Bajan artist Ras Akyem-i wants Caribbean art to go global

In a press release sent out by the Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC) Bajan artist Ras Akyem-i states that he wants Caribbean art to go global. “The time has come to create opportunities for Caribbean artists on the world stage”, he asserts. Sranan Art couldn’t agree more with this statement. We would like to add that the time has come too for the rest of the world to see the Caribbean as part of that -ever moving, always changing- world stage too.

Barbadian Ras Akyem-i Ramsay, Director of the Barbados-based art-aniMAL Inc., lamented the under-representation of Caribbean visual arts across the world. This under representation, he contended, offered creative visionaries an opportunity for leadership in this “virgin space.”

Ras Akyem-i / PHOTO Courtesy BBEC

“I hope to be to Caribbean Art what Bob Marley is to Caribbean music,” asserted Ras Akyem-i, who has earned global attention for his artwork.

“We are creating a collective of contemporary, forward thinking regional visual artists to overcome global perceptions that limit us to traditional images of fishing boats and palm trees,” he reported.

Recently funded by local venture capital firm BIM Ventures, art-aniMAL‘s chief executive believes he finally has the support system to fulfil such a grand vision. “I have found in BIM Ventures the supportive, embracing, family-oriented model which provides a strong structure to survive in today’s competitive world,” he said. The Rastafarian pointed to support in the form of finance and shepherding (mentorship) which has given him the launch pad to grow his young and progressive art company.

“There is something quite radically unique and daring about this local business organization’s decision to boldly circumvent the sterile domestic business traditions, and confidently invest timely funding in a visual artist or poet,” the Rasta mused. 

Sranan Art hopes that this investment in art, with money as well as mentorship, serves as an inspiration for other Caribbean companies.

Ras Akyem-i at work in New Mexico / PHOTO Courtesy BBEC

About art-aniMAL Inc.

art ani-MAL Inc. offers a rich collection of work by some of the most contemporary, forward thinking, visual artists in the Caribbean region. Established in 2010 by Caribbean artist Ras Akyem-i, art-aniMAL brings the creativity and credibility of the region’s best artists to the world.

About Barbados Business Enterprise Corp.

Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC) is a public/private sector partnership with the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) Inc. BBEC manages the Barbados Revolving Seed Capital Fund and the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund. BBEC is a virtual organization that focuses on promoting economic development in Barbados. For further information, visit the website, or follow on Facebook or Twitter.


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