic after a long day at work,” Forbes said.

Her hobby developed into a business and she wholesales to retail shops on the island.

Five years ago, Forbes began taking classes working with fused glass.

Laura Marie Forbes "Picking up the Pieces" glass piece and Madras Christmas card. (Submitted photo)
Laura Marie Forbes “Picking up the Pieces” glass piece and Madras Christmas card. (Submitted photo)

“I loved the science behind it, because it was so similar to my work as a pharmacist. When you mix drugs together, they must be compatible in order for them to work. And so it is with fusing glass; if glass is not compatible, it will not work when it goes into the kiln.”

This will be Forbes’ third year showing her creations at Starving Artists. She fuses glass into jewelry – making earrings and pendants and she also adds glass to her greeting cards. Each year she comes out with a new holiday card – this year she will incorporate madras cloth as a cultural theme.

“I have found the creative balance in my life and I love the magic behind working with glass. ‘Picking up the Pieces’ is a one-of-a-kind fused glass piece set in a mahogany base crafted by Carol Spanner and will preview at Starving Artists.”

Folks can listen to the Superior Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra’s performances and Renholdt “Rookie” Jackson’s musical youth group, “Rookie’s Village” throughout the day.

In keeping with the holiday tradition, Landmarks will host an Old-Time Crucian Christmas 2019 for two nights on Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21, the “Lantern and Mask Day.”

Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.