Curaçao’s Must-Visit Art Factory
By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
If you’ve ever been to Curaçao you’ve no doubt seen the colorfully painted dolls called “chichis.” The Rubenesque ceramic figurines, whose name means “big sister” in the local dialect, Papiamento, have become icons of the island, representing the protective and nurturing role of big sisters, matriarchs, and Caribbean women in general.
And now, instead of simply admiring the dolls, you can create one for yourself during a new painting workshop at Serena Art Factory in Punda, where the chichi® dolls are exclusively made.
Guided by chichi creator Serena Janet Israel or one of her team of 50 painters, groups of up to 25 people gather in the factory garden for the Chichi Workshop With Bubbles and paint dolls of their own, inspired by the colors of Curacao and, no doubt, the effects of the sparkling wine generously poured during the event. The two-hour weekly workshop takes place on Thursday evenings, and participants leave with a souvenir that is not only uniquely theirs, but also uniquely Curaçaoan. Sure beats another made-in-China shot glass!