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9905: Genevieve Esper (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Exhibit shows joy and beauty of artist's Haiti

By Liz Doup
Staff Writer
Posted December 6 2001

Before Genevieve Esper became a noted artist, before traveling the world, 
studying in Paris and showing her work in South Florida and New York, she 
was a young girl in Haiti, absorbing its colors, its sights and its moods.

In her art, she has never left home.

This month, Esper's work, so evocative of her homeland, is part of a 
celebration of Haitian culture running through Dec. 21 at the Broward County 
Main Library.

Haiti: From a Legacy of Freedom to an Explosion of Culture also will feature 
music, film and discussions by authors and scholars.

"You read so much about what is bad in Haiti, but I can tell you, there is 
joy in that place," says Esper. "And there is much beauty."

These cultural events will showcase a part of Haitian life often 
overshadowed by the poverty and political strife that dominate headlines. 
With South Florida's Haitian population at an estimated 300,000 and growing, 
it's important for people to learn more about that culture, says Margaret 
Armand, vice president of A.C.T.I.O.N., a nonprofit organization that 
promotes Haitian arts and culture and one of the event sponsors.

"We want people to see that we're all human, we're all the same," Armand 
says. "Art is a way to do that."

Esper, who goes by Iris in the art world, was an architect before turning to 
art a decade ago. She paints at her home in Port-au-Prince, working outside 
under a jungle-like canopy, surrounded by hundreds of orchids.

She fills canvases with vibrant colors -- scarlet, gold and blue. She turns 
calabasa squash into objects of art, studded with semiprecious stones. She 
takes castoff metal drums and forms them into elaborate sculptures.

"People can find their own message in what I do," she says. "You don't 
create art for yourself. You create art for other people."

In addition to Esper's art, which is on display throughout the exhibit, 
other events include:

A piano recital of classical and folklore music by noted musician Micheline 
Laudun Denis, 7 p.m. Friday.

A discussion on Haiti: An Endless Source of Literary Inspiration, by Haitian 
authors Edwidge Danticat and Dany Laferriere, 5-7 p.m. Saturday.

A showing of La Peur d'Aimer, a film produced and directed by Reginald 
Lubin, who is also a medical doctor, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 14.

A discussion on Haitian Identity and Integration into American Society, 5-7 
p.m. Dec. 15. Speakers include Dr. Jean-Pierre Bayard, an engineering 
professor at California State University, Sacramento; Max Beauvoir, a Vodun 
priest; Philipe Brutus, state representative; Gerard Latortue, international 
business consultant; and Michel-Rolph Trouillot, professor of anthropology 
and social sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

A showing of LUMUMBA, produced and directed by Raoul Peck, president of the 
Caribbean Federation of Film and Video, 7 p.m. Dec. 21.

Liz Doup can be reached at ldoup@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4722.

Copyright  2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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