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Fish Sellers at the Waterfront, Grande Terre, Guadaloupe, Caribbean
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CARIBBEAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Guadeloupe's Contemporary Art Scene   by Karen Joslin

Say "Caribbean art," and the most likely images which come to mind are vibrant tropical scenes and soothing ocean vistas. But in the case of Guadeloupe's contemporary art scene, you may be surprised to discover a wealth of originality. While Guadeloupe's artists do call upon island influences in creating their works, the results are often far from expected.

Old Truck with Spice Signs, Basse-Terre, Guadaloupe, Caribbean
Old Truck with Spice Signs, Basse-Terre, Guadaloupe, Caribbean
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Koukara

Meaning "the Caribbean colors," Koukara began in 1988. Still Guadeloupe's major art movement today, Koukara emphasizes the unity of the Caribbean people. Founded by art professors Klodi Cancelier, Lucien Léogane, and Jacques Lampécinado, its avant-garde aesthetic tends to be abstract or surreal, often with indigenous touches.

The most distinctive characteristic of the movement, the Fibressences method is employed by artists in making mixed media pieces. Fibressences incorporates natural materials in artworks, such as bits of wood, coconut fibers, sugar cane, and sand. These elements add an interesting three-dimensional quality to the work, as well as creating a close connection to the environment. Paintings in vibrant and deep hues make up the majority of pieces, but there are some exceptions. Karine Gabon paints on hanging fabrics and other materials, with an earth-toned color palette that enhances her primitive motifs; she also creates abstract sculptures. And Klodi Cancelier's paper series juxtaposed pieces of handmade papers painted with different colors and symbols.

Since its birth, the Koukara group has continued to grow. With many of Guadeloupe's artists taking part in the movement, its style and ideals will likely remain strong in the coming years.

Sugar Cane Road and Old Windmills on Marie-Galante Island, Guadaloupe, Caribbean
Sugar Cane Road and Old Windmills on Marie-Galante Island, Guadaloupe, Caribbean
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Other Contemporary Art

Although Koukara is the predominant genre, other styles of art are displayed on Guadeloupe, too. Thierry Bergame's surreal pop art displays a singular style and sense of humor. On the other hand, Déglas paints scenes with lighter tones and in a more naturalistic style, though he often includes fantastic elements like anthropomorphic animals and skeletons. Jean-Marc Hunt mainly uses objects like tools, pieces of wood, and even a sewing machine to create his sculptures. And while his paintings share a similar style with the Koukara group, his subject matter is generally quite different.

International acclaim has shone a spotlight on Guadeloupe's contemporary art scene. Its artists have participated in exhibits throughout the Caribbean, France, the U.S., Canada, and Costa Rica. In spite of its relatively small size, this island nation cultivates big talent.

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About the Author - Writing for Segisys travel web sites, Karen Joslin has explored the arts on Martinique-Guide.info, PuertoRico-Guide.info, and more. © 2006, Interactive Internet Websites, Inc.  Article may only be reprinted if it is not modified at all
FEATURED HOTELS & BEACH RESORTS IN  GUADELOUPE:
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Auberge de la Vieille Tour - Mgallery Collection, Le Gosier
This Le Gosier hotel is situated near the beach, close to Plage de Gosier. The hotel has a private beach, an outdoor pool, a children's pool, and tennis courts. This 4.0-star Le Gosier property features a hair salon and beauty services. Business amenities at this 4.0-star property include wireless Internet access and meeting rooms for small groups. There are 3 restaurants as well as a bar/lounge and a poolside bar. 24-hour room service is available. This property provides an airport shuttle (surcharge). The staff can arrange dry cleaning/ laundry services. Additional amenities include multilingual staff, gift shops/newsstands, and laundry facilities. 
Hotel Eden Palm, Ste Anne
This Ste. Anne hotel is close to Ste-Anne Beach and Plage Caravelle. Hotel Eden Palm has tennis courts, an outdoor pool, a steam room, and a fitness facility. This 4.0-star Ste. Anne property features beauty services. Business amenities at this 4.0-star property include a business center and wireless Internet access. Hotel Eden Palm has a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar. Guests are served a complimentary breakfast each morning. Room service is available during limited hours. Additional amenities include laundry facilities, multilingual staff, and a library. 
Karibea Beach Resort Gosier - Clipper
This Le Gosier resort is situated near the beach, close to Plage de Gosier and Place de la Victoire. Karibea Beach Resort Gosier - Clipper has tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and a children's pool. Business amenities at this 3.0-star property include business services and audio-visual equipment. Karibea Beach Resort Gosier - Clipper has a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar. Guests are served a complimentary breakfast each morning. The staff can arrange dry cleaning/laundry services, tour assistance, and currency exchange. Additional amenities include a nightclub, laundry facilities, and a children's club. 
La Cocoteraie, St Francois
This St. Francois hotel is situated near the beach. La Cocoteraie has a private beach and an outdoor pool. This 4.0-star St. Francois property features massage and treatment rooms. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. La Cocoteraie has a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. Event facilities include conference rooms. Additional amenities include laundry facilities, self parking, and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Televisions are equipped with satellite television channels 
La Plantation Resort & Spa, St. Francois
This hotel is located in St. Francois. La Plantation Resort & Spa has an outdoor pool. The property offers meeting rooms for small groups. La Plantation Resort & Spa has a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Additional amenities include air conditioning in public areas, self parking, and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Televisions are equipped with satellite television channels.
Le Golf Marine, St Francois
This St. Francois hotel is situated in the entertainment district. Le Golf Marine has an outdoor pool. Le Golf Marine has a bar/lounge. The staff can arrange tour assistance. Le Golf Marine has 61 guestrooms. Guestrooms have televisions. Guestrooms provide direct-dial phones. A fireplace is featured in every room. Bathrooms offer hair dryers. Additional amenities include air conditioning and wake-up calls. Balconies are featured in guestrooms. 
Saint John Perse, Pointe-a-Pitre
This Pointe-a-Pitre hotel is conveniently close to the airport, near Basilica of St Peter and St Paul and Place de la Victoire. Business amenities at this 2.0-star property include complimentary wireless Internet access, business services, and secretarial services. A Buffet breakfast is complimentary to guests. The front desk is open 24 hours a day. Additional amenities include laundry facilities, multilingual staff, and air conditioning in public areas. Saint John Perse has 41 guestrooms.
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