Red Majorettes

The “Red Majorettes” was selected, along with work from 13 other artists, for inclusion in the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts 2011 calendar. It is the first year that photography-based images have been included as a fine art. The “Red Majorettes” illustrate the month of December — a fitting choice because December is the beginning of the festival season on St. Croix. I…

Donations

This donation box “for feeding the animals” is at a mini-zoo in the rainforest, part of the entertainment at a little stand that sells fabulous tropical fruit smoothies. The brightly hand-painted box sits on the metal base from an old Singer treadle sewing machine — somehow not out of place at all in this rustic location. In another form of donation, the local Senate…

Quadrille

The quadrille, a precursor to the modern square dance, is a part of St. Croix’s cultural heritage. It was brought here from England and became a part of plantation life well before the end of slavery. Like the square dance, it is formal, with dancers changing partners regularly throughout the dance. The traditional costume includes madras plaid shirts for the men and large head…

Primarily Yellow

They are painting Fort Christiansvaern. No, not red; that was me that did that. But yellow, that wonderful golden yellow that one sees on so many of the historic buildings in old Christiansted. The paint and repairs are important to protect the structure, and historical correctness is being observed. Still, the crumbling walls and peeling paint give the fort some of its character. The…

The Dark and Light of it

The strong shadows from the morning sunlight highlighted the geometry of this cotton plantation greathouse that lay in ruins — windows missing, iron bars staining the walls with rust, and the roof open to the brilliant blue morning sky. These old stone relics are gradually disappearing as they crumble or are converted into modern greathouses for today’s wealthy. On the “lighter” side is this…

Ways

Stairways, doorways. Ways in and out. Their graphic qulaities attract my eye, and the ambiguity of where they lead teases my mind. These were both in one of the many interior courtyards in old Christiansted. The courtyard has a few small offices along the back wall and a suite of offices in one of the buildings above. The center, open to the sky, had…

Everybody loves a parade

These images are part of a larger series from this year’s festival parade in Frederiksted. Fortunately, we arrived in Frederiksted about two hours after the parade was scheduled to begin, and only had to wait an additional hour. When we left some time later, people were still arriving with their chairs and coolers. I understand the festivities went well into the night. You would…

Time passes

The queen rides by in sparkling yellow proud and smiling. A few blocks away, the afternoon sun illuminates a crumbling cemetery. The stones speak of dreams and lives long gone, and stories played out on that balcony just beyond the cemetery wall.

Faded places

Every community has its empty places, faded and overgrown. Some of these, when there had been no design or charm to begin with, become a blight on the landscape. But others have personality and become a part of the character of a place, in their decline adding a patina of charm and history. How do the well-intentioned and civic-minded learn to tell the difference,…

For a Jumbie-free New Year!

St. Croix’s celebration of the holidays continues through the week, ending with the adult’s festival parade (a loud, long, and sometimes lewd extravaganza) on January 2. In keeping with the celebratory spirit, these two night-time mocko jumbies may help keep the bad spirits away throughout the New Year. May 2010 bring the best to all.