SOLO EXHIBITION: "Ledgers From a Lost Kingdom"
Jun 15

SOLO EXHIBITION: "Ledgers From a Lost Kingdom"

Solo exhibition at |meter| in Copenhagen, Denmark. Curated by Rie Hovmann Rasmussen and Louise Lassen Iversen. The opening is on March 10th from 5-8pm with an afterparty at after party at Sorte Firkant, Blågaardsgade 29 in Norrebro. For more info see here.

The relationship with the US Virgin Islands and its former colonizer, Denmark, has often been characterized as an economic endeavor. One is which there exists an extensive archive of transactional information about the colonies through documents, images and objects. However,  since the sale of the Danish West Indies in 1917, most of this information was retrieved by Denmark and stored and archived far from the people of the now named US Virgin Islands. The upcoming centennial anniversary of this transfer marks a moment in which these archives are being digitized and made available for public consumption.  Yet, when records have been inaccessible to a community for so long, either through physical distance or language barriers, as Virgin Islanders do not speak Danish, there are other ways that collective memory has been formed. Inside the oral traditions, material culture and architecture alternative accounts and archives have been created that challenge some of the silences inherent in a colonial archive. Belle uses her work as a way of adding to the record by creating alternative documents and narratives. She also uses the framework of a ledger to challenge the objective authority of the archive by adding her subjectivity while documenting the agency of the subjects of these records.  Similarly, she looks to the architecture of the Virgin Islands as a record of the ways in which people constructed and negotiated their identities and spaces of freedom.



Group Exhibition: "Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017"
Apr 29

Group Exhibition: "Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017"

  • Caribbean Museum Center For The Arts

The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts cordially invites the public to "Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017," a visual arts exhibition curated by Monica Marin featuring recent work by Virgin Islands artists who are actively engaged in a conversation about the islands' colonial history, including the last 100 years as a US colony as well as the legacy of previous centuries. Themes of resistance, migration, identity, erasure, and visibility—as it relates to the structural history of colonialism and the ways in which it is manifested today—are among some of the topics that inform their work. This large scale, multimedia exhibition will include works by artists La Vaughn Belle (STX), David Berg (STX), Janet Cook-Rutnik (STJ), Edgar Endress (VA formerly STJ), Jon Euwema (STT), Gerville Larsen (STX), Lori Lee (FL formerly STJ) , Ellington Robinson (STT/DC), and Niarus Walker (STX). The show will also feature a presentation of student work featuring designs by island students for a new Virgin Islands flag.

"Invisible Heritage," as conceived and organized by curator Monica Marin, “addresses the ways in which vernacular culture- creole architecture, music, dance, folk tales and other artistic forms- reveal the blind spots and hidden story of our colonial and imperial history in the US Virgin Islands. Power works through historical discourse. In the VI, the Danish perspective of the colonial narrative has primarily been the focus of our history, thereby creating blind spots that conceal the African Caribbean contributions to our cultural landscape…” This, the second phase of the Invisible Heritage project, culminates with a visual arts exhibition featuring contemporary artists from the region who have begun to reframe the narrative through their artistic interventions. The Centennial provides a platform of visibility upon which to take a critical look at the stories, events, and people that have been excluded and to celebrate the rich African diasporic vernacular traditions that were created despite the many restrictions imposed by colonialism. These artists help us to reimagine our collective history in powerful ways and transform how we understand not only history and memory, but culture. Through their “revisions” they creolize methodology to create new culture, promoting the question: How can we utilize these new materials and approaches so that we can operate from the inside? And, by using the Centennial as a marker, how can we manifest our own destinies, reframe our past, define our own terms and be in control of our development?

This exhibition will include a public art component and student engagement workshop in which the student’s work will also be on display. Visiting artists/scholars along with Virgin Islands artists and teachers will conduct several student workshops within the public high schools. The group show, Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017 will open at Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted on Friday, March 24, from 6 - 8:30 PM. A panel discussion composed of VI artists and scholars will take place on Saturday, March 25, from 10 AM to 12 Noon. This exhibition is scheduled to travel to the VI Cultural Embassy in Copenhagen, DK in June, 2017.

Exhibition: "Chaney: Stories From Migrant Fragments"
Jun 30

Exhibition: "Chaney: Stories From Migrant Fragments"

An exploration of the history of colonial pottery through an interactive exhibition of art and artifacts.

Location: Fort Christiansværn, St. Croix

This exhibition seeks to examine this past in a collaborative exhibition by La Vaughn Belle, who is an artist from the Virgin Islands currently working in St. Croix and the Danish graduate student of Sustainable Heritage Management, Gitte Westergaard. The exhibition will be facilitated by the National Park Service through their collections and exhibition space at Fort Christiansvaern from March 31 – July 1 2017 in commemoration of the Transfer Day Centennial.

This exhibition makes everyday artifacts, that have never been on display, publicly accessible and breaks down barriers and the exclusions of the public from their own heritage. The exhibition thereby invites the community to participate in a discussion about heritage, identity and how to take ownership of the past.


100 Years of ...A Centennial Transfer Reflection Exhibition
May 2

100 Years of ...A Centennial Transfer Reflection Exhibition

Mongoose Junction’s monthly “First Friday” art & music event will be occurring the same evening from 6 pm to 9 pm.

The curators aim to spur reflection on how we in the Virgin Islands live our histories daily. This is necessarily a personal topic designed to elicit highly individual responses.

“100 Years of…” will feature:
 - New works by St. Croix artist La Vaughn Belle, who is currently involved in multiple residency and exhibition projects in Denmark.

- A video and installation work, “Colere,” by St. John’s Joan Farrenkopf, that explores processes of re-location and adaptation.

- St. Johnian artist Karen Samuel’s latest accomplishment in the art form of quilting.

 -  2-D and 3-D works from Janet Cook-Rutnik’s long-running investigation of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ transfer from Denmark to the United States.

- Figurative, expressionist sculptures by St. Thomas artist Edney Freeman.
- Thematic audio-visual collage by Eric Browne of St. Thomas.

- New paintings and ceramic works by Lisa Etre of St. John.

- New paintings exploring elements of V.I. history and contemporary life by Kristen Maize from St. John.

- New jewelry pieces made from fresh water pearls & “chaney,” ofColonial-era ceramic shards, by Monika Wendland of St. Thomas.
- Vintage V.I. photographs from internationally-renowned mid-20thcentury photographer Fritz Henle, who relocated to St. Croix in the 1950s.

- New paintings by St. Croix artist Danica David.

- Student Works by members of St. Croix Educational Complex High School's National Art Honor Society and SCEC Art Club, and select Gifft Hill School students.
- Commemorative V.I history card collections by Valerie Sims.
-  The St. John debut of a brand new book of vintage St. Thomas and St. John photograph
compiled by Elizabeth Rezende and Anne Walbom.
The Gri Gri project hopes to remind us of the words of Martinican philosopher Eduoard Glissant, that “after we arrange the chronology ofevents that we often accept as ‘history,’ the whole extent of our lived Caribbean histories remain to be discovered.”

The show will run until May 2.

5:30 pm17:30


As a part of the National Parks Lecture Series there will be a talk about the collaborative exhibition "Chaney: Stories From Migrant Fragments" with artist La Vaughn Belle and cultural heritage researcher Gitte Westergaard.

Seminar: Uncertain Archives at the University of Copenhagen
10:00 am10:00

Seminar: Uncertain Archives at the University of Copenhagen

Invited by Nanna Bonde Thylstrup of the Arts and Cultural Studies Department at the University of Copenhagen, Belle will be doing a seminar that talks about her work with the the Danish colonial period and its archives. Seating is limited. Please sign up with before March 9, 2017. 

La Vaughn Belle

Uncertain Archives featuring La Vaughn Belle.

Archives are instruments and sites of memory that intertwine past and present, here and there, in dizzying ways. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of the archival collections that were culled from the Danish rule over the US Virgin Islands. While the archival material – and the colonial regime that produced it – is often framed as things of “the past”, the working of the archive also shows how the past nevertheless remains a present fact in both the former colonies as well as former colonial regimes.

We will discuss these issues with artist La Vaughn Belle in relation to her ongoing archival work, focusing on questions of authority, authenticity and subjectivity.


La Vaughn Belle is a leading multidisciplinary artist from the US Virgin Islands whose work has centered around creating narratives that challenge colonial hierarchies and narratives.

She holds a MFA from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba and an MA and BA from Columbia University in NYC.

She has taught Humanities and Visual Arts at the St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands.

Her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions throughout the Caribbean, the USA and Denmark such as the Museo del Barrio in NY, the Havana biennial, the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen and the Whim Plantation Museum in St. Croix.

Over the last 10 years her work has focussed on the colonial legacy of the US Virgin Islands. Having changed hands seven times, the longest being Denmark and the last being the United States the question of coloniality has been a central theme in her work. She looks at history, architecture and other aspects of material culture to create a space to explore collective narratives, memory and identity. Her work is often presenting alternative narratives of resistance and agency and the power of the imagination to redefine our understanding of our world.


5:00 pm17:00


Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke welcomes you to four days of feminism, freedom and party!

In this talk the curators of the exhibition space I meter I and the development organization Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke / Action Aid Denmark have joined forces and will present a panel discussion about the link between feminism and decolonization.

2017 is the centenary of Denmark’s sale of the Caribbean Islands St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John to the US. For 250 years these islands were exploited as a profitable sugar industry, based on slave labour. Three quarters of the islands’ population today are the descendants of slaves and the structural and mental imprints of colonialism are still evident.

In Denmark we have spent a lot of 2016 debating ‘ Brown feminism’ – the issue of not only being a woman in the Danish society, but being a woman AND brown. The issues that arise are of racial and feminist character and some debaters talk about double-oppression.

°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°• PANEL °•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•

La Vaughn Belle – artist, the Virgin Islands (

Jeanette Ehlers – artist, Denmark (

Uzma Ahmed - co-founder of De Brune Feminister (

The debate will center around following questions:

- What is the link between feminism and decolonization?
- How can this be represented in the arts? What is your own experience and practice?
- Exploring the effects of colonization in a global perspective
• Fredag d. 3. marts:

Where: MS/Møderiet, Fælledvej 9, København N.


Group Exhibition: The Danish Connection
5:00 pm17:00

Group Exhibition: The Danish Connection

Group exhibition at Top Hat Gallery. I will be showing two new works on paper that deal with remaining elements from stories of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. Participating artists include: Nii Ahene-La, LaVaughn Belle, Lloyd “Dove” Braffith, Preston Doane, Bent Rasmussen, Niarus Walker and Roy Lawaetz.

Artist Residency: Danish Arts Workshop
Mar 14

Artist Residency: Danish Arts Workshop

In final preparation for the solo exhibition at Meter La Vaughn Belle will be doing a residency completing the project "Constructed Manumissions".

“Constructed Manumissions” is a project I began working on during my last residency in at the Danish Arts Workshop in August 2016. It consists of constructing small house models that use the fretwork designs of the town of Frederiksted in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. During the Danish colonial period this town was burned down during an 1878 Labor Revolt. Although slavery had been abolished 30 years prior, the working and living conditions were not much different. The town was rebuilt during what was known as the “Victorian Era” where these ornate building embellishments were popular. Additionally the shape of the house is based on the designs of the homes of the working class, in particular the “Free Colored” community in which my artist studio is located in Christiansted. Together the references speak to this larger idea of constructed and negotiated freedoms, how people created liberatory spaces for themselves, and how these ideas are very much connected to the architecture of the Virgin Islands, formerly the Danish West Indies.

Group Exhibition: NEW BLOOD
Mar 16

Group Exhibition: NEW BLOOD

Curated by Lucien Downes this group show explores new work by artists living and working on St. Croix. Caribbean Musuem Center for the Arts, St. Croix, VI

Group Exhibition: Unravellings, Udstillingsstedet Meter, Copenhagen, DK
8:30 am08:30

Group Exhibition: Unravellings, Udstillingsstedet Meter, Copenhagen, DK

UnravellingsUdstillingsstedet Meter, Copenhagen, DK

Curated by Rie Hovmann Rasmussen and Louise Lassen Iversen

2017 is the centenary of Denmark’s sale of the Caribbean Islands St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John to the US. For 250 years these islands were exploited as a profitable sugar industry, based on slave labour. Three quarters of the islands’ population today are the descendants of slaves and the structural and mental imprints of colonialism are still evident. Architectural details and street names bear witness to the Danish presence on the islands. Conversely colonialism helped to finance the Danish state and the construction of many of the historic buildings in Copenhagen. Our ownership of the islands influenced the development of Denmark both economically and structurally. But what about the mental imprints left on us by colonialism? Is an awareness of this part of our past only upheld through a sense of history or does it also influence our understanding of ourselves?

Unravelings is an exhibition of both national and international art that will slowly take form, develop and expand through different stages over the five-month long exhibition period.

For more information see this link.

12:00 pm12:00



Take Five Art Exhibition and Education Series features visual and performance works by Rashaad Newsome, Oceana James, Kharis Kennedy, La Vaughn Belle and David Antonio Cruz. These interdisciplinary artists confront the effects and legacy of colonization stemmed from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, through the lenses of gender, race, identity and power.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Belle's "The House That Freedom Built" is a multidisciplinary project that is centered in a 17th century historic property located in the abandoned neighborhood known previously as "Neger Gotter" during the Danish colonial era.  Later called "Free Gut" the area housed the "free colored" population during the slavery period. Belle's project includes documenting the renovation of the house, various social engagement activities and a recounting of the previous owners and residents of the space which have included African born market women to the most famous leader in Crucian history, D. Hamilton Jackson. Belle will present and immersive installation at "The House That Freedom Built" that will incorporate sound, text, photographs and video

For more information on the Take Five project see here.


Group Exhibition: "Where is Here" at the Museum of the African Diaspora
Apr 2

Group Exhibition: "Where is Here" at the Museum of the African Diaspora

Group Exhibition: "Where is Here" at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.  Curated by Jacqueline Francis and Kathy Zarur, the show will present works of contemporary artists who are developing personal and engaged languages to claim, make and describe space.


1:00 pm13:00

ARTIST TALK: Flensburg Maritime Museum, Germany

As a part of their exploration into the Afro-Caribbean contribution to the city, also known as the "Rum City", the Flensburg Maritime Musuem will host it's second annual AFRO-KARIBISCHES HOFFEST. Belle will present a talk on her work in in a section of the program entitled, "Post Colonial?".

Aug 15

Artist Residency: Danish Arts Workshop

Residency at the Danish Arts Workshop in connection with an upcoming solo exhibit at "meter" in 2017 that will connect to the upcoming centennial anniversary of the transfer of the Virgin Islands from Denmark to the US.

For more info on the Danish Arts Workshop click here and here.