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Haiti Artist Collective

ABOUT THE INITIATIVE

In a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world*, we're creating sustainable jobs with creative solutions.

TOMS has committed to create jobs through shoe production in Haiti and to help establish and support a responsible shoe industry in the country. As a locally staffed and operated facility, we can economically empower individuals while giving big businesses a footprint to work in Haiti in the future.

Our commitment to Haiti

* Source: World Factbook

In addition, the Haiti Artist Collective commissions local artists to create limited edition TOMS Shoes, providing a global canvas to bring the beauty of Haitian culture worldwide. Each pair is individually hand-painted, letting you own a true work of art.

Kids Jumping
  • Smith Saint Hilaire
  • Gregory Senechal
  • Jean Toto Cinoelien
  • Jonel Marseille
  • Berthony Saimphart
  • Carlene Ruben
  • Erickson Hyppolite
  • Louis Saurel
  • Fritz Dure
  • Rogers Jean
  • Jean Exavier
  • Nerelus Mackenley
  • Rebert Pierre
  • Dominique Dieucibon
  • Elylsee Remere
  • Pierre Ernst
  • Alcius Dejean
  • Murat Louis
  • Simon Pierre
  • Romuald Vertus
  • Jean Barrais Ysmaille
  • Joseph Delorge
  • Jean Lyonel Pierre Louise
  • Dieudonne Vladimy

SCROLL THROUGH EACH TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EACH ARTIST

  • Smith Saint Hilaire

    Smith Saint Hilaire

    For Smith, painting has always been about expression – it's how he can freely form his ideas, thoughts and feelings. And while he's currently in school studying law, he's supporting his education (and his four children) as a painter.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "TOMS is a project that will help me develop personally. But what's more important is that it will help young people with whom I work. Some of them cannot even go to school."

    • Sun Rays
  • Gregory Senechal

    GREGORY SÉNÉCHAL

    An artist since the age of 17, Gregory has been fortunate enough to support two children as a single father. Inspired by God and nature, his favorite style is abstract, but he doesn't limit himself when it comes to his own work.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I have great respect for TOMS. This is the first time I've met a company that believes in the future of Haitian artists."

    • Face Sketches
    • Tap Tap
    • Road
  • Jean Toto Cinoelien

    JEAN TOTO CINOELIEN

    Jean Toto first learned to paint as a youth with the Salesian priests, and it's been his passion ever since. Happily married with three children, he's a family man with high hopes for his kids.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "Work in Haiti isn't easy to find. I know I'm blessed to be part of a company that wants me to grow."

    • Sketch Pattern
    • Surfer
  • Jonel Marseille

    JONEL MARSEILLE

    Jonel first started painting as a child, becoming a full-time artist in 1997. After losing his wife last December in childbirth, Jonel is a single father to a baby boy.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I want my family to be proud of me. I [hope] the TOMS project can be a way...to change our conditions."

  • Berthony Saimphart

    BERTHONY SAIMPHART

    As a child, Berthony loved to draw and paint. His childhood passion has become his profession, and he supports his wife and son through his paintings.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I want to build my own house in the future. I hope that this [TOMS Haiti Artist Collective] can help me and my family have a new home."

  • Carlene Ruben

    CARLÈNE RUBEN

    As a mother of two and primary caretaker of her mother and two youngest brothers, Carlene is a busy woman with high hopes for the future. She has been painting since 1997.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I want…to earn money and pay for school for my kids. I also want to find a better place for my mum. This is a chance for us to make things better."

  • Erickson Hyppolite

    ERICKSON HYPPOLITE

    Since age 12, painting has been how Erickson expressed himself. Before the Haiti Artist Collective, he worked as a metal worker. Now, he can express himself for a living to support his 12-year old son and 5-year old daughter.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "With TOMS, I paint with hope. I paint the way I want my country to be."

  • Louis Saurel

    LOUIS SAUREL

    Since 1994, Louis has been supporting his wife and six children through his art. He even set up a small workshop to teach other children how to paint, and he loves what he's doing.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I hope TOMS can hire even more painters to help other artists on the street. The [Haiti Artist Collective] is a big step for us, it's a blessing that will help our daily lives."

  • Fritz Dure

    FRITZ DURÉ

    As the oldest in a family of five boys and a father of two, Fritz has a lot of responsibilities. Since 1994, he's been working professionally as a painter to support his family, inspired by everyone and everything around him.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "Life is not always easy, but I believe this project will give me a future. I will always stand with TOMS."

  • Rogers Jean

    ROGERS JEAN

    Trained at ENARTS school of arts, Rogers is excited to be able to express himself to a whole new country.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "[The artists] are very excited about this project, and I feel lucky to be selected into this group. My wife, mother, my two kids and my nephews are counting on me."

  • Jean Exavier

    JEAN EXAVIER

    As a child, Jean taught himself to draw and paint, becoming a professional artist in 1994. He gets most of his inspiration from African artists and works to support his three children.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I hope that I will be able to send money to my family. I've waited a long time to be part of a project like this [Haiti Artist Collective]."

  • Nerelus Mackenley

    NERELUS MACKENLEY

    Norelus started painting full-time in 2007, and is eagerly expanding his skills. He plans on opening up his own workshop in the future to support his mother and sisters with his talents.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "Before, I was cutting metal but I had to focus on painting after the death of my father to help my family. I've been painting for five years and I want to paint more and more."

  • Rebert Pierre

    REBERT PIERRE

    Rebert's mother died when he was just 12 years old, and he started painting as a form of expression. He hasn't stopped – working part-time to cut steel drums as well as sell his paintings. Now, he can focus on painting full-time.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I want the Collective to grow and become sustainable. I'm discovering a lot of things with TOMS."

  • Dominique Dieucibon

    DOMINIQUE DIEUCIBON

    Growing up as an orphan wasn't easy for Dominique, but he's managed to make a life for himself as an artist. Living with his brother and sister, Dominique is the caretaker of this resilient family. His paintings range from intricate realism to surreal abstract.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "Working with TOMS, I hope to continue to take care of my family and my bride-to-be!"

  • Elylsee Remere

    ELYSEE REMERE

    Elysee has been painting on canvas for 30 years, selling his artwork on the streets. Even as a self-taught artist, Elysee is proud of his ability to paint in different styles and is inspired by his own environment.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I have to take care of my wife and four children. My sister died of cancer and left me with three more children I love. With this project, my dream is to build a house and send my children to school."

  • Pierre Ernst

    PIERRE ERNST

    After taking lessons at a cultural center as a child, Pierre embarked on a full-time career as a painter in 1989. As a father of a 14-year old boy, Pierre's artwork keeps his son in school.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "As [Professional artists], we need structure and to be recognized for our work. With this new project, I can fight for a better future and help my family."

  • Alcius Dejean

    ALCIUS DÉJEAN

    As a self-taught artist, Alcius has been creating street exhibits for the past three years. He describes himself as an abstract painter and gets his inspiration by observing the nature around him.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I'd like to help out my mother. She depends on me because my father is disabled. And one day, I'd like to get married!"

  • Murat Louis

    MURAT LOUIS

    Murat first started painting in 1997, opening up a small shop in Pétion-Ville for his work. His young wife also happens to be pregnant with their first child, and he's excited to be able to support his growing family.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "In the future, I'd love to be able to teach children to paint so they can help their own families. With this project, I can start building my family's house."

  • Simon Pierre

    SIMON PIERRE

    Artistry runs in Simon's family – he was taught by his father to paint at the age of 15. He is proud to carry on a tradition, and hopes to pass on his father's teaching to his six year-old daughter.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I hope that I can change my conditions. I want to be able to pay school fees for my daughter and have a chance to earn a living as an artist."

  • Romuald Vertus

    Romuald Vertus

    As the father of 6 children, Romauld is a busy man who paints to support his family. His preferred style is landscapes and nature scenes, but he just wants to "make his TOMS Shoes beautiful."

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I have great expectations from this TOMS project, and I hope it can continue for a long time."

  • Jean Barrais Ysmaille

    Jean Barrais YsmaÏlle

    As a kid who loved to draw, Jean shifted naturally to painting in 2002. As an artist who created intricate portraits of old Haitian homes and landscpes, he lost all his clients after the 2010 earthquake. Yet he remains optimistic about the future, especially now that he's in the Collective!

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I'm very happy with the arrival of TOMS, I hope that my living conditions will change. I see many very positive things with this project."

  • Joseph Delorg

    Joseph Delorge

    Arriving in Port-au-Prince with his aunt at the age of 4, Joseph has been painting for nearly 15 years. After losing his wife in the devastating 2010 earthquake, he now raises his two daughters – ages 3 and 16 – on his own.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "TOMS will help me to take care of my two kids. I want to build a future for them."

  • Jean Lyonel Pierre Louise

    Jean Lyonel Pierre Louise

    An avid artist since he was a young boy, Jean became a professional artist after attending ENARTS in 1990 and meeting the famous Haitian painter, Jean Felis Defournoy. Jean’s favorite subjects are nature and daily city life.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "TOMS will help me to take care of my two kids. I want to build a future for them."

  • Dieudonne Vladimy

    Dieudonne Vladimy

    Dieudonné started drawing when he was 6 years old, and has been a painter since 2007. He attributes his inspiration to his inner spirit and his life experiences. Channeling the encouragement and support of his late father, Dieudonné supports his growing family by selling his paintings and teaching drawing and painting to others in the community.

    In his own words (translated from Creole)

    "I have two daughters. One is two years old and the other one will arrive in a few months from now. I hope to have a stable job at TOMS."

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