New Exhibits Feature French Translations of Local Poetry

The new exhibits are on permanent display in the poetry area in front of the Amuseum.

Three new poetry exhibits at Amuseum Naturalis feature French translations of poetry by St. Martin authors. The exhibits include poems from ten different poets. The translations were done by St. Martin translator Alex Richards.

“Poetry on St. Martin is a powerful expression of culture and identity,” said Jenn Yerkes, co-curator of Amuseum Naturalis. “And poetry translation is an art. We knew it would take a specialized translator from this island to capture the nuance and spirit of these poems, so we were delighted to partner with Alex Richards on this!”

Two of the exhibits feature selections from recently published books: Reflections by Ruby Bute and SOS: Season of Storms by Fabian Badejo. The third exhibit features poems from ten different St. Martin poets.

Reflections/Réflexions exhibits poetry and paintings by Lady Ruby Bute.

All of these exhibits are also displayed at the Amuseum in the original English. Since English has historically been the primary language on the island, almost all St. Martin poetry has been written in English. Often, authors use St. Martin English, which has its own unique words, phrases and grammar.

“St. Martin has a rich culture that is hundreds of years old,” explained co-curator Mark Yokoyama. “In recent decades, many people have immigrated here, including many French-speakers who struggle with the island’s main language, English. French translations of local poetry create a chance for them to experience part of St. Martin’s culture. This is one step on the path to integrating new residents into St. Martin society.”

Season of Storms/Saison des Tempêtes showcases poetry by Fabian A. Badejo.

The new exhibits are on permanent display in the poetry area in front of the Amuseum. Amuseum Naturalis is located at The Old House in French Quarter. It is always free to visit, and all displays are now outdoors. Guests are welcome to make a self-guided visit any time during daylight hours, any day of the week. For more information, visit amuseumnaturalis.com.

These exhibits and other projects were made possible by support from the Collectivité de Saint-Martin and the Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires. The exhibits were also made possible by the poets who generously gave permission for their work to be translated and exhibited.

New Poetry Exhibits at Amuseum Naturalis Showcase Local Authors

Reflections exhibits the poetry and paintings of Lady Ruby Bute.

There are two new outdoor poetry exhibits at Amuseum Naturalis in French Quarter. They both showcase poetry from recently released books by local authors. The Season of Storms exhibit presents poetry from S.O.S. Season of Storms by Fabian A. Badejo. An exhibit featuring the work of Lady Ruby Bute spotlights poems and paintings from her new book, Reflections.

“We are delighted to share these wonderful exhibits,” said Amuseum co-founder Jenn Yerkes. “Lady Ruby Bute and Fabian Badejo have been important contributors to St. Martin’s literature and arts for decades, and we are very proud to feature their work at the Amuseum.”

Season of Storms is a new exhibit of poetry by Fabian A. Badejo.

The Season of Storms exhibit focuses on Badejo’s poetry about Hurricane Irma, recent protests and the coronavirus pandemic. It also includes details from the book’s powerful cover art, painted by Ras Mosera.

The Reflections exhibit presents vivid poetry and paintings by Ruby Bute. Many of them highlight St. Martin heritage and traditions, from the outdoor market to J’ouvert morning festivities.

Amuseum Naturalis is located at The Old House in French Quarter. It is always free to visit, and all displays are now outdoors. Guests are welcome to make a self-guided visit any time during daylight hours, any day of the week. The new exhibits are on permanent display in the poetry area in front of the house. For more information, visit amuseumnaturalis.com.

These exhibits and other projects were made possible by support from the Collectivité de Saint-Martin and the Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires.

St. Martin Stories!

Building a guest house, surviving a hurricane, harvesting salt, teaching painting: St. Martin people have many stories to tell. At Amuseum Naturalis, we have added an exhibit with six stories from six St. Martiners. You can read in their own words about their life experiences and accomplishments. In every story, you can learn about the way St. Martin once was, and how it came to be the way it is today.

Special thanks to the participants who shared their stories and the Les Fruits de Mer interview teams that recorded these oral histories!

Book of Cures Exhibit

Would you like to explore medicine and life on St. Martin in the 19th century? Amuseum Naturalis recently added a new exhibit featuring a 19th century medical notebook from St. Martin. The exhibit explores the text of the notebook and what it can tell us about St. Martin at that time. The exhibit is in the front yard of Amuseum Naturalis, visit any time during the day. You can also download a book on the same topic here: The Book of Cures.

Special Exhibit Launch Party

Tuesday was the last Mardi de Grand Case street fair of the season, and also the launch party for our new special exhibit: Women, People of Color, and the Making of Natural History in the Caribbean. We were delighted to have over 600 visitors to the museum for this special event! If you didn’t make it, you can check out the exhibit Tuesdays and Thursdays between 4-8pm until May 2nd, or at the 2017 Endemic Animal Festival on Sunday, April 23rd from 9am-3pm. The exhibit was made possible by a grant from Be the Change SXM. Visit their site to learn how you can support great projects on St. Martin.

New Paintings at the Amuseum

We are lucky to have some gorgeous new paintings at the Amuseum thanks to Sélénia Sanner. Now, each of the exhibits in our main room has a companion painting, and they are gorgeous. The concept was to have paintings related to the theme of each exhibit at ground level in the Amuseum to capture the imagination of our youngest guests. In fact, they are an amazing addition for all our guests. Here are images of the most recent paintings we added, although photos don’t really do them justice so please visit the Amuseum to see them in person!

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Crabitat Launches Today

In celebration of World Wetlands Day, Amuseum Naturalis is launching the Crabitat, a fascinating new exhibit showcasing the fiddler crabs that can be found in great numbers around virtually all of St. Martin’s ponds. The Crabitat will be a special attraction on Tuesday, January 31st during the Mardis de Grand Case street fair.

World Wetlands Day is a global program that raises awareness about the importance of wetlands. On St. Martin, salt ponds and other wetlands are one of the richest ecosystems, hosting a wide diversity of life. They also provide the valuable service of processing organic material, keeping our seas crystal clear and our coral reefs vibrant. Fiddler crabs, which are the featured stars of the Crabitat, are key players in this system, sifting organic matter from the sand.

“The Crabitat is a great way to get an up-close view of these adorable and ecologically important critters,” explains Mark Yokoyama, co-curator of Amuseum Naturalis. “World Wetlands Day is the perfect opportunity to give them a turn in the spotlight.”

Amuseum Naturalis, a free nature museum in Grand Case created by the Les Fruits de Mer association, also showcases wetlands in Gut Life, an ongoing exhibit about freshwater wildlife. In the Amuseum Naturalis theater, short films about the freshwater animals of St. Martin and fiddler crabs will also be in rotation. The Amuseum’s special exhibit room will be featuring displays about wetland birds and the impact of drought on wetlands.

“The chance to learn about the island’s natural heritage is something we’re excited to share with our employees, our customers, their families and everyone on St. Martin,” commented Christian Papaliolios, President and General Director of Delta Petroleum, the primary sponsor of Amuseum Naturalis. “It’s a fun and meaningful way to give back to the community that supports us.”

Amuseum Naturalis is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-8pm, and is located at 96 Boulevard de Grand Case. Completely free thanks to the support of Delta Petroleum and the Friends of the Amuseum, the Amuseum welcomes residents and visitors of all ages to discover St. Martin’s natural heritage.

Take a peek inside the Crabitat:

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Preparing Skulls, Part Three

Here’s the final installment of our Preparing Skulls series! We think you’ll find that it all comes together quite nicely for these rather handsome skulls. But don’t worry, we’ll continue to showcase more behind the scenes action as we get the rest of our exhibits ready for display.



New in the Tank

We’ve got an interesting new addition to the tank, straight from the gut in Concordia. It’s an apple snail! There are quite a few different species, including some native to the Caribbean, but we haven’t figured out exactly what this one is yet. They are especially good at living in places with seasonal dry periods because they can breathe in two way: by gill or by lung.

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The Invaders Launched

We are excited to launch a new exhibit telling one of the most interesting stories we know about wildlife on St. Martin: the animals that arrived on St. Martin with the human help and have transformed both the ecology and history of the island and continue to do so. The invaders have exterminated native species, spread disease and even helped cause the collapse of at least one agricultural industry.

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