By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
When you pull into port in St. Thomas, no doubt you’ll be tempted by all the duty-free shopping on offer. After all, this busy Caribbean cruise port is packed with boutiques selling jewelry, watches, and fine leather goods from prestigious international brands.
But don’t let that deter you from also seeking out something locally made, a souvenir that’s been crafted with care by artisans such as Gina Feddersen, whose Isola Bella line of art, jewelry, and lifestyle products captures the Caribbean spirit and the beauty of island life. Here, Gina tells us about her work, the challenges she faces as a Caribbean-based artist, and the transformative power of creativity.
From There to Here: “I grew up on Long Island, New York, where I studied visual art. My passion for fine art and curating spaces led me to open a small art gallery in Bristol, Rhode Island, where my husband’s employer was based. Coincidentally, he’s a St. Thomian who I met while I was living temporarily on the island, and after we got together we began traveling the globe for his work as an America’s Cup designer. In between, we bought a plot of land on St. Thomas, built our first home, and had a baby. And when we relocated to St. Thomas 11 years ago, that was when my other baby, Isola Bella, was born.”
Island Inspiration: “My art is inspired by nature, sea, island lifestyle, and the simple pleasures of everyday. I enjoy working with clay and painting in watercolor and oils, translating my fine art into wearable accessories, home goods, and stationery collections.”
Feeling the Love: “The creative process for me is all about how it makes my inner spirit feel. There are some ideas that never make it past the drawing board, but the concepts that do are the ones that excite me the most at that time in my life. I have to feel that positive energy and excitement for it to….
This is only an excerpt. To read the full article, subscribe to Porthole Cruise Magazine.
Photo: Gina Feddersen