The first time I met Satyr coincided with my introduction to the Macy's Heart of Haiti line. He and another artist came to Miami to share their art work at a conference I was attending just months after the 2010 earthquake as Macy's was beginning to sell Haitian handcrafts in their stores. I remember being drawn to the table because of his warm friendly smile and his incredible style of painting. I had no idea then what a big part of my life Haiti would become.
Satyr, as friends and acquaintances call him, lives in Jacmel, a seaside town south of Port au Prince. While Jacmel doesn't look far from Port au Prince, traffic in the capital city plus windy mountain roads make it a three hour expedition worth having, especially if it means saying hello to Satyr to see what he's working on.
During my most recent visit in May 2014, Satyr was working on fulfilling a large order from Macy's, including papier mache vases and trays covered with painted paper that had been torn and applied to give each piece a modern feel. Inside brown wooden trays were being painted with light blue before carefully applied bright blue pieces of torn paper were placed to allow the lighter shade to show through. Outside each tray was being sealed and then neatly arranged on the balcony in the hot sun to dry. On the floor were rows upon rows of brown unfinished papier mache vases next in line to be completed for Macy's.
"We are creating joy from remnants," Satyr has said of his work.
And indeed, there is so much joy that comes from the work that he and his fellow artists in Jacmel create.
To view Satyr's current creations for Macy's Heart of Haiti, visit their website (http://www.macys.com/haiti). Purchases within Haiti can be made from the Artisan Business Network showroom in the Petion-ville neighborhood in Port au Prince.