The 37th Annual ArtiGras Fine Art Festival is set to open at Gardens North County District Park on Saturday, Feb. 19. This year, for the first time, the commemorative poster was painted by a Black person.
"This pandemic slowed down a lot of things and had you refocus," said Tracy Guiteau who painted this year's ArtiGras print.
This year's commemorative ArtiGras print is a bit different, "I didn't really feel like landscapes and seagulls or something like that really helped during this time," said Guiteau. But she didn't ignore Florida's wildlife, "I do have the native flowers of Florida. So this is like the Celestial Lily. This is Salvia, and this is the Lantana flower."
Instead, she paints to inspire people to grow, heal, and love by painting hidden words.
Laughing, Guiteau said, "It first started because my mom was all up in my diary."
She used her pallet of intricate colors to paint about what she was feeling. "In each piece is a diary. So as I go through them, the words come it's not like I preplan them."
In this year's ArtiGras Commemorative print she painted the words love, seek, and growth inspired her own experience.
"I'm reminded, especially after this pandemic, to speak more love to others and especially to yourself," said Guiteau.
"We couldn't of gotten a better artist with Tracy," boasted Noel Martinez the President & CEO of Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce.
Guiteau is the first Black artist to be commissioned for ArtiGras highest honor. "That's a big deal considering we have almost 300 artists a year,” said Martinez.
"I feel like I'm adding representation, especially to the Haitian culture. With everything happening in Haiti right now. I feel like it's it's kind of important to show another side, you know, a positive side of [the] Haitian people," said Guiteau.
Her goal is to make people aware. "Haitians that I have known that would change their names like somebody would be Roberto Pierre here, and they'll switch their names to RP, just so that they won't be bullied."
Her hope is that her work lifts everyone up, "And as you're speaking more love, seek things that are passionate to you seek things that are meaningful and make you happy. And through that, you'll see a lot of things blossoming around you," said Guiteau.