Guyanese sisters in US showcasing culture via popup and online events
Two Guyanese owned non-profit organizations Green Fashion, Art & Design Museum (Green FAD Museum) and International Museum of the Saree (IM of the Saree) founded last year by US-based Guyanese twin sisters, Ashvini and Ush Persaud, have been promoting Guyanese art and culture as well as other cultures around the world.
For the last year, through their pop-up and online events, the sisters are using their platforms to get creative about sharing culture around the world.
Both museums have mentioned established designers of Guyana, such as Michelle Cole, Sonia Noel, Randy Madray, Roger Gary, and Max Starzman, as a start.
The project initially started with the sisters wanting to feature Guyanese in art, fashion, and entertainment at home and abroad. However, they expanded to the art and culture of other countries with the hope of celebrating differences in culture and talent and embracing them.
Beginning in 2019, they have popped up in a number of communities in the USA, welcoming artists, and designers globally. The museums have remained sustainable through their traveling pop-up museums that feature vintage, modern multicultural and historical fashion, art, and design.
Green FAD Museum and IM of the Saree are prospective participants at the upcoming Land-X-Change, MICE Conference this year slated for Montego Bay. The conference provides a venue for buyers and sellers from different parts of the globe.
IM of the Saree
Meanwhile, the founding of IM of the Saree was inspired by a Bombay doll and the bringing together of vintage and arts of communities to inspire generations to come. As a result of this doll, IM of the Saree now creates miniature dolls and figurines to tell fashion art history which are placed in their created sets as if they are performing for the camera.
IM of The Saree includes volunteers with family history in Guyana, Trinidad, Venezuela, Jamaica, India (Maharastra, Kerala), Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Ecuador.
Green FAD Museum
Green FAD Museum’s first feature was ‘2 Organic Apples’. The fine art painting done by artist T Kowalski became a cancer awareness fashion art tribute driven by a young Polish patient’s battle with cancer, his love for apples and a parting message for the world. The painting depicts 2 green apples.
The man’s dying wish was for people to question what is put in their food, that people take responsibility for what they are eating and hold accountable those creating their food. Next was the sportswear wardrobe for Miss World Guyana 2019, Joylyn Conway, when she participated in the sports leg of the competition in London last year.
With COVID-19 raging the world, fashion art tribute masks were added to their Fashion Art Project in memory of all those, including healthcare workers, adversely affected by the global pandemic. These tribute masks and the entire Green FAD souvenir collections are available for purchase.
The proceeds will go to various future community healing arts projects. The pop-up, which is privately funded, has thus far been able to donate US$6,000 in masks, medical supplies, and children’s toys to hospitals, medical centers, and essential workers, supporting lower-income communities.
Meanwhile, creative director, Ashvini, last December received an honorary citation from New York State for excellence in community service.
Ashvini said in a release, “What is exciting about these pop-ups for Guyanese and Caribbean [people] is that they proudly carry Guyanese and Caribbean paint to print tropical collections as a central fashion and pro-tourism fashion art projects, opening a doorway to arts and fashion of the people of South America, amidst ongoing oil discovery. ”
“Midnight Kaieteur, Morning Kaieteur, Discovery of Oil In Guyana, God Is Real, Fowl In Dee Backyard, House on Dee Riva, Billy & Bully Goat, Bride and her Billy Goat visit Dee Kissing Bridge, Sari Pon Dee Abary/IM Of The Saree, Ash Goes To Mash, 3 Queens and Me, A Chinese Guyanese, Old Kai, The Dutchman of Fort Zeelandia, 1744, Cow Now On Pascha, Mascarade Cow, Guyana Hat Peppa, Lotus Gyrl meets Flora and Fauna, A Portuguese of Madeira, Mighty Roraima, Kanoo Gyrl and Essequibo River are several of the fine art paintings /figurine sets brought to life as art set or mini videos during pop-ups or online. The series will continue to include surprise figurines of Guyanese and global figures in 2020-2021.”
Made In Guyana Prject
Made of Guyana (another of their projects), exhibits historic eco-friendly hand or custom figurines, toys, tourism ready apparel, eco-friendly budget conscious and luxury bags, shoes, the painting turned paint to print fashion with drop ship for a modern yet abstract historic yet fashion perspective of Guyana, all designed by Guyanese.
Guyana’s new First Lady, President and cabinet members are invited to participate in their fashion and ancestral history with the submission of vintage fashion for the New Age Guyana Art Project. The photos can also be used to created souvenirs, such as, art biographies and tributes for loved ones.
Ashvini explained that the Made of Guyana project is an innovative idea that was created to collaborate with Guyanese artists to have their work converted into fashion pieces. This creates a whole new market for artists.
Those looking to collaborate with the Persauds and their team are required to contribute a small percentage of all proceeds from their sales. This gift shop idea will not only promote Guyanese artists for just one time around but will promote their work continuously as well as provide them with the much-needed copyright protection.
The creative director added that they are also interested in work from the Indigenous communities in Guyana.
The pop up is welcoming vintage photos and videos of saree, salwar, hajab, lehengha, dhoti, kurta, and accessories for continued social media features and documentation.
They seek all Guyanese participation in this project for a public social media feature. They can provide as a service, custom fashion art gifts, historic family tributes, and art for departed loved ones, which can be reserved private or public.
Persons can donate or loan to the museums, photos, Indian artifacts, or attire that will be used in their projects and returned.
Persaud acknowledges the volunteers who have been exceptional in their projects:
The Persaud family, Nataly Horan, Autumn Rose, Wendy Pascal, Rhonda Binda, Valentina Gojcaj, Patricia Langford, Dianne Madray, Giamon Luong, Sandra Ung, Nadiushka Vega, Adres Jaramillo, Georgette Perimenis, Katryn Lopez, Raymond Ally, Ravi Beepat, Indarjeet Pal, Linda Greenhause, Gonsalves DeAgrella family, Roxy Pierre, Renee Hastick Motes, Cloyette Harris-Stoute, Melissa Noel, M Jennings, Sharon Legall, Sara Golan, Kermit Urena, L M Verges, Ann Narine, Persaud-Dial Family, Lorenzo Izarra-Dial, Azeez and Angel Contributor, Tom Kowalski, P Bisoondial, Dr Bindu Babu, Diane Madray, Rhonda Binda, Patricia Langford, Pulmath Bisoondial, Z Chowdhury, Sara Golan, Pallavi Shetvate, Veronica Hossain, N Vega, Poonam Chung, Izarra Dial Family and the Wong family.
So far many of the pop-up events have been privately been funded out of the pockets of the founders and other volunteers. Green FAD Museum and IM of the Saree are inviting the various ministries in government to participate in their projects seeking to preserve culture and heritage globally. Interested persons can also make donations towards any of their projects.
They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org/203.667.1673
fb/ig: international museum of the saree/imofthesaree.
Heritage shop: www.greenfad.shop.