Art at Cole's is a regular art series
showcasing local artists on the
walls of Cole's Bar in Logan Square

Art at Cole's is an AnySquared Project
Cole's Bar, 2338 N Milwaukee, Chicago

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FRESKO: An Exhibition
to Benefit Haitian Artists
Paintings from Haitian artists from coastal town of Jacmel. (September 4 – October 2, 2010).

Reception Event
Monday September 13 at 7pm
Reception with music by Chicago artists Ragged Claws & others. Desserts provided.

Press Release (pdf)

Exhibiting Artists
Jean Marie Charles | Download Bio (pdf)
Rose Marie Lamour |
Download Bio (pdf)
Prince Luc |
Download Bio (pdf) | video

Long held as an artistic epicenter in Haiti, Jacmel was broadly devastated by the January 12th earthquake. Each artist has their own story of having lost their home, family members, and their studios along with much of their work. In addition to the paintings on display, artisan crafts from one artist will be on display and portions from all drink purchases will go towards the artists as they continue to rebuild their lives in Haiti. The paintings on display, while drawing from a common cultural cache of images and motifs, highlight the dysfunction and turmoil of the artists’ experiences, which often subverts the typical pastoral naiveté common to Haitian folk art. Rose Marie Lamour and Prince Luc are members of the art school and collective FOSAJ located in the city, while Jean Marie Charles resides in the rural area surrounding Jacmel.

Poem about Fresko

Fresko is sponsored in part by The Carrefour Collaborative, a 501(c)3 charitable organization aimed at fostering development through creative collaboration.

A view of Jean Marie Charles’ studio in LaValle

Jean Marie Charles
LaValle Jacmel, Haiti

Jean Marie is an artist who lives and works inthe region called LaValle Jacmel. It lies on the outskirts of the southern coastal city of Jacmel, long recognized as an artistic hub in Haiti. His work has been featured in exhibitions in Port Au Prince and Jacmel. His paintings can be seen hanging in middle-of-nowhere hotels and houses in the hills surrounding Jacmel. A respected member of his community, Jean Marie has devoted his life to teaching the youth in LaValle. Having lost his humble studio in the recent earthquake, Gemey continues to teach children to make ‘artizana’ from the Haitian peet plant, which when dried closely resembles hemp. He creates unique accessories and figurines in a style that is all his own, and he is committed to sharing his talents with the youth of his community. His dream is that the young people in LaValle learn to support themselves.

His painting style is largely intuitive expressing an indicative Haitian style in its brightness and color, but lacking the naiveté that is often associated with Haitian art. Following in the footsteps of renowned Haitian artist Tiga Garoute, Jean Marie (A.K.A. Gemey) obscures traditional Haitian imagery and frees them from their typical meanings. While sharing an aesthetic with so-called folkart from the region, Gemey is not presenting a vision of Haitian culture, but a view from the inside looking out at the world, artistic or otherwise.

Download pdf of Bio with photos

Some of Jean Marie’s Students

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Rose Marie Lamour
Jacmel, Haiti

Rose Marie Lamour is a painter living in Jacmel, Haiti. Her small two-room apartment in Jacmel was recently destroyed in the earthquake as was the FOSAJ school of art where she created most of her work. A treasure to her hometown, Rose Marie represents a growing (yet all too small) class of self-empowered women in a country that has suffered a long history of sexism and oppression. Despite, having lost a sister in the earthquake Rose Marie has continued pursuing her art with steadfast Rose Marie’s work provides a panoramic view of Haitian life. She reveals the magic of Haitian culture from the pastoral beauty and tranquility of the countryside to the spiritual depths of Haitian Vodou. Having only discovered painting in her mid twenties, Rose Marie’s particular style reflects her youthful curiosity coupled with a nuanced perception of her own rich and perplexing cultural roots.

Rose Marie’s work is perhaps the most traditional in the exhibition, yet her range of subjects and her fluidity of style set her apart from many artists in the country. Like a dream at the edge of waking, her paintings reflect a world that teeters between paradise and hell with every moment.

Download pdf of Bio with photos



Haitian Art: Buried But Not Dead from Ciné Institute on Vimeo.


Prince Luc
Jacmel, Haiti

Prince Luc is an artist from Jacmel Haiti. He began working at the FOSAJ School of art, located on the beach right next to the port. He has since become one of the foremost artists among the organization of artists and a strong mentor to his peers. In the Earthquake he saw the destruction of FOSAJ along with much of his work, and the collapse of his house, where he lived alone with his two-year-old daughter Samara.

Jean Luc has continued his work with young people in Jacmel. He volunteers at the Art Creation Foundation For Children, a local foundation that provides Jacmel’s youth an opportunity not only to express themselves, but to do it astutely and creatively with skill and training.

Jean Luc’s work has been shown throughout Haiti and in exhibitions in the U.S. and France. His work communicates a vision of Haiti that is at once chaotic and monstrous, yet arresting in its brightness. While thematically, his work is disjointed and conflicting, it is the precision with which he commits these ideas onto the canvas that makes his work so visually striking. Jean Luc’s world is one of shear beauty in the midst of indelible dysfunction and his art stands as a poignant response

Download pdf of Bio with photos


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Fresko = Haitian Snowcone

Machann Fresko
(Snowcone Vendor)
by Josaphat Robert Large

the cart was circulating under the moon
turning rolling rushing through Post Marchand streets
one wheel higher than the other it was going along
huppity hup

push your cart, vendor
with that block of ice resting on it
and the 15 bottles of syrup of all colors
filld to the rims with old flies
old man vendor!
my throat’s dry
my spirit’s screwed up
my life’s all broken up so please, vendor,
shave some ice to put on my lousy luck
pour fresh air on my huge pain I have
in my heart
a snowcone, vendor, please!
put cherry on my sorrow
console my courage
I’m an artist who draws the tracks of Dominican yellow-jackets,
who paints the movements of birds in the sky
Ohhhhh vendor!
my girl’s run off she’s left me
the kite of my love broke its string last night
my heart’s busted, you hear, vendor!
scratch out a little poem for me
pour syrup on the words I’m writing here
make the poem sweet for my readers
grate phrases with cherry syllables for me, vendor
make the poem lift off the page
make it sing on the sheet for people who are sad
make it spread light with sunshine-bright words
on the page
make me create a poetic dream
so that I sow words in the act of writing, vendor!
I’m a caretaker of a treasury of words
all day long I watch over a town
that’s broken down

Fresko is sponsored in part by The Carrefour Collaborative, a 501(c)3 charitable organization aimed at fostering development through creative collaboration.

Press Release (pdf)

Art @ Cole's is an AnySquared Project. Also check out Cinema Minima.
Cole's Bar, 2338 N Milwaukee, Chicago, Illinois

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