Visit St Maarten Article on Local Artists

Creatives Fall In Love With The Beauty Of St. Maarten / St. Martin.

Legend has it that St. Maarten/St. Martin calls out to the souls of creatives who fall in love with the light and land. That could be why so many artists make their homes on this 37-square-mile island of rolling hills and valleys.

Artists transform their impressions of natural beauty into works of art — on canvas, pottery and other surfaces. Other creatives work with metals to produce a range of works, from everyday items to evocative sculptures.

Impressionist Sir Roland Richardson has been influenced by all that is this island. He spends his time capturing the light, moods and people who inspire him. He is the embodiment of the island’s dual personality, coming from both prominent Dutch and French roots. Richardson is famed for his fiery red and orange flamboyant trees and also has captured the island’s historic homes and locations in etchings. His studio is on Rue de la République in Marigot, but you’ll often find him painting outdoors.

Impressive Innovations

Bold colors and striking subjects are the hallmarks of multifaceted artist Tess Verheij. She is a nurturer of fellow artists — amateurs and professionals. This is reflected in her ArtCraftCafe Art Gallery & Art School at the top of Front Street. She also has WasteFactory, a unique space connected to the gallery. After Hurricane Irma, Verheij started this project to transform waste material into art. One of her creations is a handbag made from pages of back issues of Visit St. Maarten/St. Martin magazine. Art enthusiasts can make their own repurposed souvenirs.

The Art Box Gallery in Cole Bay brings together a host of artists working across genres. The gallery was born from the clever mind of jewelry designer Zdenka Kiric, who envisioned a space chock-full of paintings, sculptures and jewelry from island creatives. Kiric is keen on curating works from artists working in different genres and putting their work side by side to create a continuous, flowing art collection.

Artist sisters Norma and Corinna Trimborn differ in their creations, although they share the same creative space at their NoCo Art Studio in Terres Basses. The two are influenced by their surroundings. Corinna can take viewers into the crashing or gentle essence of a wave. Norma’s paintings are characterized by abstract brushstrokes. She also works with mixed media and etchings.

Tropismes Gallery in Grand Case was founded by renown painter Paul Elliott Thuleau. The space resembles that of a fine arts gallery, and it is one of the places on the island to get truly unique pieces of Caribbean inspired art.

Considered a grande dame of island art and culture, Ruby Bute is a prolific painter of island scenery. Her themes cover everything from Carnival revelers in their feathered fineries to quaint island scenes of hair braiding and musicians playing instruments made from everyday things like a washboard or grater. Her Friar’s Bay studio is also a haven for budding artists who develop their skills under her tutelage.

Mark Templeton repairs vessels at boatyards and marinas around the island. The metals he works with have inspired him to craft a parallel career as a sculptor. He takes steel, stone, wood and even bits of piping, wire and screws and bends them to his will. The end results are polished pieces to grace homes, gardens and galleries such as NoCo Art Studio.

Ras Mosera challenges his viewers with a raw boldness. His canvases shout provocative messages about Caribbean issues, from colonialism to commercialism and sexism. He runs Axum Art Café on Front Street, where budding and established artists share their talent with the public.

Art is everywhere on this island, and March is the perfect time to seek out local artists. That’s when the Art Lovers Association usually holds its “Art Lovers Weekend.” Many artists open the doors of their private studios and galleries to the public during that week. But any time you visit St. Maarten/St. Martin, you’re sure to be impressed by the creations of artists who call this Caribbean gem home.

Island Rhythms

A guide to St. Maarten/St. Martin’s musical standouts.

The Caribbean region is synonymous with music, and St. Maarten/St. Martin is no exception. From cars driving past blasting the latest soca hits to reggae and dancehall on boom boxes at beach barbecues, music is a huge part of life on this dual-nation island.

Music festivals take center stage throughout the island, featuring legendary and emerging groups as well as internationally known musicians and DJs. Groove to what you know and love or explore new rhythms and styles. St. Maarten/St. Martin has something for music lovers of every sort.

Here are just a few of the headliners and festivals you won’t want to miss.

Tanny & the Boys

The oldest active string band on the island has been making sweet music for more than 50 years, entertaining locals and visitors alike with original creations and well-known covers in styles ranging from merengue and bolero to waltz, blues and mazurka. Tanny & the Boys was founded in the late 1970s by Nathaniel “Tanny” Davis, and the band has performed all over the Caribbean. Today the veteran musicians take to the stage less frequently, but if you’re lucky enough to catch a performance, you won’t be disappointed.

Les Mardis de Grand Case

Mark your calendar. Every Tuesday evening from January through April, the main boulevard of Grand Case offers up a mélange of gastronomy, art and music. This is the time to party at the French side’s biggest fête, Les Mardis de Grand Case. From 6 to 10 p.m., local artists sell their creations by the side of the road; dancers in colorful feathery outfits take to the streets, moving to sweet Caribbean rhythms; and delightful aromas waft from restaurants and lolos. It’s the biggest annual block party in the region — one that is not to be missed.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Here’s one of the region’s biggest maritime events, but it’s not just for sailors. Music lovers as well turn out in droves for “Serious Fun.” Big star power graces the main stage as four days of sailing turn into four great parties at night. Catch the 40th annual regatta March 5-8.

SXM Festival

From March 11 to 15, world-renowned house, techno and trance DJs take to elaborate stages to do what they do best. Not-to-be-missed villa, beach and pool parties complement the energy, making this event a truly epic celebration of electronic music.

St. Maarten Carnival

Colorful costumes, street dancing and evocative music mark this year’s gala, which runs from April 16 to May 3 and is rooted in the hearts and souls of every St. Maartener. The celebration features packed concerts with performances by local and international stars in various genres, including reggae, soca, salsa, hip-hop and more.