How a Young Artist Finds her Way Through Painting at Le Centre d’Art in Haiti
July 08, 2022 | Ayiti Demen
Like many emerging artists in Haiti, Anaïse Hector relies on Le Centre d’Art’s free-of-charge resources and low-cost educational programs to hone her craft and build a career in visuals arts.
Photo by Yves-Osner Dorvil
Anaïse Hector, 21, is an artist at heart. She was exposed to art very early as her father used to make her watercolors full of magic. “I found the way he played with the colors fascinating,” she says. Her passion grew even more during high school years when she attended various drawing classes. But it was not until 2018 when she joined Le Centre d’Art –a vibrant hub of Haitian arts and artists located in the nation’s capital– that she became convinced of her creative potential. “I realized that art is not just a hobby for me but a form of expression, and that’s what I want to do. So I want to dedicate more time to my craft,” says Anaïse, also a psychology student. Her primary artistic activity is painting; at times, she can also get her hands on collage and sculpture. The dominant theme of her work is femininity, aiming “to free women’s body image from social norms.”
It is not easy to juggle school, art, and social life being so young, but Anaïse manages and stays focused. The biggest challenge, however, that comes her way is inadequate finances to procure painting supplies, which are very expensive for most emerging talents with low or no income. Le Centre d’Art, since its reopening in 2015, has offered a creative space, workshops, and art materials to more than 800 artists based in disciplines ranging from drawing, painting, sculpture, or even photography. “That helps me a lot when Le Centre d’Art gives me painting materials,” Anaïse says.
One of Anaïse’s favorite parts of being part of Le Centre d’Art is the opportunity to receive mentorship from some of Haiti’s elite artists like Mario Benjamin, Tessa Mars, and Pascale Monin. “Being around them and learning from them is a big deal and an honor for me,” she said. A highlight of her journey was the moment veteran Haitian sculptor Lionel St Eloi told her while working on a painting at Le Centre d’Art facilities, “You’ll become a great artist.” That is the kind of message of hope and confidence any young artist needs to hear.
"I used to be the only woman to participate in the art workshops, but that is no longer the case."
– Anaïse Hector
Despite the daily crises raging in the country in recent years, Anaïse is hopeful for the future. She is particularly excited to see a more significant feminine presence in the art landscape. “I used to be the only woman to participate in the art workshops, but that is no longer the case” she says. The recent all-female art exhibition, Vives, hosted by Le Centre d’Art in early 2022, brought her much motivation and inspiration. Ultimately, she wishes for “more growth in the art market in Haïti so that artists can make a living entirely from their artwork.