Birthdays are man’s way of marking yet another trip around the sun. Some warrant more fanfare than others, some we would truly wish to be forgotten. And yet there remain those that, on occasion, are to be celebrated in grand style. Such was a recent celebration we attended while visiting the island of St. Martin.
January 13 marked the 70th Birthday of one of the islands most recognized and most widely acclaimed artists, Ruby Bute. Ruby herself intended to mark the occasion with a new look, and a new gallery exhibit entitled “New Beginnings”. To know Ruby is to understand that in her opinion, life does not end at 70, but this will simply be the beginning of a new phase of her life. And she had no plans for entering into it sheepishly!
Ruby prepared for the event by creating a new persona, just as many young ladies do, with a new dress, and new hair design. Gone were Ruby’s telltale dreadlocks, now in favor of a shorter more fashion forward look. A new dress for the evening long celebration was selected, and Ruby was ready for the island to show their affections. And that they did.
Ruby’s daughter Jacklyn served as the MC for the evening. The Festivities started with an opening prayer and challenge by Pastor Hodge, and a recitation by the attendees. Island dancer and choreographer Clara Reyes recited a poem of inspiration and remembrance. Later writer Danielle Jeffrey, a well-known St. Maarten historian, read a bit about the impact Ruby has had on the island, and the role she had played in its history.
We had the privilege of being the invited guests of
the artist herself, and My Island Art was well represented with a party of six (6) in attendance. I was asked to address the audience and to speak a few words on behalf of the artist. We took the occasion to introduce a new product line featuring the work of the artist Ruby Bute. For this special occasion we introduced a new line of ladies dress scarves, using one of Ruby’s images as the print. You can now find the scarves in our on line gallery here. MyIslandArt
One of Ruby’s former art students, Lucinda Audain, spoke addressing her time as a student learning under the tutelage of Ruby. Lucinda has taken her art in a progressive direction and now specializes in Body Art.
The program concluded with a champagne toast, and the christening of the new exhibit “New Beginnings”, and Ruby ceremoniously opened the gallery doors. The large crowd filled the gallery and took in the seven (7) new works prepared just for the event.
Government politicos arrived as well to honor the artist, and as the day gave way to a full moon, a band played for the dancing crowd. Ruby herself confessed to dancing until 2:00 AM. I must confess, she lasted long after I did! In Ruby’s mind 70 doesn’t mark the end of an era. Indeed it marks only the beginning of a new phase. And judging by this event, the island is waiting with open arms to celebrate with her.
Live the Life,