Painting Mas

by Weldon Ryan

For the last 3 years the Art Of Carnival Exhibit has exhibited in Brooklyn, New York as an additional feature to coincide with WIADCA and its Labor Day Carnival on Eastern Parkway. As an addition to the art, which is created from past West Indian Carnival events throughout the US, we provides a cultural connection with the communities that celebrate carnival with an artist talk from a historical perspective about carnival characters.

My perspective on Carnival is that of a two dimensional artist with an emphasis on documenting the Carnival through my paintings. This is different than the emphasis of a Soca Artist or a designer of costumes. Musical creations provide an acoustic rendition of art and as African Griots and the statements of the season are what the costume designers bring.

But I feel my emphasis brings the event of Carnival full circle through paint and canvas. Naturally one may argue that photographers document each event. The difference in my form of documenting employ an interpretation which cannot be mechanically created because of my humanistic interpretation. Once we exhibit Brooklyn and shoot the Labor Day Carnival our attention is directed to the Carnival in Miami broward which will take place October 7, 2018.(https://miamibrowardcarnival.com/).Then we prepare for the following year.

Event Horizon:West Indian American Parade in Brooklyn

by Weldon Ryan

My Parents, four siblings and I came to the US from Trinidad and Tobago 50 years ago.  I was only six.  We settled in the Bronx on Faile Street near Simpson street with the IRT 2 &5.  I have vivid memories of the Bronx.  I also have held fond memories of Trinidad and my brief years spent in the Caribbean.  One of my most vivid memories was Jouvert and people drenched in black as Jab Molassie scarring us as we watched the procession of revelers.  That was it!  For a while I had no knowledge as to the history of Carnival or the activities surrounding it.  It was on occasion that magazines brought over from my Uncle Leslie I was able to get a glimpse of Trinidad Carnival.  Of course, certain songs of Calypsonians popped through my head and out my lips.  But it wasn't until moving to Brooklyn on Herkimer and Jordine Place that I got a good idea of what it is being from the Caribbean.  My mother's best friend who was Guyanese: god bless her soul, lived around the corner.  Boy did she throw good parties.  It wasn't just the parties that I remember but also the feeling of belonging to a culture.  Fortunately for my siblings and I my mothers friend had much older children and thus a more Caribbean vibe flowed.  Unfortunately it was short lived,  We moved back to the Bronx in my fifth year of public school. Thus, my longing for my Caribbean roots was placed in purgatory for a long while. 

The pull to my cultures was strong.  What I'm getting to is that the longing in my heart for a cultural awakening led me to this moment in my life. There is no turning back.  I'm totally loving my Caribbean food, Caribbean music and most of all, my Caribbean people with their own take of the world, their beauty and their pride.  I paint Carnival and the diasporas of Caribbean people, and I love it.  See you on Eastern Parkway on Labor Day.  You may be the next person I paint.


Jacksonville Carnival 2018

by Weldon Ryan

It was a cauldron of hot fire.  A perfect pot for a meltdown of carnival goodness.  The costumes were beautifully designed and the revelers gave a good jump-up as they march down the road to Metro Park 2.  The Celebration of Caribbean culture had begun in glorious fashion starting with The Gombey Warriors with there portrayal of Bermuda's Heritage.  These players had high energy which carried all the way down A Philip Randolph to the park.  I loved the band Carnival Couture Mas with there portrayal "Road Rage".  I don't want to cop favorites cause I loved them all.  Uzuri Mas was terrific too!  There portrayal Knocked me out with the old school meet new school of "New Dawn" with music by Music: Dj Zenergi * Dj Nate * Strictly Business Sounds * Eruption Hi Power.

I'd be wrong to not mention the food and entertainment.  When I'm out there taking my shots for future paintings my intention is for capturing good images to paint.  I'm bias to that.  The food was very tasty especially with the Tobago Shark and Bake.

The musical line up was a blast with The Legendary SuperBlue, Nessa Preppy, IMMAHATIAN257, Future Fambo, Scrouge, Preedy, Rayzor, Marzville.

The Jacksonville Carnival was a great time.  It's growing and I expect to see more next year as it will morph into a great event in a few years from now.  It's over due.

images by www.Calypsofineart.com and can be acquired at www.weldonryancarnivalpix.shootproof.com

Orlando Carnival 2018

Say What???  Two Orlando Carnivals?  There can only be one or so we thought. The 2017 Orlando Carnival Downtown was outstanding!  Best of all it was free!  This was brought to us by the original Orlando Carnival Association.  With the leadership of GGR Marketing the area for the carnival was also in a more swanky park!  But seeing that we had the curve ball thrown our way we made the wise decision to go with the originals and boy it didn't disappoint!

 

Machel Montano Was the headliner which provided me with more than enough incentive.  But despite having fewer mas bands than last year it was quite spectacular fete.  Andy's Krazy Krew and their multiple cynfully creative sections ignited the fire in us. Carnival Krew came to fete with their portrayal of "Out of the Caribbean" and Mr CC Productions portrayed "Bacchanal",  Another delite was the special college band portraying "All ah We is One Family"

Due to thunderstorm warnings the venue was changed from an outdoor to an indoor venue.  This meant that the entertainment was moved indoor to the Amway Center opening possibly other future Carnival events there.  Machel Montano and his crew of awesome dancers definitely benefited from the move and performed flawlessly! The one note I must mention is that Machel Montano came with his "The Full Monk Band", not a DJ.   Not only did Machel perform flawless, his band didn't miss a beat.  The best note is that this potential future event venue maybe courtesy of GGR and their expertise with regard to the future of the Orlando Carnival Downtown.  

Miami Broward Carnival is Fete central

by Weldon Ryan

As always, Miami Mas bands brought it!  The driving energy of Fete Central was in full effect.  Through the heat and humidity of Miami's october extremes all of the Mas Players partied to the max enjoying what Miami carnival is best known for.   I must say that the Mas Bands took care as of their players as best as they could with food, drink and the right party atmosphere to keep the party going even through the delay of Caribbean time.  Media had it much harder this year with a later than usual start of the Carnival Parade.  The heat limited my creative effort to a conservative effort and formulating plans for the shoot was hampered.  But I came away with great images of these beautiful costumes and the spirit of MIami filtrating through my lense.  There are key images that will be translated to canvas as soon as I recoup from this fete.  Digital Downloads of imahesAs always, Miami Mas bands brought it!  The driving energy of Fete Central was in full effect.  Through the heat and humidity of Miami's october extremes all of the Mas Players partied to the max enjoying what Miami carnival is best known for.   I must say that the Mas Bands took care as of their players as best as they could with food, drink and the right party atmosphere to keep the party going even through the delay of Caribbean time.  Media had it much harder this year with a later than usual start of the Carnival Parade.  The heat limited my creative effort to a conservative effort and formulating plans for the shoot was hampered.  But I came away with great images of these beautiful costumes and the spirit of MIami filtrating through my lense.  There are key images that will be translated to canvas as soon as I recoup from this fete. https://Weldonryancarnivalpix.shootproof.com/