ARTIST Martin Superville has been honoured by the Tobago Visual Arts Association (TVAA) for his contribution to the development of the island’s art fraternity.
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) presiding officer Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus presented Superville with a token of the association’s appreciation on Wednesday during the opening of its Carifesta XIV art exhibition at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex.
The event, which launched Carifesta activities in Tobago, featured pieces from 19 artists.
Superville, in a brief acceptance speech, said Carifesta provides an excellent opportunity for aspiring artists and veterans to showcase their talents.
“People have a lot of creativity they are not exploring, and this could be the catalyst,” he said.
The founder of the Art Gallery in Lowlands, Superville began painting professionally over three decades ago. Although he favours oils, he also works in charcoal, pencil, ink and watercolours.
His works, which often depict cricket, steelband, dance, Carnival and the beauty of TT and its women, are in the tradition of realism. One of his most recent projects was the Expo Art Tobago, which brought together many artists from across the region.
Superville’s works have been featured at exhibitions in Washington, Anguilla and Barbados.
Superville said working with one’s hands is a beautiful experience.
“For those involved in the creative world, it is a beautiful thing to be doing things with your hands because if everyone is making stuff and doing things, nobody would be fighting against one another and beating up against one another. We wouldn’t have time.”
Superville said he was grateful for the honour but lamented artists do not often get the opportunity to be celebrated.
In his address, TTVA president Tomley Roberts, an art teacher at Speyside High School, said Superville has pushed art single-handedly in Tobago and he regarded Superville as the most established artist on the island.
“There were several artists in Tobago, but they were hardly ever heard of. But when Martin came on the scene, you started to hear about art. You started to see art. Young people started to get involved in art,” he said.
“He started a very interesting buzz in Tobago. He came here determined. He persevered and showed every single person in TT and the region that art can be a very successful industry.
“He influenced a lot of artists and was also a very strong critic.”
Saying artists must be recognised when they are alive, Roberts said the association is focusing on honouring living legends.
“And, fortunately, Mr Superville is a living legend,” he said.
The exhibition featured pieces by Cindy Crawford, Jeannine Crouch, Askala George, Chris Thomas and Amber Shaw. Also on display were the works of Maureen Trotman, Adrian Sookdeo, Dr James Armstrong, Ronald Rodney, Earle Etienne, Harold George, Joseph Bacchus, Jason Nedd and Duneiski Pileta Lora.