First International Arts Festival

(1998 Stamp Issue)

In July of 1997, Anguilla hosted its first International Arts Festival. Artists from many countries around the world came to Anguilla for a week of workshops, work, and enjoyment. The results of their efforts were exhibited in a show 6 months later and a prize of US$10,000 was awarded to the winner (see "Fresh Catch" below).

[Treasure Island, 0.15]

Treasure Island

The 15 cent stamp features "Treasure Island" by Valerie Alix, a painting which shows Anguilla's rich marine heritage.

[Posing in the Light, 0.30]

Poising in the Light

The 30 cent stamp features "Posing in the Light" by Anguillian Melsadis Fleming, with dolphins in an underwater scene.

The Three Dolphins have since the early days of Anguilla's political revolution been regarded as a national symbol of unity, strength and endurance. These friendly sea creatures have endeared themselves to Anguilla, appearing initially on the flag of the revolution, popularly known as "The Three Dolphins".

"Poising in the Light" is the theme of Melsadis Fleming's strikingly beautiful portrayal of three dolphins, magnificently poised in a brilliant beam of sunlight. Below this graceful display many exotic fish, coral and sea weed add an array of colour to this imaginative work.

Melsadis Fleming is one of Anguilla's growing number of professional artists. Mrs. Fleming was first exposed to art as a subject during her initial two year teacher training course in Antigua in 1981-1983. She later pursued a course in arts and crafts at MICO Teachers' College in Jamaica, where she developed an exceptional skill in art.

Melsadis receives her inspiration from nature and specializes in landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna. She uses acrylic on canvas as her primary medium. Some of her work is also influenced by Anguilla's traditional architecture.

Presently employed as an Arts and Craft teacher at the island's high school, Mrs. Fleming's ambition is to help perfect the artistic abilities of her students while developing her skill as an artist.
[Pescadores in Anguilla, 1.00]

Pescadores in Anguilla

The $1 EC stamp in this set is "Pescadores in Anguilla" by Juan Garcia, which was appealing because the lady in the painting is almost walking out of the picture.

Juan Garcia's "Pescadores de Anguilla" delivers a most important aspect of Anguilla's economy. The fishing industry has been and is a mainstay of the island's economic well-being and was the main foreign exchange earner prior to the advent of the tourist trade.

Garcia's central figure in his exquisite rendering is a housewife leaving the bayside with a basket of fish poised on her head and the excess carried in her hand. In the background the fisherman tend their nets in preparation for another catch.
[Fresh Catch, 1.50]

Fresh Catch

The grand prize winner in 1997 was "Fresh Catch" by artist Verna Hart of New York. It is commemorated on the EC 1.50 stamp.

[Bell Tower of St. Marys, 1.90]

The Bell Tower of St. Mary

The EC 1.90 stamp is the last in the set and features a popular painting from the festival, "The Bell Tower of St. Mary's" by Ricky Recaldo Edwards.

The bell tower of St. Mary's Anglican Church is one of Anguilla's log established landmarks dating back to 1927.

Ricky Ricardo Edwards, a native of Antigua, did remarkable justice to the painting of this stately edifice, which he has presented with careful attention to detail. The rustic stone feature of the 50ft tower is graphically depicted against the background of an indigo sky and fleecy clouds, typical of Anguilla's weather.

2nd Festival, Stamps Issued in Year 2000