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@Work: Bajo el Sol


May 20, 2005 – Bajo El Sol showcases works by some of the best of St. John's artists, plus pieces by a handful from off island.
"And I'm an artist so my work is here," Livy Hitchcock said.
Livy, 57, and her husband, Tom, 58, bought the light-filled gallery at Mongoose Junction shopping center from St. John artist Aimee Trayser in January.
Trayser's work still hangs at Bajo El Sol, along with that of Kat Sowa, Deborah St. Clair, Steve Simonson, Mandy Thody, Gail Van de Bogurt, Avelino Samuel, Kimberly Boulon, John Holub, Bente Hirsch, Pat Whitehead, Larry Lipsky, Ayn Riehle, Sigi Torinus, and Jose Seoane.
The gallery also carries cards by Les Anderson and glass and clay works created in the studios at Maho Bay Camps.
"We added a few new artists, but basically, its local art," Livy said.
The Hitchcocks moved to St. John in November 2004 from Essex, Vermont. They sold just about everything they owned, but shipped 38 boxes through Tropical Shipping that included lots of Livy's art supplies.
"Our kids were grown and it was time to make a change. This is a great adventure for the last part of our life," Livy said.
Their children are Michelle, 24, and David, 27.
She worked as a portrait artist, and her husband was a salesman for a food company.
The Hitchcocks picked St. John mainly because Livy's mother, Louisa Harkin, is a part-time resident. They spent the first few months in Harkin's condo, but soon moved into their own rented house.
St. John also had appeal because Livy was born in Puerto Rico, and her parents lived on St. Croix for 25 years.
"We love the people, the island, and the culture," she said.
They've had a lot of adjustments to make since their arrival, including learning to deal with the challenges that come with living on a small island.
"We're living a much simpler life," she said.
Tom Hitchcock said they are committed to living on St. John.
"There's nothing better than commuting to work through the national park," he said, referring to V.I. National Park.
Livy Hitchcock said they're getting used to owning their own business.
She said business has been good, and sales were up a bit over last year.
She already has plans to get back into the portrait business, and said she's looking at the wedding market as a possible place to expand.
Bajo El Sol is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The gallery is closed Sundays during the summer season, but will be open noon to 6 p.m. Sundays for the winter.


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