Stillwater News Press

April 10, 2012

Haitian artist Kevens Prevaris part of Oklahoma State University's Creativity Festival

By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater played host to a Haitian artist at the fourth annual Creativity Festival on Oklahoma State University’s Library Lawn Tuesday afternoon.

Kevens Prevaris arrived in Oklahoma on Sunday night, said Institute for Creativity and Innovation representative Rock Andre. He will be staying until Friday.

“He’s one of the best artists from Haiti in his generation,” said Andre.

Prevaris invited students and community members who stopped by his booth to paint with him.

“Some people stopped by and are very interested,” said Andre.

Even OSU President Burns Hargis took time to contribute to the painting.

“This is really exciting,” said Andre. “He’s going to design the final work and this piece of art will stay with OSU for the next generation.”

The piece will hang in the OSU Student Union.

Andre translated for Prevaris, who speaks French.

“I’m very excited to be here in this environment, in this big university where people can come and appreciate my artwork,” said Prevaris. “Where also they can give feedback and interpret my work.”

The 32-year-old artist said he began painting at age 12 when he would draw at school. He has developed his style over the years, with his paintings taking on many themes.

“In my work, I paint mostly about inequity and equality and injustice, poverty,” said Prevaris. “This is what mostly I paint about, against war.”

Prevaris’ work was in one of many booths featuring various creative outlets.

“As part of the Creativity Festival, groups on campus, students, staff, faculty, they are showcasing their creativity but as you can see they are doing it in several ways,” said Andre. “This is basically what the Creativity Festival is all about.”

Creativity Festival booth coordinator Stacey Brandhorst said there were approximately 50 booths at this year’s festival.

“We’ve got things from artists to drum players and quintets —  anything that’s creative,” said Brandhorst.

The participants were mostly student organizations with a few local businesses, she said. Contests were held throughout the day for the student organizations.

“Everyone that comes gets a ticket today and they get to vote for their favorite booth and the winner will win $500,” said Brandhorst. “We also have a judging panel that’s going around judging the booths and that will be a first, second and third place prize for that, as well.”

She said 15 creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship scholars organize the festival each year and the size and participation keep growing.

“From what I know, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Brandhorst.