The art exhibit Beyond the Horizon — Abstract Expressionist Art by local artist Augustin Kelvin Holder will be launched Saturday at 81C in downtown Charlotte Amalie from 7 p.m. to midnight.

A collection of 16 paintings, all created in 2020, reflect an unusual year of hardship and challenge. Through vibrant color, brush strokes and visible layers the artist seeks to offer intrigue, forensic curiosity and emotional reprieve during a time when people look for love, hope and regaining a sense of normalcy. Throughout the collection, the artist has provided a recurring character who he refers to as Mr. Nocturnal. The artist sees this dark and mysterious figure as a beacon of hope.

“My artwork is a juxtaposition of the unconscious and conscious mind,” Holder said. “Painting in layers allows me to embrace the freedom that is associated with the Abstract Expressionism movement, and I feel the forms and techniques here give the work depth and texture. The intangible aspect of painting is what drives me to create work and my process unfolds naturally when I let my thoughts flow freely. I want my paintings to speak to the viewer long past their initial viewing or introduction.”

Holder honed his talent by taking art classes throughout his undergraduate studies at the University of the Virgin Islands, the University of Alaska and University of Hawaii. He continued to engage in art education and theory at the Art Students League of New York, and with independent studies at the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum. His work was recently featured in the November 2020 edition of “Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters Magazine” in the arts and culture section and is currently part of the art exhibit “The Joy Inside Our Tears” at sevenminuseven art collective and gallery on St. Thomas.