Michèle Russel – Capriles
After completing elementary and high school studies in Curaçao, she continued to get her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, minoring in religious studies. Back at home she learned on the job – in business, politics and non-profit. As her interests evolved, she took courses, participated in workshops and avidly read, looking for ways to integrate and combine her skills, strengths and passions.
Her professional career is somewhat erratic. Out of college she worked in commercial banking, in her late twenties she was elected to serve a term in parliament, followed by an intense few years running a year long program to commemorate 500 years of written history in Curaçao. Since then history, art and culture have been important for her and she has been working and volunteering in several non-profit organizations: setting up and managing an art center, presiding over museums, curating exhibitions, coordinating projects, executing programs, organizing events, researching and writing. Currently she is the president of a Foundation, which grants subsidies to arts, nature and culture on the Dutch Caribbean islands.
She comes from a family that was surrounded by art and the arts. Visual and performing arts were an important part of their social lives, but also during their travels. She was encouraged to explore art and express herself creatively. As she settled into adulthood, she discovered her creative side and started to take art workshops searching for her thing. She hasn’t quite found it, but has found that mixing it all up can give pretty interesting results.
Some of her work has been included in exhibitions:
- “Year in Review 2008”, group exhibit, Landhuis Bloemhof, January 2009;
- “Year in Review 2009”, group exhibit, Landhuis Bloemhof, January 2010;
- “Year in Review 2011”, group exhibit, Landhuis Bloemhof, January 2012;
- “Door het Oog van Egberdien”, group exhibit, Landhuis Bloemhof, March 2012;
- ‘Decorated’ one of 5 chairs for an auction to raise money for Mi Welita (assisted living for the elderly), May 2012;
- “A Breast or Two”, group exhibit, MonArt Gallery, October 2012.
- “Franje van Oranje”, group exhibit, Landhuis Bloemhof, May 2013
- “Taboo II”, group exhibit, Landhuis Bloemhof, October 2014
- “Seriously?”, solo exhibit, Landhuis Bloemhof, January 2016