Le Primitif is an unexpected pleasure each year at MANTS – The Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show. MANTS is an event which takes place every January in Baltimore, Maryland. For those who work in horticulture, MANTS is THE networking event that starts the seasonal garden party. Vendors come from near and far to reconnect with old friends, make new friends and share what’s new. It truly is like a grand family reunion.
I have visited MANTS for the past 20 years and each year, I rekindle friendships and make new friends. There is one old friend that I reconnect with every time year. Amidst the plant plugs, tractors, mechanized watering systems, there is my friend David McCabe, Owner of Le Primitif Galleries. Le Primitive Galleries offers Recycled Oil Drum Sculpture in all shapes, sizes, signed, unsigned, painted or in its natural state.
I first became familiar with David while working in Fredericksburg, VA. One of the best winter activities was heading to Baltimore to attend this wonderful trade show. Tucked away in the front corner was a booth that featured art. The raw form of this hammered steel was quite appealing. I admire Haitian art when I visit galleries in DC and New York. I had to hear this man’s story.
David became familiar with the Haitian community in his travels and fell in love with this art form. One of the first blacksmiths who made this technique popular was Georges Liataud. Intrigued by the natural beauty of this art, David realized that each piece had a story to tell.
Steel drums are in abundance in Haiti. Reusing them as art was a creative way to secure income to local artisans. To create this art, steel drums are flattened and stories in the form of art are drawn. Each piece is cut out by hammer and chisel finishing a story in the form of art. Proud of their work, each piece carries the artist’s signature. Le Primitif artists each have a unique story which makes each piece special.
The first few pieces I purchased for my garden. The style and whimsical stance of these ladies spoke to me. Their dance spoke to the spirit of my personality as well as my garden. Each year I visit MANTS, I make sure to visit with David. A simple “Hello” just to say hi and to see what I need for my collection.
Over the year’s, I have acquired more pieces from Le Primitif and not just for my garden.
Each of the pieces that I have purchased from Le Primitif has held up extremely well in my garden with no care at all. The bronzed patina that comes with weather changes has only made my original pieces more beautiful.
MANTS has continually given me the gift of connecting with Le Primitif every year.
Here is a link to see what else can be found at Le Primitif Galleries
Click MANTS to find out more about the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show.