Evelyne Sainte Poma
Originally from Haiti, Evelyne traces her family lineage back to colonial Santo Domingo. Her ancestors came from Africa, Spain and France.
Evelyne is one of ten children of Joseph Ovide Raphael Sainté. She was born and raised in Port-au-Prince. At the age of seventeen, while sketching passers-by in front of her father's restaurant on the Boulevard Jean-Jacques Dessalines, René Exumé, Director of the Foyer des Arts Plastiques noticed her and asked to see her sketchbook. Mr. Exumé returned to the restaurant the next day to talk to Evelyne's father in order to offer her a scholarship of study at his school.
The Foyer des Arts Plastiques was founded by a group of painters with innovative ideas and styles. They had been working with the Centre D'Art, which promoted traditional primitive, "naive" style paintings. René Exumé and his faculty of young painters taught their students by copying French classical art, before advancing into the development of their own personal style. The Foyer attracted guest painters from Paris, Berlin and Montreal to instruct the students. Evelyne won the Foyer's Grand Prix for her charcoal drawing, "La Vendeuse en Peine" in her first year of study.
Evelyne married an American teacher and immigrated to the U.S. in 1977 where she continues to paint and has shown in various Midwest galleries. She was awarded a Wisconsin Arts Board grant for her series of folkloric paintings, "Los Cuentos Haitianos" exhibited at the Centro de la Communidad Unida and "Contes Haitiens" at the Common Room Gallery of the First Unitarian Church in Milwaukee. A retrospective show of her works is currently showing at the Haitian American Museum of Chicago.