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Sep 8, 1998

Artist makes debut at Fiesta

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Her first exhibition is being opened literally as I speak, but, judging from the quality of her work, artist Jeanie Shaw will become a regular on the Belizean art scene. Patrick Jones paid her a visit as she put the finishing touches on her show at the Fiesta.

Attitude! Innocence! Meditation! These are just some of the many moods captured in acrylic on canvass by Belize’s newest artist, Jeanie Shaw. Fresh out of college, it’s Shaw’s first crack at the predominantly male world of art. But with the likes of Rachel Heusner and Lita Krohn before her, this rookie is taking the plunge.

Jeanie Shaw, Artist

“Well, I didn’t really know it was predominantly male until I was speaking with Ms. Bev at the Arts Council and she informed me of that. I really haven’t thought about it much. I guess I am going to see how it goes tonight then I will know how I break into it.”

The twenty-three pieces, including six paintings that make up this inaugural exhibition, are the interpretations of life in the rural areas of the country through Shaw’s brush and the lens of her thirty-five millimeter camera.

Jeanie Shaw

“I think that everybody has their own style and everything and at the same time it’s hard to say what differs. For example Terryl Godoy does a lot of paintings of houses and buildings and things like that. Probably what sets me apart is that I would go out and take pictures of things that I want to paint as opposed to seeing it right in front of me and painting it that way.

It’s not too extensive. A lot of people might look at the pictures and say it’s in studio but it’s not. I don’t like having to deal with light inside of a building. I prefer doing outdoor photography so all of the photographs are outdoor – nothing special, no special lighting. It’s all sunlight and according to the time of the day, the window pane and different boards that are up and how the light seeps through.”

Shaw says she finds abstract a bit too challenging this early into her career and so she opts to paint people in familiar settings.

Jeanie Shaw

“I have only six. I have a set of little girls, both of them in Belize City and one in Orange Walk. And then I have a market scene from Punta Gorda, cause you know down there they have a market day and it’s really colorful. And then I have this one which is my very, very first painting which is a lady from Punta Gorda. She was just sitting around waiting on her friends. And then one other one of some kids in Orange Walk.”

From Orange Walk to Punta Gorda and places in between, Shaw has demonstrated that life in the metropolis has not cheated her out of appreciating life in the countryside.

Jeanie Shaw

“Because I think that down south in the country of Belize is much prettier, the people… I wouldn’t say they’re more beautiful but they just look more cultural. Belize City compared down there is more modernized and so it has lost all of that culture. I just find it more intriguing down there, even the scenery like Big Falls and the Coastal Road. It’s just very pretty and very nice as opposed to Belize City itself.”

And she doesn’t mind helping out Mother Nature’s paintbrush with some colors of her own.

Jeanie Shaw

“Well, I brighten it because sometimes like for example, “kids at play” was just a lot of kids in Orange Walk. Their clothes weren’t as bright and colorful and I think it’s much more attractive. And that’s what I think of Belize, as a beautiful, bright place and that’s why I try to brighten up the pictures or brighten up their clothes to make it look more colorful.”

If the pieces we showed you tonight have piqued your interest in this new artist’s work, you’ll have the next fifteen days to stop by the Fiesta Inn to meet her in person. Patrick Jones for News Five.

When the exhibition ends you can still meet the artist and her work on line. The address is

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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