Three Questions with Stacey Byer

By Holly Bynoe Friday, January 13th, 2012 Categories: 3 questions, Updates

Stacey Byer is a Grenadian painter and illustrator living and working in Grenada. She earned her B.F.A. at Ringling College of Art and Design, and her work reflects an abstract expressionistic influence.

Stacey Byer

+ Illustrator & Painter
+ Grenada

Over the past weeks I have seen a noted increase in children’s illustrations. Do you want to continue in this vein of work, and if so why is it important to you?

I love illustration for the simple reason that it is visual storytelling. I have in the past let my illustrative work fall behind my paintings so I’m making the greatest effort to resume old projects and really push towards the children book illustration industry. In particular, I want to show the rest of the world how contemporary Caribbean illustration can be an exciting respected addition to the world of illustration. Our  rich cultural Caribbean background can provide such great fodder for illustrative work.

How are you engaging with the visual arts culture of Grenada?

Since my return to Grenada, I have participated in the annual Arts Council’s shows  and  other themed shows the most recent    being the first Grenada Revolution. I have also judged a national art exhibition and curated the first all female artists exhibition in honour of women’s day in 2010.I just completed a  14 ft mural (an educational Caribbean jungle) for the Grand Anse Playgroup school and I’m currently planning a contemporary Caribbean art show this November with fellow artists Tracey Chan and Janetta Noel. Every third Saturday of each month I volunteer with ECIP (Early Childhood Intervention Program) where I paint with special needs kids for a couple hours. I’m a believer that art is a great medium to educate and enjoy at the same time.

Recently Justin Maller (visual artist/illustrator) made a comment through a blog post in Computer Arts. He said “ It’s good to feed your imagination with the things that inspire you from time to time, but ultimately imagination needs to be exercised more than it needs to be nurtured.”  Do you feel that a lot of artists rely on looking and not so much doing? What are your thoughts on this?

As an illustrator I know you have to think outside of the box to be able to tap into creativity. There is no limit to what your imagination can produce when duly exercised. Choosing the path of nurture or exercise is dependent on how adventurous you would like to be with the creative spin.

Perhaps some artists who choose to only produce representational work may have more of a challenge of putting creative distinct on realistic work but in my experience, I know many artists who produce very thought provoking work, which makes me realize that I’m looking at the way they think and not  what they see.


Holly Bynoe
Holly Bynoe

Holly Bynoe is a curator, visual artist and writer based in the Caribbean. She is the Executive Director of ARC Magazine, and a graduate of Bard College International Center of Photography (2010) where she earned her M.F.A. in Advanced Photographic Studies. She currently holds the position of Chief Curator at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, and is co-director of the annual arts conference Tilting Axis and Caribbean Linked Residency Program.