Champagne tastes and mauby pockets: towards healthy cultural eco-systems

Annalee Davis


After more than four and half years of programming, The Fresh Milk Art Platform is at a significant juncture, pondering what sustainability looks like in a region where the needs of visual artists outstrip the capacity of the environments they live and work in. As a social practice art project with a vision exceeding its financial means, Fresh Milk (FM) seeks a model that acknowledges the local and regional context. It is committed to expanding the critical arena, asserting itself in a way that is not driven by the market or by external forces out of sync with its own agenda. In the quest for sustainability, FM questions how a small, artist-led initiative might continue to respond to the needs of local contemporary visual artists. A new model is required to allow spaces like FM to maintain their intellectual and creative independence and become less vulnerable economically. What is a viable model for a social practice, artist-led project like FM that may contribute to strengthening healthy cultural eco-systems locally and in the Caribbean? This articles merely shapes the contours of such a model.

Keywords: Fresh Milk, Caribbean, contemporary art, sustainability, innovation

Full text:  OAJ_issue5_davis_final_v2 (PDF 1.5 MB)


Biographical note
Annalee Davis is a Barbadian visual artist and cultural activist. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and MFA from Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. Davis teaches part-time at the Barbados Community College, and is the founding director of The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc., a socially engaged art platform. She was recently appointed as the Caribbean Arts Manager for the British Council.