Jakmel Ekspresyon Community Art Center is excited to announce a partnership with Burners Without Borders to create a unique screen printing business with local artists in Jacmel, Haiti. We are currently accepting applications for artists from around the world to teach month-long courses in 2013. As part of this partnership, we are actively fund-raising together through an IndieGoGo.com crowd-funding campaign and through other outlets.
The Jakmel Ekspresyon Community Arts Center (JE) is an organization in Jacmel, Haiti, providing local artists with space and facilities to explore various mediums of artistic expression in a safe, non-discriminating environment. Haiti can be a harsh place for those on the margins of society. People with physical handicaps, those who identify as gender ambiguous or homosexual, as well as women may face discrimination. At Jakmel Expresyon, everyone is welcome — and JE is devoted to providing and preserving a safe haven for these Haitian artists.
Burners Without Borders (BWB) is a grassroots, volunteer-driven, community leadership organization whose goal is to unlock the creativity of local communities to solve problems and bring about change. Founded by Burners (Burning Man participants) who instinctively gathered in the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone to help those who couldn’t help themselves, BWB has grown into a dynamic international, volunteer organization made possible by the generous financial support of the community and an army of highly creative volunteers.
Jacmel is a sea-side town in southern Haiti with approximately 50,000 residents. It is a historic town which is regarded as the arts and cultural cultural country. Jacmel suffered substantial damage and loss of life during the 2010 earthquake. Recovery efforts have been successful in Jacmel compared to other places in the country. There is also investment including multi-million dollar hotel and convention center projects which will help rebuild the tourist industry. The original industry of the town was coffee exportation. Jakmel is world famous for it’s paper mache crafts. Recently, a film school Cine Institute was formed and a theater Spare Change Theater were formed further enriching the local arts.
In spite of these great assets, the present reality for Jacmel businesses must travel to the capital city Port au Prince for many services which may creates extra expense for businesses and stifles employment. Jacmel doesn’t currently have a local screen-printing shop for publicity materials such as posters, cards, or staff T-shirts or public health announcements. With this need in mind, Jakmel Ekspresyon and Burners Without Borders see an great potential to build technical skills in screen printing and create entrepreneurship opportunities for the art center membership.
Beyond these businesses opportunities, screen-printing is a vital popular art form and an ideal medium for the cultural exchange which is part of the mission of our organizations. Haitian arts such as paintings and sequin tapestries are rich in two-dimensional iconography which are applicable to screen-printing Visiting artists will broaden their own work through exposure to this heritage.
The screen printing project is divided into three components, similar to semesters. Each component contains three distinct month-long classes. One artist will be chosen to teach each month-long course. The first component is centered on graphic design, technical and conceptual elements. The second component uses the images created in the design component to learn the technical skills of screen printing. The third component teaches the members how to create a job with their new skills.
The artists at Jakmel Ekspresyon enrolled in this program will range from late teens to mid-30’s. Half of the class will be drawing and painting students who have completed the year-long class- learning figurative, proportions, and perspective. The other students will go through an application/interview process to be enrolled in the program. These students will all have some artistic skill-set but some may be self taught and will most likely be painters.
We are actively fund-raising to support this project. Expenses include travel expense to Jakmel from artist home countries and modest room, board and stipen for the artist. They also include facilities build out at the center.
We encourage you to promote this incredible story. For more information on the project and the organization, please see the following web resources.