We, under the auspices of and thanks to the Prince Bernard Culture Fund represented here by its chairlady Ms. Michelle Capriles, are gathered here to recognize you for your excellence as an artist as exhibited in your outstanding body of work and for the influence you have had on painting on the island. I shall therefore take a moment to reflect on and pay tribute to your contributions to art on Sint Maarten and in the region.
I was, in the first place, pleased to establish and work with the committee to select a deserving artist for recognition through the awarding of the Culture Prize of the Prince Bernard Culture Fund. As a result I herewith commend the selection committee members Ms. Jorien Wuite, Mr. Rueben Thompson and Ms. Josiane Artsen, and all those who assisted them to make this evening possible.
I was, in the second place honored to nominate you Mr. Griffith for the Culture Prize 2013, knowing your work and considering the recommendation of the selection committee. This because it is my hope that your work and the efforts of the Prince Bernard Culture Fund to recognize artist like yourself will continue to inspire existing artists and awaken the untapped creative skills of aspiring artists.
I was in the third place happy to call and inform you that your nomination had been accepted by the Prince Bernard Culture Fund.
Pleased, honored and happy because, art in my view is the recording of the history of a people through the eyes of the artist; with paintings being the documentation and transmission of cultural images within and across generations.
Through art, through your paintings, many of us locally and abroad have had the pleasure of being witnesses to your artistic genius with the brush and the canvas and generations to come will as a result have a direct connection with the people and the times we live in. As non-artists and artist we upon observing your pieces of work in our amazement refer to you as gifted or rather highly gifted.
However, we do not standstill enough to realize and appreciate the magnitude of the gifts which you have granted us through your outstanding body work. A body of work crowned by your masterpieces: "Mother in Trouble", "Portrait of a Man", "Cane Cutter", and "the Fisherman" . With my favorite being "Mother in Trouble".
I am thus pleased to thank you for granting us these special gifts of art. They truly are a testimony to your exceptional artistry, rightfully qualifying you to carry the title: "Master Portrait Artist". Ladies and Gentlemen please join me by putting your hands together in appreciation of Mr. Griffith's gifts, his special body of art granted to us and to future generations.
In the next few minutes we will have an opportunity to view a small exhibition of some of your life's work which have made you the accomplished "Master Portrait Artist" you are.
In recognition of your exceptional work I will at this moment conclude by inviting you to come forward.
Mr. Griffith, it is my pleasure and honor to present you, given the "Master Portrait Artist" which you are, the Prince Bernard Culture Fund Culture Price 2013; this in view your excellence as displayed over many years of work and commitment to you art.
Congratulations to you and God bless you and your work!