UniArte was founded in 2010, as a platform for creative exploration and stimulation that I myself had so missed growing up on Curacao. A country such as Curacao, with such a rich variety of art and culture must appreciate its artists. Creating appropriate, secure and sustainable facilities for long term use is an important aspect to ensuring a fertile and sustainable environment for art to flourish in a contemporary Caribbean context. The search for opportunities to grow as an artist for me was focused on connecting with like-minded artists from the Caribbean region. After my studies in the Netherlands, I wanted to emphasize the importance of respecting art, language, culture and life experiences within our diverse communities, both to the Curacaoan community as well as to myself. Galvanizing my own opportunities, instead of waiting for others to create them for me, I utilized my motivation, self-agency and self-responsibility by founding UniArte. UniArte was founded as a non-profit artist led organization, based in the Netherlands as well as on Curacao in 2010. After moving back to Curacao permanently in 2016, UniArte found a home in the former department store Casa Moderna down town Punda in Willemstad. I am proud to see UniArte enter its second year running an artist-run space at Casa Moderna in 2017.
Of course I could have never done this alone. My gratitude goes out to Glenn Emanuelson and Sulin Passial for drafting the foundation’s articles of association and functioning as board members. I also want to thank artist Avantia Damberg for energizing UniArte’s PR & Communication strategy and Hector Raphaela, Ar Bakker and Teatro Kadaken, who believed in UniArte at Casa Moderna from the very start. I’m indebted to Sawita Chotkan and Sasha Dees for their assistance and advice as well as Curadoet and all artists and enthusiasts who use the space and offer a helping hand.
Uniarte creates a cross-fertilization and exchange between artists and creative entrepreneurs, while bringing different artists and art disciplines to the attention of the community. This is accomplished through Uniarte’s website, the artist run space, workshops offered, exhibitions and many more artistic events. Uniarte is proud to be a frontrunner in Curacao’s vibrant arts scene, a new phase that embodies accessibility, inclusion and a do-it-yourself mentality.