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Featured Artist: Cadman Mattias
Featured Artist Cadman Matthias
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Featured Antiguan artist Cadman Matthias was born in 1958 on the beautiful Island of Antigua, the same year the Island of Antigua was formally defederated as a colony of the Leeward Islands and joined the West Indies Federation.
9 years later the West Indies Act of 1967, Antigua assumed status of association with the United Kingdom which allowed for Antigua to be fully self-governed in all internal affairs while the United Kingdom retained responsibility for external affairs and defense (Britannica).
As a boy of about 12 years old, young Cadman didn't like school because he wasn't very good at is but realized that he loved to draw. So, he started drawing landscapes, seascapes and flowers, but rapidly gained interest in portraits and still life.
Naturally, Cadman rapidly went from water and oil-based paints as he graduated to acrylics. As he got older, he desperately wanted to get a formal education in art or take private lessons, however he had no money for either.
One day, on what Cadman would describe as one of the most important events of his life, he stated "the white woman Pamela Wright from Canada came to Antigua to provide private lessons on summer vacation."
Cadman would attend the private lessons one summer in the 1960's where he stylized his work mainly concerned with movement and body language. He also was heavily influenced British artist Nick Maley who was a master at the air brush and island arts. Although Cadman describes himself largely as self-taught, as he reflects proudly on his many artistic influences and mentors.
Cadman is one of the most celebrated Antiguan born artist whose work hangs in a number of hotels around the Caribbean islands and in Florida that has become very popular with collectors locally and internationally. He was chosen to represent Antigua for its annual Caribbean Art Calendar in 1986.
He staged his first one-man show in 1987 at the Islands Arts, Aiton Place Gallery. In 1988 he did his second one-man show exhibition at the same gallery. That show gained him recognition he needed to enter into the Island Arts Quest Caribbean Art Competition in 1989, which he won 3rd runner up and the winner of the Supreme Award for Excellence, Best Human Study and Best Carnival Study (Antigua).
In the 90, s Cadman's career soared to new heights, his works were exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada in 1991 and in 1992 he presented his first exhibition at the Binal of Painters of the Caribbean and Central America held at the Museum of Modern Arts in the Dominican Republic.
As a result of the success and notoriety he received after Binal, he was invited to exhibit at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington D.C. in 1993. The same year he was one of the artists selected to represent Antigua at UNESCO's Caribbean Art Exhibition in Curacao, which started a three-year world tour in 1994.
Later in 1994, he was included in his 2nd Binal of Painters of the Caribbean and Central America that led to his work being featured in Island Magazine. Cadman's artwork has been featured in exhibits around the world including Antigua, Curacao, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Holland, France, Canada and the USA.