Native Stories in Aruba Today’s Column: Island Insight

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Passionate people are a delight to listen to, naturally depending their topic of passion. Two years ago Aruba Today met an inspirational man: Anthony Croes, owner and curator of Etnia Nativa, a museum or better a unique cultural experience center, where he has established his home and atelier since 2003. We are more than happy to have Anthony as our weekly columnist. He has been enriching the newspaper every Tuesday with his knowledge on the cultural heritage, flora and fauna of our Happy Island. His column, Island Insight, will definitely show you Aruba from a different perspective. Welcome Anthony!

Aruba Today visited Anthony at his home Etnia Nativa and you can have a look yourself to learn about this amazing place on Facebook Aruba Today under Videos Ask Pilar – Etnia Nativa. Now let us introduce Anthony to you.

Homage to Heritage

Anthony Croes was born in Aruba 13 April 1961. He is an Etnia Nativa based artist at Westpunt, originally from Companashi. As a kid, he demonstrated a natural interest and respect for his old world heritage as well as his natives’ ancestor’s history and their survival challenges. This same interest encouraged him to pursue anthropological studies as an academic call. For someone with such interest in cultural expressions it is no surprising that art soon became his yoga and took more time of his life he expected. This was after having suffered a serious spinal accident during a rain storm. So it was only a matter of time that he seriously considered art also as a full-time entertainment. This later gave way to be invited by many and various artists and curators to exhibit his work. On the other hand, it is perhaps understandable for someone of his generation and interest to pursue only one ‘single’ career.

Since this, he has come a long way in the notoriously hard to crack Aruban art world.

Anthony’s work is indicative of a more sophisticated re-invigoration of the islands indigenous aspect which is gaining force in contemporary art circles. Anthony explains that his work is an Aruban as it gets a blend of two totally different continents mind the old and the conquered with native’s Aruban approaching “. In this way, Anthony circumvents the conventional dichotomy between the ‘traditional’ and the ‘avant-garde’.

Initially, he established a studio called Shidaharaca in Oranjestad in 1998.

Anthony is currently the owner and curator of Etnia Nativa Art Gallery –Museum.

A unique cultural experience center, where he has established his home and atelier since 2003. For more information regarding the artist: Etnia Nativa, Westpunt 37-A, Noord, Aruba. Telephone 00 297-592-2702, email, website