How to understand Black art across the diaspora


The Caribbean

Tranfinite Passage, 1990 

   Oil on canvas  
Patrick Warsing Chu Foon

The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago

1943 - present

The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago, previously known as the Trinidad Art Society, is the oldest established art organization in the Caribbean. The NGO was founded in 1943  by painter Amy Leong Pang and watercolorist Sybil Atteck and born out of the idea that instead of being accessible to a privileged few, art should be available to all. Their work was pivotal in transforming the culture of Black art consumption in Trinidad and even garnered the involvement of artists from neighboring countries.

Because of  The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago, art was included in the country’s school curriculum, and art scholarships were made widely available. Today the Society seeks to nurture artists of all ages and stages in their process, emphasizing promoting and educating emerging artists.

The Working People's Art Class (WPAC)

1945 - 1956

The Working People's Art Class (WPAC), founded by artist Edward Rupert Burrowes in 1945, was the first established art institution in the colony of British Guiana, now the country of Guyana. Edward Burrowes was the only teacher and gave classes on traditional Western artistic methods in any available time to anyone who chose to attend.

The WPAC was an institution where common working people could develop their artistic skills and increase their awareness of the country and its peoples. As well as teaching the people art history and appreciation, the WPAC contributed to developing a national consciousness. The WPAC continued until 1956.

Dawn and Evening Star (Olmec Maya series), 1982 

   Oil on canvas  
  Aubrey Williams