Home News Local news Island Artist Focuses on Architecture and Flowers

Island Artist Focuses on Architecture and Flowers


Nov. 21, 2005 — Doors and windows, to some, symbolize ways of gaining new visions into life. "Doors and Windows," the exhibition of paintings by Jane Aiken that opened Monday night at the Undercover Book and Gift Shop in Gallows Bay, offers ways of visualizing Caribbean life.
Aiken, who has lived on St. Croix since 1998, tends to focus on two subjects in her watercolors – architecture and flowers.
She said at the reception marking the opening of the exhibit that Georgia O'Keefe inspired her love of doing detailed flower paintings. However, it was evident in the 17 works displayed in this exhibition that the Caribbean is the inspiration for her artistic way of bringing architecture to life. Viewers of the works could quickly notice a scene in a painting that resembled windows or doors they have seen in Frederiksted or Christiansted. At least five of the paintings were of buildings in those towns, a couple others were inspired by visits to St. Barts.
Aiken's first Caribbean influences were from Jamaica, where her aunt lived and where she visited often in the 1970s and 1980s.
She came to St. Croix, she said, because "I wanted to live the dream."
She said she moved to St. Croix without ever seeing the island and has not been disappointed. Aiken has integrated her artistic way of life into the St. Croix community in several ways. She offers art classes to residents at her studio in Estate Baetzborg. She also offers classes to guests at the Buccaneer Resort. She is an active member of the Pallettiers, a group of painters covering all skill levels, who travel to a different spot on St. Croix and paint each Friday.
Kathy Bennett, owner of Undercover Books, says she likes to host events such as this exhibit "whenever the opportunity presents itself."
She mentions with pride that Undercover Books was the site of a book signing when the Alexander Hamilton symposium was held on St. Croix last year. Her book store will be the site of a book signing by the author of The Lois Wilson Story on Dec. 30. Lois Wilson was the founder of Al-Anon.
Bennett said it was a "nice crowd" at the opening for the Aiken exhibition. There were usually at least a dozen people looking at the paintings and going though the bookstore during the two-hour reception.
Aiken said it might have been better if some art work had actually been purchased, but she added that many people who see works of art at an exhibition go home and later return to make a purchase. This is the first exhibition that Aiken has had at the bookstore, but she has had three one-women shows at the Whim Museum and is a regular contributor to the annual art show at Good Hope School.
For information about the Pallettiers or Aiken's work call 713-8419.

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