After Naomi Osaka collaboration, Black artist stuns with ArtiGras poster

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PALM BEACH GARDENS — Lake Worth painter Tracy Guiteau will be the first Black artist to design the poster for the ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival, an annual celebration of community and artistic expression held in northern Palm Beach County.

Guiteau's poster for the "Garden Party"-themed festival is a striking portrait of a woman with celestial lilies over her eyes and surrounded by flora and fauna native to Florida, including lantana flowers and blue salvia.

The 2022 poster for ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival was designed by Tracy Guiteau, a New York-born Haitian American artist who now lives in Lake Worth.
The 2022 poster for ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival was designed by Tracy Guiteau, a New York-born Haitian American artist who now lives in Lake Worth.

"I'm excited about it because we need more representation, especially of the Haitian culture," she told The Palm Beach Post this week.

"I want to let other Black artists know this is possible: Doing what I love and making a living off it. That's my freedom right there."

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Art took Guiteau from New York to London to Miami

Guiteau, 36, was born in New York to Haitian parents who wanted desperately for her to be a nurse. Always an artistic child, she veered from those expectations and attended the Rhode Island School of Design.

Artist Tracy Guiteau, inside of her studio in Greenacres.
Artist Tracy Guiteau, inside of her studio in Greenacres.

After attending the University of Westminster in London, Guiteau came to South Florida to study at the New World School of the Arts in Miami.

After her graduation in 2003, Guiteau moved north to West Palm Beach to escape the Miami congestion. Her immediate family moved down to Florida not long afterward.

Since then, her work has caught the eye of artists and celebrities.

'Osaka Wave,' a complete neon art installation by Tracy Guiteau. This was a collaboration between Naomi Osaka, Tracy Guiteau, and Uninterrupted - presented by Nylon Magazine's third annual Midnight Garden Party during weekend one of Coachella. Tennis balls sponsored by Yonex.
'Osaka Wave,' a complete neon art installation by Tracy Guiteau. This was a collaboration between Naomi Osaka, Tracy Guiteau, and Uninterrupted - presented by Nylon Magazine's third annual Midnight Garden Party during weekend one of Coachella. Tennis balls sponsored by Yonex.

In 2019, Guiteau collaborated with tennis pro Naomi Osaka to produce "Osaka Wave," a neon art installation where she hand-painted a mannequin figure and dressed it in a skirt of more than 500 pleated newspaper tear-sheet replicas. It was surrounded by 1,000 glow-in-the-dark Yonex tennis balls.

Guiteau also contributed to a mural at 518 Clematis St. in downtown West Palm Beach that displays the history of the civil rights movement.

A mural on the Respectable Steet wall at 518 Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach shows the history of the civil rights movement utilizing portraits and quotes Friday, February 26, 2021. The mural is a collaboration between Street Art Revolution artists Dahlia Perryman, Eduardo Mendieta, Tracy Guiteau, and Nate Dee. The artists combined styles to create the mural using both spray paint and hand brushwork on the 100 feet wide x 18 feet tall wall. The mural was funded by the West Palm Beach DDA.
A mural on the Respectable Steet wall at 518 Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach shows the history of the civil rights movement utilizing portraits and quotes Friday, February 26, 2021. The mural is a collaboration between Street Art Revolution artists Dahlia Perryman, Eduardo Mendieta, Tracy Guiteau, and Nate Dee. The artists combined styles to create the mural using both spray paint and hand brushwork on the 100 feet wide x 18 feet tall wall. The mural was funded by the West Palm Beach DDA.

Guiteau's work stands out as one of the few ArtiGras posters to feature a person in recent years. Typically adorned by nautical or beach-related landscapes, those posters evoke the feeling of living in tropical Florida.

Her 2022 poster took a different approach and instead instills a sense of serenity through the blooming landscape surrounding the woman. Much of Guiteau's work centers Black women.

"I was thinking about how at the beginning of the year everyone has a New Year's resolution," Guiteau said of her inspiration for the poster design. "I want people to give more love to themselves. Talk to yourself more easily. With that you'll see a lot more things blossoming around you."

She said the woman on the poster isn't based on herself or someone she knows, but rather a collage of references, surrounded by native Florida flowers she's seen in her family's yard.

The 2022 poster will be available for purchase at the 2022 festival, which is scheduled for Feb. 19 and Feb. 20 at Gardens North County District Park.

Guiteau, who has never attended ArtiGras as a civilian or as an artist, will host a booth at the festival with her work.

Close-up shot of just half of Tracy Guiteau's "Reines"  acrylic on canvas painting.
Close-up shot of just half of Tracy Guiteau's "Reines" acrylic on canvas painting.

ArtiGras stays in Palm Beach Gardens for 2022

ArtiGras has brightened up streets all around north county since its debut in 1985 at the North Palm Beach Country Club.

The festival was held behind The Gardens Mall before moving to Abacoa in Jupiter for 20 years. It moved back to Gardens in 2021 due to construction on Central Boulevard.

Do you have a story to tell?

We are looking for Palm Beach County residents with a story to share in their own words on the topic of neighbors at a live show June 8. Have an idea? Click here to get more information.

This year's festival will take place at Gardens North County District Park on 117th Court North, near Timber Trace Elementary and Watson B. Duncan Middle schools.

ArtiGras is produced by the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce and presented by Hanley Foundation.

Tickets range from $11 to $15 and can be purchased online or on the day of the event.

Gates are open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Feb. 20.

kkokal@pbpost.com

@katikokal

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: ArtiGras: After Naomi Osaka work, Lake Worth Black artist designs poster

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