A nod to Aruba’s icons during Aruba Art Fair

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Starting today and during this weekend, Aruba Art Fair invites you to soak up the culture of the vibrant city of San Nicolas. This year, international artists joined the creative celebration and paid homage to Aruba’s cultural icons.

Aruba Art Fair takes place from Friday the 4th of November until Sunday the 6th of November. It will be a weekend packed with art, music and creativity in the colorful city of San Nicolas. 80 artists are participating in restoring old murals as well as painting new ones, and we caught up with two of them who were paying homage to two cultural icons of Aruba, Hilario Dongen and Sarah Quita Offringa.

Sarah Quita Offringa, 31, is a worldwide windsurf sensation and 20-time World Champion (13 Freestyle, 5 Slalom & 2 Wave). Sarah Quita has a special connection to San Nicolas. Portuguese artist MR Dheo, who has participated many times in Aruba Art Fair, this year is working on a mural to honor Sarah Quita Offringa. He told us he was inspired by the nature of Aruba and wanted to include different colorful flowers for his mural, and he knew he wanted a woman at the center of it. He met Sarah Quita, and decided to dedicate the mural to her to celebrate her incredible achievements.

Hilario Doncken is a famous journalist in Aruba. This year, the government presented him with an award for his many years of service in the local press. He is known for being a long-time activist for San Nicolas and the local community. Canadian artist Jenna Schwartz found out about Hilario and decided to dedicate her mural to him. This is her first time taking part in the Aruba Art Fair and she told us she loves being on the island and learning more about the culture. In her mural she included the famous light posts at San Nicolas, which are locally associated with Hilario as he would constantly make sure that they were working properly.

Stop by this weekend to admire the finished murals, as well as all the other artistic attractions! A weekend pass costs $20.

Post Aruba exhibit
This year, Post Aruba is collaborating with Aruba Art Fair by holding an exhibition of 50 pieces from their private collections. These are art works that were created by local artists to be made into post stamps for the Post Office, but had never been exhibited before. The pieces were chosen to represent specific themes, and include works by local artists Gustave Nouel, Angiolina Henriquez, Armando Goedgedrag, Nigel Matthew, Ludwig de L’isle, Ronald Lemminga and Stan Kuiperi.

Each day this weekend will be completely different. On Friday the 4th of November, most of the performers, singers and poets all come from the area of San Nicolas or are related to San Nicolas, so the night will be dedicated to celebrating the Sunrise City.

Saturday will be dedicated to the youth, with participation of Arte di Palabra (“word art”), as well as different dance schools that have been celebrating anniversaries this year, for example, Club di Movemento which is celebrating 25 years. The day will be dedicated to notable events throughout the year that did not receive much exposure, but are coming to San Nicolas to be celebrated with everyone!

Finally on Sunday there will be a Multicultural Parade, celebrating that Aruba is a multicultural island. “Be it you were born here or not, your ancestors one way or another came from another place, and this makes Aruba so special”, organizer Tito Bolivar said. There are 108 nationalities living in harmony in Aruba, “and I think that is one of the secrets of the One Happy Island.”