September Artist of the Month – Jadrix Louis

 

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Jadrix was raised with his brother by their single mother who made an income by doing embroidery and lace work, so from a young age he was influenced by her example of creative craft. She passed away when he was only twelve years old, but before she did, she introduced him to some artist friends of hers who began to teach and train him in the arts. He was born and raised in Jacmel, so when FOSAJ opened up in his home community in 2003, he was excited to have access to an arts education locally. He enrolled in FOSAJ’s programs early on and began learning the nuances of being a fine artist and painter from the organization’s founders, Patrick Boucard and Kate Tarcott Cross.

35078153_1977912269188053_122717871460581376_oHe’s always been drawn to abstract styles of painting because he believes it’s the best way to translate the spiritual nature of art into visual form. Painting has always been a sort of spiritual practice for him, a form of mediation and therapy. Whenever he is stressed or overwhelmed by the challenges of life, he goes to the canvas. When he is before the canvas and applying the paint, he says he often feels like it is not him anymore creating the art, but simply allowing his body to follow the movements of the spirits. His ultimate goal through his work is to transmit light into the world. He says that he understands that God shines light on everything that is on earth and hopes that his art can be a vehicle for the light and divine energy to be transmitted to every viewer that sees it. In that way, no matter where a work of his might end up, he hopes that it may be a benediction into the world wherever it is displayed.

IMG_3016He draws inspiration for the subjects of his art from many places, mainly from the African roots of his culture and from the elders within his own community. At the age of 38, he looks upon his elders with great respect and is constantly paying attention to the wisdom that they share. That wisdom often echoes in his mind as he paints. He also looks to his environment for inspiration. Often he will find unconventional objects to paint on and integrate into his work such as broken chairs, pieces of driftwood, or even a discarded toilet seat. When he paints on these objects his intention is always to give new life to objects that others discard and never let anything go to waste.

Now a single father raising two children of his own, Jadrix hopes the best for their futures in particular, whether they become artists or not, he knows that art will have an influence in their lives. He sees the work of Sant d’A Jakmel as vital to the community for Haitians of all ages. He worries about the children who are sick in the hospital who will never get the chance to discover their artistic gifts because their circumstances in life that are exacerbated by the poverty they live in, prevent them from learning art and discovering their skills. He regrets all of the older generation of Haitians that were never free to pursue their artistic paths because the demands of life in such a difficult environment never allowed them the freedom to become artists. There are so many of his fellow Haitians that have the natural talents to become great artists but don’t have access to the opportunities to nurture those talents. So the more and more that the services of SAJ can reach more and more people in his region and his country, the more hope that he feels his society will have for the future.

Thank you to all of our friends and supporters who make those programs possible for artists like Jadrix. May his art and all of the art from our center continue to be a blessing to you all.

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