Vibrance and Color: St. Thomas Artist Prea Bhandari
Growing up in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Prea Bhandari always knew her life was destined for the creative. This young artist is leaving her mark on the Caribbean art community, particularly on her home island of St. Thomas, one magnificent acrylic at a time.
Recognized for her ability early on in life, Bhandari’s art draws on the surrounding scenery of the island using vibrant colors and an abstract style. Her debut solo exhibition “Euphoria” premiered in downtown Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas in December 2021.
Prior to graduating from the Antilles School in 2015, Bhandari provided illustrations for the children’s book “See the Virgin Islands March,” and she also participated in art exhibitions around the island. She then attended attended Tufts University and School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Massachusetts, studying in their joint dual-degree program with a focus in Communications and Fine Art.
In a search for inspiration, she move abroad to Europe to pursue another interest of her interests; fashion. After spending time in Paris, Milan and London studying Fashion Design, Marketing, and Business, Bhandari returned to St. Thomas following the COVID-10 pandemic and began painting once again after a three-year break.
The pandemic may have dried up tourism to the island temporarily, but it was an opportunity for Bhandari to experiment with new mediums and styles. From this experimentation blossomed her latest art collection “Preastoric Art,” which features the use of recycled materials to create modern portraits of human subjects.