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Art in the Park

Lyn_Rapley_in_studio~ Our favourite festival is here again ~

We gather each year – artists and admirers – to meet and greet and buy something sweet. There is sunshine and shade, music and food, but, mostly, we come for the art. From jewellery to wood carvings, paintings to pottery, handbags to handmade soap, there is so much to see and so many friendly faces to share the experience with.

The venue is still Emilio Wilson Park and entrance is still free (although parking in the adjacent field is $1 – a donation to the park). It begins at 10:00am and goes until 5:00pm on Sunday, February 8. Bring the family for a great day of fun and shopping in the sun.

Consider buying gifts at Art in the Park, even if the person's special day is months away. You are sure to find something for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life. Whether you are just browsing, socializing or prepared to purchase, there is no doubt the fun will find you.

Weekender offers a sneak peek at a few of the booths that will be open at the show this year.

Pottery

Do you appreciate beautiful plates, platters, mugs and sculpture? Check out Lyn Rapley's booth displaying her wonderful work.

Lyn has been residing on St. Maarten for more than 10 years. She recently took up a hobby she had started more than 30 years ago, but that lay dormant in the interim.

Initially, Lyn worked with artist/sculptor Tumay Yalcin, but quickly started to collect equipment for her own studio. Working on her own, she's developed both the functional pottery and ceramic sculpture areas of clay work.

Lyn loves to play with colours and shapes and likes the feel of clay once it has been fired into a functional piece and is in your hand being useful. Come out and see her collection, find out more about her process and take home something special.

Making soap

Daphnee Prevoo is a trained artist and has worked all different sculpture techniques, including stone, wood, clay, steel and concrete. In art school in England, they experimented with sugar and soap-making as three dimensional processes. That was the first time she ever made soap.

She lived in Africa (Swaziland) for many years and started a small soap-making company. When she gave birth to her daughter Tefari, who, like many other babies, had terribly sensitive skin, Daphnee started changing her attitude about the ingredients in her soaps. Now her soaps are completely organic and vegan.

Daphnee's soaps are lovingly handmade using the traditional cold batch process. This method preserves the nutritive benefits of the oils and retains the natural glycerine commonly removed from commercial soaps, creating a rich, gentle lather. She wrote WEEKender, "All of my soaps are lovingly handmade in small batches using earth's finest skin-loving, natural, mostly organic and completely vegan ingredients such as cold pressed oils, pure aromatherapy grade essential oils and herbs. My soaps are free of synthetic perfumes or chemical hardeners, harsh detergents, chemicals and sulphates. All my soaps are tested on humans: Friends, family and neighbours, and they love it!!!"

Daphnee's aesthetic sense as an artist makes each soap different and they are literally their own individual little art pieces! So unwrap and be amazed...and that only with completely natural colorants like annatto, alkanet and peppermint powders.

"Having moved to St. Maarten from Swaziland in Africa, I brought my soaping secrets from the homeland and have now created a blend between the continents. I believe in levity; respecting everything alive in this world.

"My soaps are a beautiful unity of Caribbean, African and European vibes dedicated to creating the finest natural handmade soap. This dedication is reflected in every bar of soap I make. I love the time consuming process of soap making, with its secret recipes and a lot of stirring...it's truly a labour of love and every bar of soap's main ingredient is just that!!"

Painted tiles

Micka's paintings reflect a joyful and sparkly St. Martin, described with quick dots of happy colours enhanced with touches of tropical light. She uses acrylics because in her eyes, their brilliance is the most faithful to the beauty that surrounds us.

Micka says she arrived on a boat and, charmed by the island, she stayed. Right away, she set up her art station, and her colours and shapes started flowing on paper, wood, steel, plastic, T-shirts, glass, mirror, saran wrap, foil... At the moment, they are printed on paper, magnets and small, cute, ceramic tiles.

She has named her tiles evocatively: "La Casa Rosa"; "Tropical Garden"; "View over Orient"; "Sunrise in Galion" – true to her love of St. Martin. Check out Micka's booth and all the other wonderful artists on February 8 at Emilio Wilson Park. See you there!

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