Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ross University Art & Craft Fair, Dominica

On Friday Nov 19th to Sat 20th, Ross Univeristy held an art and craft fair at their Campus Activity Centre.
Apparently this event has been going for 5 or 6 years now but this was the first year I had heard about it and that was just by a chance passing comment made by a local artist earlier in the year.
It was a nice event - not only an opportunity for much needed sales and promotion for the many local arts and craft producers/sellers but also a relaxed environment for artisans to network and socialise with each other. It was also good for Ross students, employees etc who are often extremely "spare time" challenged, to see and purchase authentic local craft in one location and without having to travel very far. Those who were soon to be leaving the island could pick out souvenirs for friends and family or supporters and lovers of local art and craft could easily browse and shop for work from their favourite or newly discovered artist.
I really enjoyed the event, although the air conditioning was way to cold for me, and I met a few new artists that I did not know about.
What was especially good was that 15% of all sales were collected at the end for charity organisations (The Northern District Home for the Aged and CALLS) and to help the Dominica Arts and Crafts Producers Association (DACPA) with their outreach aims.
Many Thanks to the hard working organisers Carole Antone and Lene Larsen and all the others involved. I hope this event continues to grow from strength to strength and maybe it can be publicised a bit more next year. A few residents I have spoken to (including artisans) have mentioned they were not aware of it and would have liked to attend.
Perhaps someone (cultural Division?) can follow it with a Christmas Art and Craft fair. It would be great for more people to consider local arts and craft for their Christmas present purchases. They really need all the support they can get.
Also, I keep hearing about the importance of cultural industries so if anyone happens to be speaking to the PM ;-), please can they ask him to consider removing all import tax, duties etc from arts and craft materials which have to be imported by artisans as it would be a huge help to this struggling sector.
Click to view pictures from the Ross University art and craft fair
Click to view picture slideshow from the Ross University art and craft fair

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bitter wood, Dominica

I saw a guy in Roseau selling these "bits of wood" that he explained is used as a blood cleanser. I got some but my husband pulled a funny face when I got home and said that I had actually paid for these "bits of wood". :-)
Doing some reasearch on the internet I believe it's known as "bitter wood" and has been "used for centuries to fight intestinal parasites, ease digestion, reduce fever and cleanse the bowels. Moreover, it is also said to lessen one's taste for alcohol."
See - Bitter Wood
Has anyone ever used it?