Born in Castries in 1927, Sir Dunstan Omer recognised his artistic talent whilst attending one of the local schools. After finishing school, Omer was offered a scholarship to study in Puerto Rico for a year. This was in order to for him to further develop his craft. On returning to St. Lucia, Sir Dunstan Omer became sub editor and then editor of the Voice Publishing Company Ltd from 1959-1962. He acted as the secretary to the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce from 1967-1971.
Sir Dunstan Omer met Dereck Walcott at school. Derek Walcott later became a renowned poet and Nobel Laureate. Both men were taught to paint by Harold Simmons, a well-established artist. He encouraged them to see everything through their own eyes, from a St. Lucia perspective instead of the European perspective that they were used to.
Lessons learned from Harold Simmons shaped the direction of this incredible artist’s later work. He became very well known locally for his murals, which often featured in a number of Catholic Churches in St. Lucia. In 1973, he painted a mural behind the altar of the Roman Catholic Church in Roseau, St Lucia. The mural was over 800square feet but St Omer was able to complete it within a week. Sir Dunstan often paid homage to the Virgin Mary, who he usually painted cradling her son, Jesus. Controversially, at that time, Sir Dunstan St Omer always chose to paint religious figures as black figures. For example, the black Christ he painted at the Fond St Jaques church near Soufriere. His stated, ‘Your God must be of you and you of God’.