Tag Archives: Trinidad and Tobago

GA GARDNER Curates International Art Exhibition in Paris, France

5 May


We are very excited to share GETTHRU’s newest project with Boxout, exhibiting in Paris, France.  ‘Mixed Bag: An International Small Works Exhibition’ curated by Morton Fine Art’s own GA GARDNER is made possible by Gethru.org and the fundraising arm of the nonprofit organization!  Boxout provides art collectors with access to international works of art by making the original works available for sale through local galleries, art fairs and art spaces.

About the Exhibition:

Title:  Mixed Bag: An International Small Works Exhibition
Curator:  GA Gardner
Gallery:  59 Rivoli
Venue:  Paris France, www.59rivoli.org

Date: April 28 to May 8, 2016



Also check out this write up by Olive Vassel about the exhibition on euromight.com!



GA GARDNER, GETTHRU in The Guardian Trinidad & Tobago

1 Sep

Helping T&T artists GETTHRU

Sunday, August 30, 2015
Curator and artist GA Gardner with artworks by Sarah Knights of T&T, Behzad Mahmoudpour of Iran, Judith Ganz of Germany and Beata Obst of Poland. Images courtesy Getthru.org

Lisa Allen-Agostini interviews T&T artist GA Gardner about his Internet-based arts collective GETTHRU

Q: Tell me about the name GETTHRU. Is it what it sounds like in T&T parlance?
A: “Get thru” is a really commonly used local term here in T&T, but I wanted to narrow this meaning and focus on art. How can one “get thru” via the arts? What are the options for a broader dialog? I wanted to play on this common term and define it in the context of fine arts. When I came back home a few years ago, after over 25 years working in the US, as a professor, artist, book publisher and educational consultant, I brought with me a commitment to art education, especially focused on contemporary art.

I wanted to continue to use art as a tool that can help educate and bridge economic gaps. I wanted to be involved with art activism in countries often under-serviced on the international stage, when it comes to art.  So I founded GETTHRU, a T&T-based non-profit arts organisation.

This organisation creates projects that serve to educate cultures through the arts. It uses art as a teaching tool. The organisation’s first project Thru Contemporary, for example, houses and maintains a permanent juried collection of contemporary fine arts. This project is a collaboration of global artists, writers and curators.

Our mission is to acquire and promote the artworks of prominent contemporary artists from all over the world and share their works with communities who often don’t get a variety of international contemporary art on their home soil. We provide access to these works and create programmes to educate and inform about the collection and its relationship to the local cultures.

In addition we are interested in publishing materials and reaching out to general communities. Through exhibitions we make the collection available to the general public and we are constantly building relationships with galleries, museums and arts spaces around the world to exhibit various complements of this growing collection.

Who are the T&T artists involved in the project and who does what in its organisational structure?
We are constantly reviewing works from artists who submit pieces from around the world, but I must admit that most of the artists I have been following for years, so it was not difficult to begin this selection process. As an artist, I have donated works to the organisation. Additionally we have works from other locals, Adele Todd and Sarah Knights.

We are open to new relationships with established and upcoming artists. I was at a local furniture store on the Avenue and while testing out a chair I looked up and saw the work of Sarah Knights. I liked her work at first sight and two days later was at her home to see more of her art. In the case of Adele Todd I had known her and followed her work for years.  It varies.  These local artists are included in the permanent collection, but are generally not involved in the management of the organisation.

What are the benefits of working as an arts collective, especially in the way you’ve set up GETTHRU as an online collective?
The benefit is access. By working together we are able to move together as one, we are unified in a central belief about art and its importance in influencing cultural and social change. Together the group is stronger. With this strength we have greater access to exhibition spaces globally, as well as funding and possibilities to educate through the arts.

Most of the works in the collection are represented by galleries and are well established but this effort does not take away from the access they have already created with their audience. It simply extends the reach of their message while providing examples that can serve to broaden the definition of art to viewers.

What are some of the goals you have for the organisation? And have you achieved any of them so far?
Beyond the goal to educate through the arts, I would like to be able to work more with local contemporary artists and to continue to build a collection that shakes up the mind of even the most creative person and challenges them to do more and take risks with their art. I would also like to do more in the way of publishing books and catalogs about the collection and do more outreach with the art schools here and abroad.

In addition, I’d like to create more programmes to teach contemporary forms of art in underserved communities. We are also open to partnering with businesses and other organisations to expand our reach and fulfill our mission.

We are on our way. About six months ago we got started with the first ongoing project, Thru Contemporary Arts. Today we have exhibited in Germany, St Croix, and here in T&T, with future exhibitions planned for France and the USA. Our collection is very diverse in medium, from photography to paintings and mixed media. We have contemporary artworks from France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, Poland, Hong Kong, Iran and T&T.

What are your thoughts on the T&T contemporary arts scene? Who have you been watching—both in and out of your collective?
We are very talented here in T&T and setting our sights on contemporary art will help to enrich that area. Currently there are only a few collectors that are interested and few national grants available, so there are limited ways for the artists to make a living locally in the contemporary art scene.

Contemporary artists in other countries are often subsidised by the government through grants or stipends. In Berlin, Germany, for an example, contemporary artists survive on art grants and seldom create works for sale to the general public. This art is used to inform and educate or simply to create an experience for the public.

There are galleries and art spaces in T&T that are trying to promote and educate about the depth of contemporary art but without government interest or with limited access to grants, art collectors will determine the success of this movement in T&T and around the world.

More info


GA GARDNER in The Guardian Trinidad and Tobago

12 Aug


Gaurdian Trindid and Tobego logo

Thru shows contemporary works at Art Society

Sunday, August 9, 2015
T&T-born artist GA Gardner. Images courtesy Thru Contemporary Arts Collection

The Art Society will host the first Thru Contemporary Arts Collection from August 17-21. The exhibition will feature a wide variety of international work including mixed media, photography, embroidery and digital work from Thru Contemporary Arts’ permanent public collection.

“These contemporary works push the envelope and question the essence of what is art,” said a release from Thru Contemporary Arts, which the release describes as “a collaboration of artists, writers and curators.” Thru is a project initiative of the T&T-based non-profit arts organisation GETTHRU.

Contributors to the collection include Adele Todd, GA Gardner and Sarah Knights, all from T&T; as well as Judith Ganz, Germany; Serge Game, the Netherlands; Beata Obst, Poland; Behzad Mahmoudpour, Iran and Stan Squiewell, United States among other countries.
GA Gardner curates the show.

“The Art Society is very pleased to host Thru Contemporary Arts’ exhibition in August 2015. We welcome Dr GA Gardner, who will be curating this very important show of contemporary art at our gallery in Federation Park. It is imperative that the Society puts on shows like these especially for student artists, schoolchildren and university students and for many of our upcoming artists to take full advantage of viewing,” the release quotes Art Society president Clayton de Frietas as saying.

Gardner is the founder of GETTHRU. He said the exhibition will give residents an opportunity to enjoy a curated body of work from Thru Contemporary Art’s collection. Previous exhibitions have been held in Germany and the US Virgin Islands. Thru’s “message is one that will best benefit the people of developing regions such as the Caribbean, where access to an international body of contemporary art is limited,” Gardner said in the release.

Thru Contemporary Arts houses and maintains a juried collection of contemporary art. The organisation acquires and promotes the artworks of prominent contemporary artists. This public collection is exhibited at museums, galleries and spaces with the goal of educating and introducing under-served communities to various forms of contemporary art, the release said. This project focuses on exhibition, education and the preservation of contemporary arts.

The showing opens with a reception at the Art Society, corner Jamaica Boulevard and St Vincent Avenue, Federation Park, on August 17 from 7–10 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

More info


Please contact Morton Fine Art for available artwork by GA GARDNER.

Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

(202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com


ARC Magazine interviews GA GARDNER on his show “Timeless Remnants”

2 Oct

arc logo


Audible fragments amid the noise: An interview with GA Gardner

By Marsha Pearce Thursday, September 25th, 2014 Categories: Exhibitions, Features, Updates

Gardner’s contemporary art practice homes in on the colossal machine of mass media and the messages it churns out. He extracts bits of information, dislodging them from specific moments in time to create new narratives; new points of identification and fresh collages of meaning that have personal and collective resonance. In the lead up to the show at MFA, Gardner shares insights into his art, revealing the influence of his life in and travels between the Caribbean and the U.S., his navigation of the terrain of randomness, and his engagement with the territory of patterns. The artist also speaks about the significance of timelessness in his work and his commitment to making Caribbean and African identities audible amid a din of Western communications.

Marsha Pearce: The exhibition Timeless Remnants seems to draw on discourses of psychology, including the work of such thinkers as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Freud posited the idea of “archaic remnants” or an “archaic heritage which a child brings with him [or her] into the world” (1940, p167). Jung also proposed his ideas. In addition to what he saw as a personal unconscious, which serves as a repository of experiences that are unique to each person, Jung asserted the notion of a second psychic system. He called this second system the collective unconscious and described it as that which is inherited. Does your work engage with a universal inheritance that you are deliberately making conscious with your art? If so, what do you see as that inheritance and how do you attend to it in your creative practice?

GA Gardner: I believe that I, like all human beings, am influenced by what has come before me. That might mean the personal structure of my familial ties, as well as the influences of artists before me. I don’t believe that any human being or artist for that matter, can create in a vacuum. I see my inheritance, if you want to call it that, as one that is traced back to my African roots at the primal level and to my Caribbean heritage, most recently. That is overlaid with my experience in the United States, where I have spent most of my adult years. So, I call on all of these influences, this inheritance – this collective unconscious – in my work. I use the rhythms and colours of Africa and the Caribbean to filter the “sounds” and “expressions” of America’s global communication machine.

'So You'. GA Gardner. 65" x 42". Mixed media on mylar Photo credit: GA Gardner

MP: You seem to be foregrounding a specific collective unconscious; or pinpointing specific groups – African and Caribbean people. I am thinking though, about your attention to a global proliferation of media and messages in your art. Are we perhaps more and more the inheritors of a cacophony of media messages? Do you see that as an inheritance that is largely unconscious and one that goes beyond African and Caribbean “boundaries”?

GAG: Yes, that particularly applies in the 21st century, with the global reach and access of media messages.

'Indulge'. GA Gardner.  66" x42". Mixed media on mylar. Photo credit: GA Gardner

MP: I want to return to Jung as a reference point. According to Jung, the collective unconscious is said to be expressed through archetypes or patterns. Can you talk about the role of patterns in your work?

GAG: Patterns are a fundamental component of my work. They often emerge from randomness as information is literally sliced out of context to form a montage of images that carries random conversations. These overall patterns and shapes are replicated from ancient African and modern Caribbean design. Like the Kuba people of central Africa I am interested in the construct of pattern and design. In addition, I find and use contemporary materials and I add a Caribbean colour palette to create art that best symbolizes our current state of being. Though I allow the process to lead, I commit to cultural forms and lines – for example, the geometric foms and lines that are inherent to cultures like that of the Kuba people – as guides for the direction of a piece. This does allow patterns to emerge uninhibited from my work. This is the magic of the creative process – a life, seemingly of its own, that the artistic endeavour engenders.


MP: Your visual amalgams of material remnants seem time consuming. How does the passage of time factor into your work? How might the concept of timelessness enter your visual statements?

GAG: Since my work reinvents and reinterprets material, timelessness is at the center of my creative expression. Once I have disassociated material from its former use and place in time, I allow it to flow free; to be unfettered from the moment it was created, or from any limitations of space or time. The repurposing of these fragments of communication produces an ageless, timeless new identity, which frees my work from temporal boundaries.

'Curious'. GA Gardner. Mixed media. Photo credit: GA Gardner

MP: You live and work in the Caribbean and the USA. What is it that remains with you as you move between those spaces and how do those remnants of experience in both spaces inform your work?

GAG: My work is conceptual; it represents the struggle for identity that we all face in the midst of globalization – chiefly, the dominance of Western influences and the struggle to be heard amongst all the noise of media. This is apparent in my travels; therefore I am compelled to represent this conflict in my art.  I am not one who watches TV nor am I a news junky; I try my best to tune these elements out of my life. The very nature of going between these two countries reinforces the need for the messages in my art.  It is born of the fact that we in the Caribbean consume so much foreign media that we are often at a loss for our personal and cultural identity.

I bring the printed content of North America’s vast media machine to the Caribbean and recycle it, extracting its artificial hues, and often add a rich colour palette found naturally in my Caribbean surroundings. This is the synergy I want in my art. I am making a statement that despite the dominance of Western media, Africa and the Caribbean will be heard – at least through the colour palette and patterns in my mixed media art.

The exhibition Timeless Remnants runs from September 26 to October 17, 2014 at Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC, USA.

– See more at: http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2014/09/audible-fragments-amid-the-noise-an-interview-with-ga-gardner/#sthash.d5zYGO5i.dpuf


Marsha Pearce
Marsha Pearce

Marsha Pearce is ARC’s Senior Arts Writer and Editor. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus, Trinidad. She lectures in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at UWI and is also a freelance arts writer for the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian newspaper. Pearce is the 2006 Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Cultural Studies Fellow.

– See more at: http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2014/09/audible-fragments-amid-the-noise-an-interview-with-ga-gardner/#sthash.d5zYGO5i.dpuf

New work by GA GARDNER

14 Jan


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