Families Weekend Sale 2019

Over the course of a few days, the CCMPR in Main Building had been transformed from an empty, bland room to an oasis of Haitian art, handcrafts, and music. There was an immediate sense of being transported into a new world as you stepped into the room and were surrounded by the vibrant colors and textures of Haiti. It was time for VHP’s annual Families Weekend Sale. 

I have always loved the Families Weekend Sale: the excitement of students being reunited with their families, the energy that comes along with all VHP events, and the challenge of putting it all together in only a few days. This year, however, I was looking forward to Families Weekend for another reason-- my parents were finally going to be able to see what VHP was all about! 

My parents have heard me talk about VHP since I joined my sophomore year but they never really understood what our work meant. As they entered the room I saw the amazement on their faces, this was much more than an art sale-- it was an experience. They spent hours looking at paintings, handcrafts, and iron sculptures, in awe of their beauty and vibrancy. Every so often I would find a piece I recognized and found myself recounting stories of going to crowded street markets, tranquil art galleries, and meeting some of the artists themselves. At the end of the day, my parents traveled home with a few pieces of art from the sale, which they promptly and proudly hung up in our living room. It is incredible to know that the painting hanging on our wall has traveled great distances-- and in it’s travels it has formed bonds and created shared experiences that bring us closer to our partners in Haiti.

Over the course of the weekend, I was also able to attend the student panel held on Friday night, and work at the auction on Saturday evening. During the panel, our presidents spoke about the history of Haiti, VHP, and their own personal views of the work we do. This gave me a greater insight into the many different perspectives that make VHP so versatile and beautiful. 

During the auction, I was able to work as a presenter, showing the paintings before people started bidding on them. I have never attended a VHP auction before so it was really rewarding to see the enthusiasm other people showed for the artwork. I have always loved what we sell, but knowing the happiness it brings to others when they win the auction is the icing on top of the cake.  

The end of Families Weekend is always a harsh reality check-- because the magic of the sale is over and you have to return to classes, work, and deadlines. However, it is a comforting ending knowing that VHP’s art and message has been spread to countless new homes and families for them to enjoy and think about. We expand our family every year and continue to create a community-centered around love and passion for Haitian art and culture. 


The Metal Sculpture my mother bought


The painting my father bought

by Jillian Hornbeck ’20