Flores McGarrell '97 '98 Dies in Haitian Earthquake
Flores McGarrell '97 '98, an artist and director of a community arts center in Haiti, was killed in the earthquake that devastated the nation on Tuesday. McGarrell, 35, received a B.F.A. in fibers and an M.A. in digital arts at MICA and was a faculty member at the College in 2001 and 2002. He died when the Peace of Mind Hotel in Jacmel, his hometown in Haiti, crumbled during the earthquake.
According to reports, McGarrell had stopped briefly at the hotel in Jacmel on his way home from the airport in Port-au-Prince, having dropped off his godfather for a departing flight, when the earthquake struck.
McGarrell was director of FOSAJ (Foundation Sant D'A Jakmel), a nonprofit art center in Jacmel, a beach town about 20 miles south of Port-Au-Prince and the cultural center of Haiti. FOSAJ, where he had worked since 2008, is "dedicated to empowering the Haitian people through art and culture and not only works in conjunction with the European Union to support the 150 artisans of ADASE, but maintains outreach projects addressing issues including street children, literacy and the environment."
In an interview in August 2009 with Art21, McGarrell said that "Jacmel is a place where the senses awake--it is visually rich and energetic." (Here is an article McGarrell wrote talking about living in Jacmel.) He was living out his lifetime dream of working in Haiti (see first-person essay below).
McGarrell in an interview with Art21 ("Inside the Artist's Studio: Flo McGarrell" by Georgia Kotresos, Aug. 28, 2009).
Obituary in The Baltimore Sun