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RFH Haiti 2Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

“What they paint seems to affect their reality and somehow improve it,” said Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School senior Max Reynolds.  “It’s almost as if the artists are closing their minds and opening them at the same time to create a brilliant interpretation of their existence.”

Max was reflecting on his experience as a Student Ambassador for Myke Joseph Surpris and David Thebaud, Haitian artists and founders of the ELT Art School in Haiti. Students in RFH French and Art classes were treated to an open dialogue and a close-up look at the work of the artists and their students on October 2 and 3.

RFH French teacher Christine Berg, who was instrumental in arranging the visit, made a connection with the artists and the ELT School — which they founded in 2002 — through the Haitian People’s Support Project in 2009.

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Thebaud SurprisArtists David Thebaud (left) and Myke Joseph Surpris (right) visit Canvas Studio Art in Rumson on October 3, for the opening of an exhibit dedicated to the art school they co-founded in Haiti.

It has been more than four years since a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck and devastated the Caribbean country of Haiti and left thousands of people dead, injured and homeless. Since that time, a group of talented and committed Haitian artists, through a cooperative called ELT Art School, have been providing art classes and hot lunches to more than 60 children who survived the trauma of that event.

On Friday, October 3 from 3-6 pm, Canvas Studio Art at 126 East River Road in Rumson will host an opening reception for two of the founders of the ELT Art School, artists Myke Joseph Surpris and David Thebaud. To raise funds for the school, Surpris and Thebaud will be exhibiting and selling about 50 pieces of Haitian artwork made by them and other artists in the cooperative. Smaller pieces created by children from the ELT Art School will also be on display. The public is invited to attend the opening reception, meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments.

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