Bernard Wah (Haitian b.1939)


Bernard Wah (b.1939)
Oil on canvas
36″ X 24″


Bernard Wah’s artistic journey is a testament to his multifaceted talent and relentless pursuit of creativity. Born with a passion for art, he delved into drawing at a tender age of ten, marking the beginning of a lifelong devotion to artistic expression. His formal education in ceramics and sculpture at the Ceramics Center honed his skills, allowing him to transition seamlessly into teaching these disciplines by the age of seventeen.

Wah’s artistic horizons expanded rapidly as he explored painting, music composition, and poetry writing, showcasing a diverse range of talents that would define his career. By 1961, his prowess as a painter had earned him considerable recognition, leading the government to entrust him with the restoration of artworks in public gardens and cultural centers. This responsibility not only highlighted his technical abilities but also underscored his commitment to preserving cultural heritage.

The establishment of the state-approved School of Plastic Arts solidified Wah’s role as a mentor and influencer within the artistic community, nurturing the next generation of talents and fostering innovation. His visionary approach extended further with the creation of the Calfou Arts Center in 1963, a collaborative space that brought together poets, musicians, painters, and playwrights, fostering interdisciplinary creativity and cultural exchange.

Wah’s global footprint expanded significantly when he received a scholarship from the French Institute in 1965, leading him to exhibit his work in France on multiple occasions. This international exposure not only amplified his artistic voice but also facilitated cross-cultural dialogue and appreciation for Haitian art on a global stage.

The vibrant art scene of New York beckoned Wah in 1966, where he immersed himself in further studies, embracing the city’s dynamic energy and artistic diversity. Over the next decade, from 1967 to 1978, his artworks graced galleries and exhibitions across several countries, including the United States and Canada, captivating audiences with his distinctive style and thematic depth.

Bernard Wah’s legacy extends beyond his individual artworks; it encompasses a lifelong dedication to artistic exploration, cultural preservation, and collaborative innovation. His contributions to the Haitian art scene and the broader global artistic landscape continue to inspire and resonate, underscoring the enduring power of creativity and cultural exchange.

Additional information

Weight 15 lbs
Dimensions 40 × 28 × 5 in


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