St. John paper is an artful effort

Tom Paine
and Shirley Reid say their St. John Sun-Times is a newspaper for the softer side of St. John.  He’s a novelist, she’s an artist, and together they’ve cooked up what Tom calls a bouillabaisse of different opinions from island people who are curious about St. John.  "Our interest in St. John is from the perspective of people who love the art and the music and the culture," Paine said.  "When we go around, we don’t necessarily see hard news stores, we see change which is picked up by two artist-type people."  His favorite interview in the past year was a one-on-one with Sen. Craig Barshinger at the island’s miniature golf course, while Reid’s favorite experience was – as a local – staying at Maho Bay campground.

A conversation with the owners of the St. John Sun-Times is this week’s News of St John podcast. Listen by clicking the "play" button below.

Subscribe by copying this link to your podcatcher: http://fbarnako.libsyn.com/rss 
Or go to the iTunes Music Store, search for "st. john" and you’ll find it.

St. John Singers prepare Mozart concert

Members of the 25-year-old St. John Singers hope to honor Mozart’s
250th birthday with a concert on island at the end of October or early
November, the St. John Source reported.  Once that is done, the Singers
will plan for their annual Christmas concert.  The concert programs
"lean toward classical," said Nancy Morse, vice president of the group,
although she the group’s repertoire includes reggae, original songs by
members, and West Indian Christmas tunes. 

Concert admission
fees as well as funding from the V.I. Council on the Arts help finance
the Singers’ efforts.  The Source reported, "Anyone who can carry a
tune is welcome to join."  Rehearsals at Monday evenings at Nazareth
Lutheran Church

Ronnie’s Pizza serves artists’ offerings

St. John has another place to see art.  This one is at Boulon Center, inside Ronnie Klingsberg’s pizza restaurant.  The initial exhibition included photographs by Bob Lefferts and watercolors from Jennifer Robinson, according to the St. John Sun-Times

Lefferts said "two perfect white walls" will highlight his work.  "I know some artists may wonder if this is an appropriate venture top show their work," he said, "but I loved the idea of breaking out of the traditional approaches to presenting art."

Schnell leaving Mongoose

SchnellOne of the island’s best known artists is moving his studio and gallery from Mongoose Junction to a second-floor space near O’Connor’s Texaco

Donald Schnell opened his business at Mongoose 26 years ago. "There was nothing but bush from the post office all the way down to Mongoose," he remembers.  During several decades, Schnell has designed lamps, sconces, dish ware and art pieces for resorts and homeowners from Cruz Bay to Seattle to Tortola.

His own interests have extended beyond the island’s shores, as he travels to Italy twice a year to find stone tile, terra cotta pots, ceramic fountains, bowls and counter tops for import.  "The island is now ready for these kinds of building materials," Schnell said in a news release.  The new larger space on the second floor of the Amore Center will also let Schnell create larger and sculptured works.  he expects to open for business at the new spot during the first week of April.

Art shows

WhiteheadBajo el Sol Gallery at Mongoose Junction has opened its first exhibition of the year featuring painter Pat Whitehead and ceramic sculptor Mandy Thody.,  Whitehead is a St. John artist whose work features a focus on local landscapes and their varieties of light.  Thody said all of her works "contain something actively alive, usually a person or animals, with the background as a secondary focus."  The gallery is open seven days a week. http://www.bajoelsolgallery.com/artists.html

05imhoffSt. John watercolorist Roy Imhoff is being featured with a collection of new paintings at the Solo Arte Studio Gallery at the Cruz Bay Lumberyard.

Raku in the Caribbean

Branfman2Steven Branfman, founder and director of the Potter’s Shop and School in Needham, Mass. will be on island May 2-8 at Maho Bay.  He will be teaching the making of Raku, a clay art form grown out of Japanese tea ceremony preparations. Potters take red hot pots and plunge them into newspapers and other materials to produce glaze effects. This workshop within a workshop offers a week-long "hands on" session, as well as a weekend only session from May 7-8. More information’s available at mahobayclayworks.com.