It's not every day that a private collector decides to anonymously give away a painting by Sir Roland Richardson. But on October 30th, the Saint-Martin Tourism Office received a replica of the portrait of the deceased Laurelle Richards affectionately called "YAYA" by her family. The fact that Roland Richardson not only delivered the painting himself but personally chose the Tourism Office as the recipient of this beautiful painting makes it all the more special.
This great lady, pillar of St. Martin’s culture, actively contributed to making it live on through her poems. Yaya pen drenched in "Saint-Martin talk" chronicles the life and stories of yesteryear in the greatest simplicity.
In 1990, Yaya created the "Cultural Women Association of Saint Louis - Rambaud" to promote traditional cuisine and the St. Martin people folklore among other things.
This association still exists today and coordinates Saint-Louis Rambaud Fete in May, paying tribute to Yaya’s death on May 26th, 2010.
The delivery of this portrait was a great moment of cultural exchange. The portrait of Yaya has found its place at Saint-Martin Tourism Office and is visible by the public during office opening hours from 9:00am to 5 :00pm Mondays to Fridays.
Born on the island of St. Martin, Sir Roland Richardson is emerging internationally as a leading artist in the School of Caribbean Art, offering a unique view of his native West Indian culture as a “Plein Air” impressionist.
His mastery of multiple mediums including painting on location in oil, watercolor, pastel drawing in charcoal and extensive fine printmaking is rapidly earning the recognition and respect of art collectors and appreciators worldwide. Painting forever, 45 years, Sir Richardson’s work has been exhibited extensively around the globe.
His list of patrons includes the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Romare Bearden, Martha Graham, Harry Belafonte, Susan Lucci, former Massachesetts Senator Edward Brooke and the Getty Family among many others.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands knighted Sir Roland Richardson in 2007 for his lifelong artistic contribution to his community.
He has also received a life-time achievement award from the French government for his work.