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Building Haiti's Future Through Art: The Story and Vision of a Haitian Artist

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Neg Mawon sculpture by Reginald Girault

Réginald Girault was born in Port au Prince, Haiti on February 19, 1977; His father Carl Girault, a Haitian painter and framer, founded Ateliers Carl Girault, specialized in the manufacturing of luxury and gold leaf frames

Carl Girault lived in the US for 40 years, after 40 years of nostalgic of his home country Haiti he had to go back. That would later explain him instilling in all his kids, the love of one’s country.

Reginald's Father and Mother, Carl and Marie Gladys Girault

Carl Girault becomes a reference among artists and in the world of Haitian culture upon his return to Port au Prince in the 1970s-1980s. Most of the names of Haitian painters revolved around him, they would come to Carl Girault frames workshop to have their paintings framed. It was in this universe of aesthetics of color and beauty that the Girault family lived in Mariani, a small town in Carrefour, Haiti.

Réginald, is the eldest of five children; from early childhood one of his passion was to marvel at the fantastic universe of paintings accumulated in his father's studio, he spent hours in front of the master paintings.

The child already had drawing and painting skills. At the age of 5 Reginald knew he wanted to be an Artist, it was born from the observation of paintings. His parents, having noticed the talents of the eldest child, from an early age, gave all the children artistic material to develop their talents as an artist.

Reginald childhood days in Haiti, his school photo and him playing.

Reginald and his younger sister. Reginald riding a bike

Réginald's talent was confirmed very young from his imitation of the canvas of great Haitian painters. He discovered the charcoal drawings of a Haitian designer Mario Fabien he was fascinated by the nobility of the pencil drawing and the purity of the artist's lines. Since that day Réginald has directed his creative approach towards the study of proportion and human anatomy towards the fundamentals of drawing.

Encouraged by his parents Reginald organized his first drawing school with his brothers, sisters and some of the young people from his neighborhood.

The Carl Girault workshop was frequented by the elite of Haitian culture; this would allow Réginald to meet the tenors of Haitian painting, Bernard Séjourné, Jena René Jérôme Jean Claude castera Marie Claude Gousse, Ralph Allen, Albert Démangrle, Jean Claude Garoute (Tga), Emilcar Simil l, Phillipe Dodard, Rose Marie Desruisseaux and several other great artist whose works he had known since childhood.

Through books he discovered Michelangelo, Rodin Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Delacpix, his research tends towards a realistic approach, fascinated by Michelangelo, he wanted that have that same perfection of proportions and in the details.

in April 1989, right after Reginald turned 12 years old, Haiti experienced socio-political unrest and insecurity. The Girault family was one of the first victims. In 1991 an embargo was placed on Haiti, the embargo imposed on the country triggered the bankruptcy of several companies including the Girault workshops

And the end of an era.

Encouraged by his mother and aunt, Réginald returned to Ecole Nationale des Arts (National School of Arts) where he shone as a painter and draftsman. His dream was too big to carry it on his own, he waned to create a new artistic elite based on the history of his country with all the supports and medium possible. At the National School of Arts, he took refuge in the library where he studied the various plastic arts techniques.

Ecole Nationale des Arts (National School of Arts)

In 2002 Reginald started drawing in the studio of Richard Barbot, a talented painter, he would go on to meet the designer Thierry Barthole and Réginald Nazaire, which allowed him to polish his style. In 2003 he left to sculpt with Joseph Delva and Ludovic booze his main mentor.

Reginald sculpturing in the early days

In Turgeau, Port-au-Prince, Reginald founded Haïti Couleurs et Dessins (Haiti Colors and Drawings), this was in 2011, a drawing school for young children, teaching and training them how to draw, paint and do plastic art.

Flyer for Haïti Couleurs et Dessins

Reginald Teaching Art

Reginald Self-Portrait Drawing

In 2012 He founded Sonje Haiti with a friend specializing in lithography of monuments, history and culture of Haiti.

works from Sonje Haiti

Towards the end of the 2013, because of insecurity, he was forced to close Haiti Colors and Drawings and Sonje Haiti, the country's insecurity and socio-economic climate worsened. In that same year, the loss of his personal studio in an accidental fire was the greatest despair for the artist, the work of a lifetime perished in the flames, Réginald became depressed, the loss of his studio and the situation of his country Haiti that he loves had taken a toll on him, it was very hard for him to recover from this period of uncertainty.

in the beginning of 2014, with the help of an NGO, Reginald went to teach drawing in a difficult district of the capital, Martissant, a dangerous and impoverished neighborhood. He would teach about 50 young students how to draw. The result was breathtaking.

Réginald Girault was convinced that art can reduce violence and allow young people to fully develop.

Teaching in Martissant, Haiti

In that that same year, he returned to the National School of Arts, he was teaching at L'école N'ationale Des Arts (National School of Arts) as a volunteer for a few months. Later he joined the art center team.

The artist has known moments of doubt, anguish and discouragement, not wanting to give up, he starts from zero.

Today still, the artist struggles to find and bring together the necessary equipment to rebalance his workshop and pursue his dream.

In 2019, he met Rudson, they discovered they had the same goal for Haiti, to usher in a new Renaissance in Haiti through art with the young generation. Their common vision will create a new dynamic and a new space to represent Haitian Art around the world.


Crehaiti is a new concept

Present Haitian culture in all its aspects

First, produce Haitian works in Haiti by young Haitians

Secondly, work with professional artists in painting, sculpture, cut sheet metal crafts. Promote and put clients directly in contact with the artist, allowing interaction between them.

Prevent violence and delinquency and prepare the next generation by allowing young people to acquire the knowledge and skill in Digital and Traditional Art, Design, Sculpturing, Carving, Building and Solution driven thinking, which is what Haiti needs the most from the next generation.

We want to do something to encourage young people to stay in the country because rural areas are completely empty, young people have left in large numbers.

We will group them together in a craft production workshop to guide them towards a better future.

Enhancing the reputation of Haiti is our ultimate goal.

We are convinced that when we launch production, many families will be able to get out of poverty, we will favor women mothers of families in our workshops because the work that women do is integral to the Haitian economy

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