Nov. 27, 2005 Holiday shoppers got an early start on their Christmas shopping at the annual Starving Artists day on Sunday. More than 1500 people, looking for that one-of-a -kind holiday gift, browsed the 75 booths, tents and tables, set up on the grounds of the Whim Museum in Frederiksted.
"This is my kind of thing," James Hill, who is visiting from Texas said of the outdoor fair. "There is something for everyone, you can bring your family and the prices can't be beat."
Christie Powers said she finished her Christmas shopping at the fair. "I got something for everyone," she said. Powers said she bought Christmas cards from CASA, a hand blown pendant, mocko jumbie angels to decorate her presents and a book buy a local author. "All I have to do now is wrap and mail them."
The 19th annual arts and crafts fair had a wide array of items to suit every taste and price range. There was hand-made soap and sachets in flavors of lemongrass, mango and oatmeal-cinnamon by Dulcie in St. Croix, bold silver hand made bracelets and rings adorned with oversized semi precious stones by Daniil Heywood-Landers and hand painted porcelain miniatures embossed in 24 carat gold by Dee Petachenko.
Author of Life in the Left Lane and Home is Where the Boat Is, Emy Thomas, was busy under the big tent signing her books for ardent fans. Across the grounds, Robert L. Merwin was seated at an antique mahogany desk in the museum's book store attending to a line of shoppers who waited patiently for him to inscribe his latest book "The History of Rob't L. Merwin & Co. 1892 to 2005". John H. Mudie and Richard Schrader were some of the other local artists offering their literary wares.
Laurent "Tippy" Alfred was grooving to the reggae beat. His table offered a wide array of compact discs by local artists including the Midnite Band, Batch, Dezarie, Pressure and more. "It's our mission to promote local artists," Tippy said. Manuela and Wilfredo Moralez of Rustico, had hand painted tiles depicting Frederiksted architecture. "I see the buildings changing," Wilfredo said. "This preserves the images."
Seated behind a table filled with bottles of hot sauces, was Mona Bastien. She explained the difference between the "heat" and flavor of her homemade concoctions. At another table, dressed in a crisply starched apron over her traditional madras outfit, La-Verne Bates was surrounded by her baked goods. She bagged fruit-filled tarts, multi-layered Vienna cakes, sugar cookies and old fashioned peppermint sticks for several customers, and passed out her card to others who wanted to make holiday orders.
When shoppers tired of perusing the tables, they headed over to the west side of the grounds to the food and drink area. People waited patiently, plates of food in hand, for a shady space at one of the picnic tables. Plastic cups filled with ice and lemonade, passion fruit or another tasty natural fruit drink was another must have. Those who could not find a seat at the table, just made themselves comfortable under the cool shade of tree.
It was a perfect winter day on St. Croix. The sun was hot, the trade winds were cool and thanks to the annual Starving Artist's Day at Whim Museum, holiday shopping was a breeze.
Share your reaction to this story with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.