ABOUT THE ARCHIVE:
Pandemics have occurred at various points in history - most recently the 19th-century outbreak of Cholera; the 1918 Spanish Flu whose death toll stood at more than 50 million people worldwide; the smallpox pandemic, eradicated in 1980; and the HIV/AIDS crisis, classified as a pandemic in 1983. Throughout the centuries, artists have created their works for the purposes of healing, unleashing art as a tool for education, compassion, hope and solidarity during crises.
Now, amid COVID-19 and movements for racial & environmental justice, a current generation of artists are spreading compassion and healing through painting, performance, sculpture, textiles, drawings, design, spoken word & poetry.
Much of that work speaks not only to the coronavirus pandemic but to the deeper crisis facing the Caribbean, the United States and the rest of the world: the disease of racial inequality and environmental injustice. These multiple crises are linked, exacerbated by each other, and bound by a mutual denominator of health inequity.
This web site seeks to support artists in archiving, preserving and making accessible – virtually, to the public - U.S. Virgin Islands visual & literary artistic responses to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
We are living in a historic moment. A virtual archive of pandemic-related images & stories by artists, curators, and arts organizations throughout the Virgin Islands will highlight a defining moment in U.S. Virgin Islands and global history.
Documentation of our arts is essential so that future generations can learn from and experience current events through our community’s artistic accounts of an unprecedented and historic time.
This archive will consist of COVID-19 arts related news accounts related to the arts community in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It will also document visual works, poetry & spoken word by students and professional artists & writers working throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and Virgin Islanders living in the diaspora. In addition, it will document special projects or exhibitions by U.S. Virgin Islands arts organizations.
This site will be continuously updated during the ongoing pandemic and will seek work that artists have created independently or through an arts organization with an emphasis on self-expression with candor and a willingness to be a social commentator.
Work that will be accepted for the archives are works that are COVID-19 specific or inspired. In addition, work will be considered that is relevant to the inequities that make this pandemic even more significant - in particular, work that addresses racial inequality and environmental injustice in the time of COVID-19.
A deadline has not been established due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic. Submissions will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the COVID-19 virus is no longer prevalent throughout the world.
Please go to the submissions page for application requirements & guidelines.
“This project is funded in part by the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.”
It is being created in collaboration with the Gri Gri Project.
Priscilla Hintz Rivera, Archive Curator
Priscilla Hintz Rivera Knight is a cultural practitioner, curator and arts advocate.
As a daughter of the Caribbean, Priscilla will go to any lengths to champion
and support artists and arts organizations throughout the region. Most recently
she co-founded the Gri Gri Project with writer and photographer David Knight Jr.
The Gri Gri Project’s mission is the creation of interpretive exhibitions, critical
writing, events and archives related to the cultural patrimony of the U.S. Virgin
Islands and the Caribbean region. The Gri Gri Project has been involved in arts-
related projects and exhibitions in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the United
States, Aruba, Denmark and Cuba.
Priscilla holds a MA Degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College
and a BA in Social Sciences with a concentration in Caribbean studies from the
University of the Virgin Islands.
She was the editor and co-founder of Art Fusion magazine and has worked for and
collaborated with such organizations as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.,
the Turabo University Art Museum and Center for Humanistic Studies in Puerto Rico,
The St. Thomas Historical Trust, El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and Casa de las Américas,
in Cuba. She is currently the owner of Bajo El Sol Gallery on St. John.