Art box Gallery, Culture of St Maarten




By Alita Singh

Don’t go home without a souvenir that says St. Maarten/St. Martin. Products made on the island make one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends, and they’ll always remind you of your vacation adventures in paradise. Here are a few of our favorites.


Pampering Products

Nalia Muriel, founder of St. Maarten Nectar, started out making products to treat her sensitive skin. Today her all-natural formulas are jarred and bottled for you to take home. Also, look for Mara Soaps. They’re made with ingredients to love your skin.


Created by island girl Jennifer Carty, the Aroma Island Escape collection of candles and infusers will transport you to your own private island. You can even make your own scent at Tijon Parfumerie in French St. Martin. Choose from among 300 oils to come up with your unique signature scent. Blend, bottle, and savor to relive your island vacation again and again.


Art & More

In St. Maarten/St. Martin, Sir Roland Richardson is the personification of art. As the island’s preeminent artist, Richardson, a Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau, is known for his vibrant canvases of flamboyant trees, landscapes, and portraits. See his work at his gallery in Marigot, online, or at select art galleries and locations.


How about making your own island treasure? This is possible by visiting photographer Richard Hazel of RTGH Photography. Arrange for a family photoshoot, glamor shots, or tantalizing portraits for your someone special. A photograph is a lifelong memory.


Here’s a conversation starter you won’t find at Walmart: a Titah Frock from Our Creations Arts and Crafts Foundation. It’s a colorful figurine dressed in old-time patchwork. It’s called a “titah” after the name some island babies give an older sibling before they can pronounce “sister.” Visitors will enjoy hearing the folksy story when they see it displayed in your home.


Also, take time out to browse The Art Box Gallery. This is the home of island jewelry designer Zdenka Kiric. She captures the essence of this Caribbean isle in her selection of stones and other materials. You’ll also find works of art in numerous styles and so much more.


Island Spirits

Guavaberries are harvested from the island’s hillsides, soaked in rum, and left to ferment into a delicious liqueur. Once available at Christmas, it’s on hand now year-round from several makers who blend their special batches and flavors.


In addition, you’ll find a variety of locally made rums from family distilleries like Topper’s Rhum, as well as small-batch craft beers from Caribbean Brewing Company. A bottle of any of these are sure to make a special island souvenir or gift.


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