Citi Trinidad chose to support four pillars of civilization for its local celebration of the bicentennial of their institution (in which 101 countries are participating). Having decided on art, they chose the Queen’s Park Savannah for their canvas, and then the next natural step seemed to be a partnership with The UWI. Given UWI’s international reputation as a distinguished Caribbean institution, it seemed a most desirable partner for such an initiative, said Sterling Frost, Senior Vice President Latin America Human Resources at Citi.
“The process included student immersion in our environment and meeting with our most valuable resource, our employees, who form and inform our culture. The student artists proved Gertrude Stein true when she said, ‘A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears.’ Capturing our identity in a unique, beautiful body of work, with attention, commitment and dedication to the vision from all involved from the inception through completion, was nothing short of exemplary,” he said.
“Today Citibank (Trinidad & Tobago) in partnership with The University of the West Indies is proud to unveil what we hope to be the first of many series to come.” The work was created by students of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts of The UWI under the directorship of artist and senior lecturer, Ken Crichlow. The mural: “200 Years: Past, present and the future,” is made up of 10 interlocking panels of ideas, and each can be exhibited as individual paintings.
The mural is explained this way: a past that is represented in the spirals unfolding out of the Trinity Hills, symbol of the landscape that continues into a present symbolized in the mobius strip and the hour glass that connect the buildings, our present environment of communication and its growth to a future seen optimistically as blue skies and symbolized in the steel pan of innovation, cultural identity and the foundation of the family group in the eternal symbol of unity, fertility and peace.
The student artists are: Camille Bartholomew, Ramattie Chaitoo, Tamara Herbert, Makesi Lamont, Kevin Vincent, Noel Nottingham, Denique Ruiz, Shannon Yip Ying, Tovya Headley, and Myer Fisher. They collaborated on all phases of the mural production in a 10-day workshop at the DCFA visual arts studio.