PHILIPSBURG--Some 27 living statues adorned the heart of Philipsburg in the vicinity of the Courthouse over the weekend, as part of the Caribbean Living Statues Festival 2015. Many locals and visitors came out to have a look at the open-air “art gallery” and to vote for the winning statue.
Themes of this third Living Statues Festival were “Celebrating Local Visual Artists” by representing their works in statues or tableaux; “Celebrating five years of Country St. Maarten” and “Celebrating Fantasy” by depicting famous cartoon, animated and fairy-tale characters.
The themes led to a wide variety of statues lining the streets, among which were pop singers Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, painters Ras Mosera and Roland Richardson, as well as characters such as Mary Poppins, Pink Princess, ballerinas, a slave, and a teacher and her student.
When all the votes were counted the two statues depicting artist Roland Richardson and one of his flamboyant paintings emerged as winners. The two young artistes received a certificate from Prime Minister William Marlin, who represented Government and especially Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs. Minister Jacobs could not be present for the prize-giving ceremony as she was out singing Christmas carols in the various districts.
The festival winners will represent St. Maarten next year during the World Living Statues Festival held annually in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
Second prize in St. Maarten’s version of the festival went to “Fisherman” and third place was for “Frankenstein.”
The three-day festival opened Friday with “Night of the Statues” at St. Rose Arcade and the nearby section of Boardwalk Boulevard. The show continued Saturday and Sunday with two days of presentations at Cyrus Wathey Square and the section of Front Street in the vicinity of the Courthouse.
Marlin said he had much admiration for this growing art form and for the participating statues who had to perform under “gruelling” circumstances posing “from when it started to get hot just until the time when it was going to cool off.”
The 27 participating statues went on display on rotating schedules for two days between 11:00am and 4:00pm. Many residents and tourists seized the opportunity to take pictures of the statues and to pose with them. Many statues were seen interacting with the public, which added an extra dimension to this art form.
The three-day festival was organised by Beyond Kultura Events Foundation, World Statues Foundation and Arlene Halley of National Institute of Art. The festival was preceded by training and workshops on body painting, storytelling by body language and costume-making help at the Festival Village.