POTO MITAN is Artist Chantal Bethel's journey of prayer and hope for the healing of Haiti — the land of her birth and the site of so much devastation and loss in the January 2010 earthquake. The art exhibition chronicled here is dedicated to the victims of that tragic event, and explores connections between the main aspects of Haiti's spiritual universe—the Catholic and the Vodou—a religion born of African heritage that is often dismissed by a skeptical world as harmful superstition. A lifelong Christian, Bethel uses her artistic license to create a sacred space of prayer—searching for shared roots of hope and spirit, she invites viewers to a deeper embracing of both our differences and even greater similarities as divinely human beings. Poto Mitan is a Creole word for the center pole (or peristyle) of a Vodou temple. In these riveting, heartfelt, and engaging artworks, Poto Mitan is the place where Heaven meets Earth: a healing place.
Sale of this art catalog at the January 2012 exhibition in Nassau will benefit HAMA.org—Haitian Amputee Mothers Alliance—an organization providing prosthesis, training, and family support for earthquake amputees during their rehabilitation process.
Chantal Bethel is an accomplished artist who has received international recognition for her work. A noted painter, her fluid style complements her signature palette of vibrant, warm and rich colors. She extended her artistic vision to sculpture in 2006, transforming the crown shaft of the palm tree into sculptural medium. Her work has been selected for many of the National biennial juried exhibitions at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, and is also found in many private collections. She received awards of excellence in the realm of Fine Art in Washington D.C., and The Bahamas. In 2001 she was honored by Miami Children's Hospital for her support of children's issues through art. She has exhibited extensively in The Bahamas and the United States since 1994. Her latest exhibit will be held at the D'Aguilar Art Foundation in Nassau, Bahamas beginning January 12, 2012. She works on Grand Bahama island with her husband and children. www.chantalbethel.com
POTO MITAN Published December 17, 2011