About us The Caribbean Art Initiative is an independent, non-commercial program and network that is working to foster the development of arts and culture across the entire Caribbean region, raising awareness and promoting dialogue worldwide.
The focus of the Caribbean Art Initiative is on the arts and culture of the entire region, including artists working internationally in the Caribbean diaspora. We seek to place Caribbean art and artists in open and active dialogue with artists and art institutions around the world.
Each year, the Caribbean Art Initiative provides opportunities for artists, writers, and curators from the Caribbean to engage with the world, and for non-Caribbean artists, writers, and curators to engage with the rich and diverse cultural context of the Caribbean. Our multi-tiered program encompasses residencies, support for research trips, and platforms for cultural dialogue.
The Caribbean Art Initiative collaborates actively and on the long-term with cultural institutions and not-for-profit organizations that exhibit and support artists inside the Caribbean region, as well as with organizations outside the region that provide public interest and exposure for Caribbean arts. The Initiative is frequently present at major international events that foster an interplay between regional and global art scenes.
Through the sum of these activities, the Caribbean Art Initiative is working to nurture the next generation of artists, curators, and writers interested in the region and in contemporary issues in global development. These efforts advance future intercultural dialogue in diverse environments and recognize cross-border movements. As such, the Initiative is committed to the belief that artistic expression can shape social, economic, political, and cultural conditions – that a healthy cultural life is indispensable to a well-functioning, prosperous, equitable society.
Pablo León de la Barra | President of the Artistic Board
Albertine Kopp | Director Caribbean Art Initiative
András Szántó | Chief Consultant and President of the Patrons Board
Pablo León de la Barra was born in Mexico City in 1972, and earned his Ph.D in Histories and Theories from the Architectural Association, London. He has curated or co-curated more than a dozen exhibitions over the past decade, including The Camino Real Arcades (2012), Proyecto AMIL, Lima, Peru; Novo Museo Tropical, Teorética, San Jose, Costa Rica (2012); Microclimas, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2012); Marta ‘Che’ Traba, Museo La Ene, Buenos Aires (co-curated with Beatriz López, 2012); Incidents of Mirror Travel in Yucatan and Elsewhere, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2011); Incidentes de Viaje en Centroamérica, Chiapas, Yucatán y otros lugares [Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, Yucatan and Elsewhere], Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala City (2010), and To Be Political it Has to Look Nice, apexart and Art in General, New York (2003). In London, he was a founding member of 24-7, a collective of artists and curators (2002-05), artistic director of Blow de la Barra Gallery (2005-08), and founder and co-curator of the community art space White Cubicle Gallery (2005-12). He is also the founder of the Novo Museo Tropical, and was the curator of the first Bienal Tropical in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2011). León de la Barra serves on the advisory committees of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, and the Fundación Luis Barragán, Mexico. In 2012, he received the first Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean.
Albertine Kopp is one of the founders of the Caribbean Art Initiative, a non -profit programme that aims to support contemporary arts from and across the Caribbean region and promote its cause globally.
Prior to the Caribbean Art Initiative, Albertine led Davidoff Art initiative for 6 years, where she formed a profound Caribbean network of artists, institutions and local businesses. Through her role she was able to promote Caribbean arts at international art fairs, incl. Art Basel, Venice Biennale, Frieze, ARCO. She connected local artists to widely recognized institutions in New York, London, Berlin, Beijing and Bogota. She created a lively artist residency exchange that allowed various international artists to work in the Caribbean. Her work was recognised with the European Corporate Art Awards in 2017. Throughout her career, Albertine worked in arts, communications and marketing with museums, art fairs and corporations. Prior to focusing on Caribbean Arts, Albertine worked with Volta Show, Deutsche Bank Collection and Louis Vuitton Communications in New York, Paris and Frankfurt. Albertine is member of the board of Kunsthalle Basel
András Szántó is a New York-based, Budapest-born writer, researcher, and Chief Consultant and president of the patrons to the Caribbean Art Initiative. The co-author and editor of five books, Szántó is a contributing editor for The Art Newspaper and co-founder of ArtworldSalon. He was previously Director of the National Arts Journalism Program and the NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University, and has lectured on art business and marketing at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. He advises leading museums, foundations, and corporations worldwide and is a moderator of the Art Basel Conversations series.
Artistic Board Members
Sara Hermann, O’Neil Lawrence, Gabi Ngcobo and Philip Tinari
Sara Hermann is a Dominican art historian, curator, and founder of the creative collaboration agency, Estudio del Sur. She has curated several exhibitions and written extensively on Dominican, Caribbean and Latin American Art. Sara was Visual Arts Specialist at the Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes (2005-2013), Director of the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) in Santo Domingo (2000-2005), and Coordinator of the Publications Department (1992-2000). Along with her research and curatorial work, Sara Hermann has lectured at universities in the Dominican Republic on Contemporary Caribbean Art and the History of Caribbean Art.
O’Neil Lawrence is Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica, and also has curatorial oversight for their western branch National Gallery West. He was the lead curator on the exhibitions Seven Women Artists (2015), Masculinities (2015), I Shall Return Again (2018) and Beyond Fashion (2018). Lawrence is an artist whose photography and video work has been included in several international exhibitions. His research interests include race, gender and sexuality in Caribbean and African Diasporal art and visual culture; memory, identity and hidden archives; photography as a medium and a social vehicle; Caribbean and general art history and museums and other public cultural institutions. He has also contributed essays to publications on Caribbean art most recently Histórias Afro-Atlânticas Vol 2 Antologia (MASP 2018). In 2018 he served on the Board of the Davidoff Art Initiative and he is currently on the Advisory Council of the Caribbean Art Initiative.
Gabi Ngcobo was the curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Since the early 2000s, Ngcobo has been engaged in collaborative artistic, curatorial, and educational projects in South Africa and on an international scope. She is a founding member of the Johannesburg based collaborative platforms NGO – Nothing Gets Organised and Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR, 2010–14). NGO focusses on processes of self-organization that take place outside of predetermined structures, definitions, contexts, or forms. The CHR responded to the demands of the moment through an exploration of how historical legacies impact and resonate within contemporary art. Recently Ngcobo co-curated the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, 2016, which took place at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion in São Paulo, BR, and A Labour of Love, 2015, at Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main, DE. She has worked at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, SA, and at the Cape Africa Platform where she co-curated the Cape07 Biennale, 2007, Cape Town, SA. In the past she has collaborated with various institutions including Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ES; Durban Art Gallery, SA; Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, SA; Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC), Johannesburg, SA; LUMA/Westbau, Pool, Zurich, CH; New Museum, Museum as Hub, New York, US; and Raw Material Company, Dakar, SN, among others. She has been teaching at the Wits School of Arts, University of Witswatersrand, SA since 2011. Her writings have been published in various catalogues, books, and journals.
Philip Tinari is director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. There he oversees an exhibition program devoted to established figures and rising talents both Chinese and international, aimed at an annual public of more than half a million visitors. Prior to joining UCCA in 2011 he was founding editor-in-chief of the bilingual, international art magazine LEAP. He previously served as China advisor to Art Basel, founding editor of Artforum’s Chinese-language website, and lecturer in art criticism at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He has written and spoken extensively on contemporary art in China, and sits on advisory boards to institutions including the Guggenheim and Asia Society. In March 2014 he curated the Focus: China section of The Armory Show in New York.
Board of the Association
Sven Hoffmann, Basel, Switzerland
Pierre Guillaume Kopp, Hong Kong