Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Outta COVID-19: Artist Made Barbados is bringing the art party to you

Owner of Artist Made Barbados Shanika Grimes showing off one of her tie-dye creations

Owner of Artist Made Barbados Shanika Grimes showing off one of her tie-dye creations

Local artist Shanika Grimes will not allow COVID-19 to stop her parties.

And if you can’t get to her parties, she will bring the party to you - the art party, that is.

The talented owner of Artist Made Barbados has been thinking outside the box as entrepreneurs island-wide continue to face a myriad of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although art parties are a customary service Grimes has offered since launching her business in 2012, she has taken it a step further by bringing the artistic experience to locations across the island. 

During a visit to the Animal Flower Cave, Loop News got an opportunity to gain some insight into how Grimes has been navigating the challenges of COVID-19.   

“At first, I was very distraught, I was very scared with the shutdown because I require physical contact in a lot of ways with the parties,” she shared about the initial lockdown period earlier this year.

While pointing out that she did offer online camp and other virtual activities, she indicated that when restrictions were lifted individuals remained cautious about social gatherings.

“Even though we had physical camp some parents had a preference for online [camp], so we offered that service,” the art teacher said.

Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, Grimes was still able to offer a face-to-face eight-week camp option. As to how children embraced the mask-wearing, which has slowly become the “new norm”, Grimes said that the younger ones adapted well.

“Children are very adjustable. At first, at the beginning of camp, they were very frustrated with it but then after a while, they forgot that it was on. It just became a part of life and they stopped complaining,” she explained.

Grimes revealed that persons have become more comfortable with socialising but they were opting for smaller, more intimate settings.

She said: “The parties have picked back up really well because there are no big events like before but people want to get out, so they come together intimately with their friends and do parties.”

She also noted that there has been an increase in demand for adult art parties. 

“For the kids, it would be specifically birthday parties and for the adults, they do mix-and-mingle type things with their friends, so it’s almost every weekend,” Grimes said.

Grimes currently hosts art parties at Surfer’s Bay Beach Bar in Silver Sands, Christ Church, and The Rustic Chef at Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in St James. The 30-year-old creative was hosting her very first tie-dye children’s party on location at The Animal Flower Cave at the time of the interview.

The Artist Made Barbados studio located in Oxnard's St James comfortably accommodates 15 individuals, and with strict adherence to the established protocols Shanika is temperature checking, hand sanitising, and keeping the art parties going!

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