During the month of May, the Rockport Public Library will host a show of paintings by Cate Monroe entitled, “Travel Paintings: Two Warrau Villages in Guyana.” In the spring of 2022, Monroe spent two weeks in the Indigenous villages of Imbotero and Warapoka in northwest Guyana where her husband, Bob Holtzman, was conducting ethnographic fieldwork on the Warrau people’s use of dugout canoes. She gathered information for illustrations that would accompany her husband’s dissertation.
The public is invited to meet Monroe at her artist’s reception on Saturday, May 13, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the lower level of the Rockport Library. A narrated slideshow presentation will accompany the reception.
“I wanted to get the feel of the landscape and to understand a little about the Warrau people who live there,” says Monroe, “so I spent most of my time [in Guyana] sketching, painting, talking with people, and taking notes about life in the villages.”
Back in her studio in Southampton, England, Monroe used her notes, sketchbooks, and photos for reference. “I often thought about why I was painting an image from a photo – what I was adding to it as an artist and what I was trying to convey that the photo didn’t. I wanted to paint the feeling of the heat and humidity, of a day heavy with rain, of the colors of a sweet sunrise on the creek. Most of all I wanted to capture the stories the Warrau people told me about the place they love.”
Monroe is originally from North Dakota and has lived in Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and Rockport, Maine. She was an accountant for most of her working career, during which she pursued art as a hobby. When she retired in June 2018, she began devoting herself full-time to art. She currently lives in Southampton, England, with her husband.