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Daily Inspiration: Meet Annick Duvivier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annick Duvivier.

Hi Annick, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Haitian-Born, Miami-based, I am a multidisciplinary artist; I started painting with the Haitian Master Ralph Allen when I was 12 years old. That’s when I discovered my passion for art and the power of color. After spending a beautiful childhood and teenage years in Haiti surrounded by happiness and lots of family, I was sent off to Miami as my cousin in Haiti had been kidnapped… I immersed myself in art as a way to cope with loneliness and all the changes; I think it was my first conscious experience with art as a positive form to express my feelings. Art became more than a hobby. By the end of my 12th grade, my self-portrait was hanging at the NSU Museum of Art with the Superintendent’s Advanced Placement studio art exhibit in 2006. They also offered me two weeks of studio classes at the Museum; I had won the arts and humanities award and the art cords for being part of the Art Honors society. I was accepted in the two year Fine Arts program at Altos de Chavon La Escuela de Diseño, in the Dominican Republic affiliated with Parsons in NY. I was reluctant at first because I would have to learn to speak Spanish; I had the best experience of my life. It was intense, but I learned to creatively see and understand head-hand communication, and I felt like a new person. My friendships from that time are still flourishing. It was an amazing experience. Soon after, I became an artist in residence at Festival arts Gallery, Haiti. Alongside Art Historian Dr. Marie-Alice Théard, I organized exhibits for more than 25 prominent Haitian artists. I learned the art business and all the different aspects of running an art gallery, but most importantly, the valuable art and culture of my country Haiti. I stayed there for five years, had my first solo show, and exhibited extensively in group shows, including a women-only exhibit at the Haitian Museum of Art “MUPANAH” as the youngest female artist; I was 22. Fast forward a couple of years, I got married and moved back to Miami; Last September 2019, I graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts at the Miami International University of Art & Design with the best portfolio award. Having learned all the mediums, ceramics, printmaking, digital programs, photography, my artwork is diverse but has recurring themes of identity, fertility, memory, nature, and a fascination for the human body. It’s been 14 years since I decided to become a professional artist and I have been actively working and creating.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My road has not been smooth, but I am the kind of person who sees the positive in every situation. The struggles I have had to deal with were always major life-changing events that have impacted a lot of people, for example, the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. My life was disrupted. My immediate family members all have miracle stories, but we buried an uncle and many friends. I escaped, Panicked, survived. We lived for three weeks in the garden with my family. During that time, I was observing nature and learned how to be grounded in the garden. This experience has influenced a lot of my botanical artwork. I created the Consumerism collection to share my awareness, my need to protect the environment, and my love of gardening. Current events have a profound influence on my psyche and as a result, on my artwork. The current lockdown due to Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter protest awoke in me similar feelings of deep anxiety that I had felt before. This painful experience exposed me to uncertainty and growth; I recognized it from miles away. Barefooted in my garden, I was reminded how to be grounded and the importance of being connected to nature, and for that very reason, I decided to go back to nature. The orchids were blooming despite quarantine and setbacks—Miami, Florida, another state that was really affected by Covid-19. I felt scared and really worried about the future. It was difficult to focus and blur the problems. I had to go back to basics in the studio in front of my easel to the creative place that brought me joy. I thought that if I painted a small canvas each day, it would give me a sense of completion. Each day I would only have to think only about the painting of the day. I went back to my garden, another place that gives me a sense of peace. It takes an average of 66 days to build a habit, and I saw myself wanting to be more and more in the studio, painting. And that’s how the 60-day orchid challenge was born.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a multidisciplinary artist and am known for my mixed media paintings. My work is a blend of my memories, my culture, nature, but this year was a trigger to bring light to traumatic events about race. I noticed that there could be a language barrier between people of various backgrounds and cultures. With this new series titled “Dialogue,” it was my attempt to use endangered species, varieties of the monstera plants to showcase the difficulties in communicating. I start by painting intuitively and then I look for references to add the details. I either have a clear idea of what I want to convey or the story comes to me as I am creating the work. When big problems are thrown my way, I figure out a way to meet the challenges. I am focused, determined and passionate about what I do. Quitting is not an option; this definitely sets me apart from other artists. I applied for an open call for MIA Galleries in August 2020, and my painting “Outside Influences” was selected out of 253 submitted artworks. My painting is now part of their permanent collection and will be exhibited at Miami International Airport. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment. I am also proud of the three exhibits during Miami Art Week I had simultaneously for the first time. It was very stressful to prepare all the pieces for the exhibition during a short period. But also so rewarding. Preparing means; the obvious finish the paintings, but also having professional high resolution images of all artwork, creating an image and price list, labeling and signing everything, taking the correct measurements, installing hanging hardware…having your biography and artist statement ready.

I learned all these steps at the Festival Arts gallery, and as an artist, it is so important to be exhibition ready. The three shows are open until February 2021: Local-Global, Global/Borderless Caribbean XII: Focus Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Center, Miami, Florida, Dec 2th 2020 to February 2021. (Painting showcase Consumerism Collection) Disperse – “What is it you don’t understand?” during the Arts and Culture Festival, Miami Urban Contemporary Experience, MUCE Gallery, Miami, FL. Dec 3rd, 2020 to February 2021. (Painting showcase Dialogue Series/ Video Performance) Art Beat Miami, virtual this year, Art Fair, Miami, FL 2020. December 2th 2020 to February 2021. (Ceramic showcase)

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Thanked these people who have transformed the student into a professional artist, as it takes communities to build an artist…. My husband and family, the professors, and mentors, the collectors, the buyers, supporters and followers, art lovers each of them play an important role in my career. • My family, my parents Reginald and Hansie Duvivier for believing in me, and my husband Jean Marie Etzwald Ligonde, who constantly encourages me and supports my crazy ideas. • Ralph Allen Haitian master painter, the first painting class, took when I was 12, where I discovered this passion; I loved drawing, but he told me that I had painting abilities. He taught me how to mix colors. • Mrs. Janet Rubinson, Everglades High school Art professor who had a deep impact on choosing art as a career. • My professors at Altos de Chavon, la Escuela de Diseño, affiliated with Parson in NY, specifically Raul Miyar, Sasha De Lemos, Marc Lineweaver. Mr. Steven Kaplan el rector, for teaching me how to see, critical thinking and creative problem solving, art mediums, and the proportions of the human body. Also, what it means to give your word and work with deadlines. • Marie Alice Théard, art historian, and Dr. Jacques Ravix for teaching me about the business of art and the history and culture of my country Haiti. But also work ethics. • My professors at The Miami International University of Art and Design specifically, the head of Visual Arts, Bryan Hiveley, Judith B. King, Mona Mandall, Rebeca Giling, and Adnan Razack, through their positive criticism encouraged and helped me discover my voice. • Ashlee Thomas and Bart Mervil Miami Urban Contemporary Experience, MUCE for giving me the space to exhibit my artwork. • The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, GMCVB for all the opportunities and the membership prize. • My collectors, buyers, followers, I would not be here without your continuous support.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jean Marie E Ligonde

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