If you have ever ridden in a car on Bourdon Road from downtown Port-au-Prince to Petionville, you have certainly noticed the art stands that line the road just after you pass the turnoff to Delmas 60 and Delmas 48. The stands, almost on the edge of a cliff, are always brimming with colorful paintings, wooden statuettes, but most notably, impressive metal sculptures.
We met Francois Andre, the owner of the first stand to go up along the road back in 1973. He’s seen many changes over the years, and remembers clearly when cruise ships used to drop tourists off, many of whom would make it up to the hills above Port-au-Prince and generously buy from his shop.
Since then, he’s been there through many presidents, government upheaval, and civil unrest, and more recently the earthquake destroyed his home in the back, along with most of the artwork. The tourists have now been replaced by NGO workers and members of the U.N. forces. Despite the lack of business, Andre has held on and doesn’t hesitate to say that “we manage anyway.”
HaitiXchange will soon launch HaitiARtShop.com where people will easily be able to shop for inexpensive Haitian crafts from Andre’s shop. We will eventually expand and provide a wide variety of crafts from all over Haiti. Go to HaitiARtShop.com to signup and be notified of the imminent grand opening.