At HEART in Haiti, we like to raise money for our school while supporting the local businesses in Haiti. Auctioning beautiful metal artwork made from recycled oil drums has been a fundraiser supported by the Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville, NY since 2012. The current auction has started and will run until October 4th.
We purchase the artwork from “La Sirene”, a group of artists in Village Noailles, Croix des Bouquets. La Sirene, the mermaid, is a powerful image in Haitian lore, the Lwa (spiritual being) of wealth. With this auction you will be adding to HEART’s and Haiti’s wealth.
This is a bit of background about the artists. The idea of La Sirene was begun around 1999-2000 when Jean Robert Jacques took a class in metal art with a man named George Lioto, who is known as the founder of the art in the Croix des Bouquets area. Jean Robert began thinking and dreaming of starting a metal shop, where tourists and Haitians could come to look at the beautiful art and support a business. He and his two brothers took out loans to start the business, buying materials to work with– steel drums, varnish, hammers — and paid groups of workers to begin carving their artwork. Throughout the years they have worked as a team, paying off all of the loans and continuing to work towards expanding their art skills and their business reach.
Jean Robert learned to make steel drum metal art in the 1980’s as a young boy and has never stopped since. He is the founder of La Sirene, and is very happy to show visitors around his shop, to show them unique, beautiful artworks. Jean Robert specializes in making voodoo art pieces with recycled objects we use every day such as spoons, knives and forks. He is married and has seven children. When Jean Robert is not working he likes to relax and think about life.
Jean Garnier was born in the village of Croix des Bouquets, and grew up to the sound of metal art being made by his brother Jean Robert and the rest of the metal working community. He specializes in art that is inspired by nature, and that shows life. Butterflies, birds, trees of life, fish and sea creatures are some of the nature artwork he frequently produces. He also loves to make pendants and bracelet jewelry.
Jean Garnier lives with his wife and they have a daughter. In his free time, he likes to relax in a quiet place in nature and be inspired by what he sees and think of new ideas for metal art.
Belony was born on May 17, 1982, and grew up with Jean Garnier in Croix des Bouquets. He also grew up to the sound of workers making metal art and learned the craft at a young age. He is very religious and says he is inspired by God and everything God has created on the earth. He creates many angel and cross designs for metal art and also enjoys making faces and things inspired by nature.
In his free time he enjoys reading the Bible and attends church about three times a week.
Below are some pieces featured in the current auction. So please visit Aroma Thyme Bistro for the food, the drinks, the auction, and the fun.