In a generous corporate outreach gesture, Provo Air Center enabled the local artisans on North and Middle Caicos to continue promoting the traditional heritage of TCI and generating income from this nearly lost art form. Born and raised on North Caicos, Gardiner has a deep love and true respect for the culture of these islands, and decries the loss of the intimate practical and medicinal knowledge of the natural surroundings. His mother, Vanderlene Gardiner, still resides on North Caicos and in her honour the space at Provo Air Center was donated for this display and retail outlet. It is intended that greater awareness of the traditional handcrafts and the unique culture of North and Middle Caicos brought to the many visitors traveling through the FBO will indeed bring a sustainable economic benefit to the local artisans.
Visitors arriving at the Customs and Immigration Arrival Hall of Provo Air Center encounter a display of posters with artwork from two local photographers : black and white portraits from Siri White/ FableDyr, and colour photograph from Christine Morden/ Paradise Photography, as well as an original map painting by Pamela Leach. Additionally, a short silent video loop produced by Andre Kerr/Spotlight Communications runs quietly with great images of the artisans, crafts, lifestyle and physical beauty of the islands. In the main lobby three walls have been decorated with straw baskets, straw bags and further artwork, plus a corner retail display set up, with all items for sale through the Middle Caicos Co-op. The MCCo-op was established as a not for profit venture in 1998, and this is a great step forward as it continues to bring alive the history, traditions and culture of Turks & Caicos Islands.
The Board and members of the Middle Caicos Co-op offer sincere thanks to Lyndon Gardiner for his philanthropic vision, to PAC-FBO manager Deborah Aharon who was instrumental in bringing the concept to life, to the Provo Air Center FBO staff who have enthusiastically become the ambassadors for the artisans and islands and to the incredible MCCo-op volunteers who organized and installed the display. It is hoped that this will be one of many new corporate collaborations to support and promote the cultural heritage of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Visit http://www.middlecaicos.biz for more information.