Bajan Broughtupsy

Broughtupsy: (noun) Diminutive of brought up. (Caribbean) good manners. 


What was it like growing up on a Caribbean Island? This is a bit of a loaded question. I lived on the island of Barbados just shy of half my lifetime ago but the time I spent there, from 8 weeks to 16 years old, was integral in shaping my identity. One word to describe my childhood in Barbados – friendly. People had broughtupsy. 


I was involved in the art scene from very young, and was privileged to have been able to have been tutored and have wisdom passed down by wonderful creatives like Penny Rollitt; Heather-Dawn Scott; Corrie Scott, Ann Dodson, and Henderson Reece.


In primary school (the equivalent of elementary) I won my first NIFCA medal for sewing and painting. Unfortunately Barbados does not have a National Gallery, but there were many gallery spaces dedicated to showing the talents of local artists for collectors. 


The owner of Champers Restaurant championed my budding career by commissioning work and encouraging me to have works for sale at “On the Wall Art Gallery ” run by the talented and prolific Vanita Comissiong. When one of my batik inspired oil paintings sold, my naive self thought that I had officially made it as an artist because I could buy a plane ticket to see the other side of the world.


The Tides Restaurant on the West Coast of the island was another space that featured my art. Twenty years later and it feels like life’s turned a full circle because I am receiving a lot of support from the owners of The Tides Seafood Market & Provisions. What started as a commission for two paintings above their check out counter turned into a permanent gallery. They have also provided sponsorship for the upcoming Art & Seafood on the Waterfront  festival that takes place February 24th and 25th.


Safety Harbor has the same feeling as Barbados. Quaint, quiet, supportive, and a place with broughtupsy.


Become a Creative Pinellas Supporter