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The High Price of the Pandemic for Grenada’s Creatives WRITTEN BY SUSAN AND ASHER MAINS PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARTHOUSE 473

In March of 2020, Oliver Benoit, painter and curator, was in the midst of opening his long-planned sound installation of the Grenada Revolution. Years in the making, he and his assistants had recorded the voices of dozens of Grenadians, telling their own stories from the days of the Revolution. Accompanying this were over 40 of his abstract paintings, giving a visual, emotional underpinning to those voices. Art House 473 41

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in Calliste was totally cleared for this exhibition. The set-up created a scenario whereby the voices playing all at the same time made it felt like a crowded room. It is an historic presentation of the Grenada Revolution on home soil, an attraction onto itself. In that same month, March 12, another history-making event was about to sweep Grenada. St. George’s University announced that in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it would send 6000-plus of its students to their homes in the USA, Canada, and elsewhere throughout the globe. The Government of Grenada did an immediate and decisive shut down of the country — no school, no business, and in the

immediate a near 24hour curfew. It was necessary — no one knew how the virus would spread. What was known was that the medical facilities in Grenada were not adequate to handle a nation getting sick all at the same time. But what this meant is that the usual market for Grenada’s creatives was completely gone. All the plans and preparation and personal investment for Oliver’s seminal exhibition fizzled. Only a few dozen people got to view and experience the exhibition. Disappointment does not begin to describe the feelings of those involved. In the weeks that followed, Susan Mains Gallery applied to the government to be able to receive the grants being afforded those in the tourism sector affected by the evaporation of that sector overnight. Even though 95 percent of sales of the gallery were

Profile for VISION Magazine

VISION August Issue 2020  

VISION Magazine is published quarterly by The Butler Group. Visit thebutlerplanproject.org to learn more about the mission of The Butler Gro...

VISION August Issue 2020  

VISION Magazine is published quarterly by The Butler Group. Visit thebutlerplanproject.org to learn more about the mission of The Butler Gro...

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