“From Columbus to Junkanoo” highlights the growth and divergence of Bahamian art beyond last century. We hope the showcase will challenge perspectives and assumptions and present a comprehensive representation of the different elements of the Bahamian story internally and with the world at large.
In Chantal Bethel’s Holey Space, we honor the matriarch, goddess, Atabey as she hunts, gathers, protects and glistens like gold in the shine of the sun. She is unmovable; the heroine, mother and the centre of her parable. Here she is already fiction, already lost, the frame of her body writhing on history pages, withering away slowly from our collective memory and what we are left with are traces.
Holey Space will be on view in the Project Space (PS) Room of the NAGB from October 27th through December 18th, 2016
A retrospective focusing on the works of Bahamian Civil and Structural Engineer George Cox, The Unseen Structure showcases several important sites of development across New Providence and several family islands. The Unseen Structure will be informed by collaborations with architect Teran Nicholls, former understudy to Cox and contemporary artists Duke Wells, Michael Edwards, John Cox and Holly Parotti. Artists and collaborations in the exhibition will function as a way to strip away that layer, barrier, and partition with the people who live in an environment and the apparatus of it being. The show will open at the NAGB in April 2017 and run through August 2017.
Double Dutch brings together artists from the region and diaspora to produce provocative bodies of work through collaboration and exchange. The project works against ideas of nationalism and the insularity of our creative environs by creating an experimental hub to explore regional and diasporic culture, our creative acumen and sensibilities. the observer and the observed features work by Jamaican artist Deborah Anzinger and Bahamian artist Heino Schmid, each of them exploring ideas around representation, the body and how the gaze in effect changes ideas of relation, security, eroticism and social awareness.
Canadian-born, Nassau-based artist of twenty-five years, K Smith attributes his skill and artistic aptitude to the fact that his talent is generational. Passed on through generations, this ancestral understanding of creativity, attention to detail and innate skill has led him over the course of his 40-year practice, to create some of the most technical hyper-realistic images in graphite and color pencil in the Bahamas.
On Saturday, September 10 the NAGB will host a special unveiling of a K Smith's 2016 drawing from 3 - 5 pm with a champagne hour at 5 pm. The show will open on September 8, and runs through October 16, 2016.
The world is currently facing many ecological challenges relating to questions of resource, scarcity, pollution, climate change and risk. Such issues are amplified on fragile island communities. In this context, how should society and governments anticipate the future of citizens? What plans should be made?
Double Dutch brings together artists from the region and diaspora to produce provocative bodies of work through collaboration and exchange. The project works against ideas of nationalism and the insularity of our creative environs by creating an experimental hub to explore regional and diasporic culture, our creative acumen and sensibilities.
The Colour and the Shape will investigate the correlations between Bahamian artist Kendra Frorup and US-based, Puerto Rican artist Gabriel Ramos’ understanding and representation of cultural identity and its connection to childhood and growing up in the tropics.
Nowé Harris-Smith will be exhibiting a new body of work in the Project Space Room of the NAGB from July 7th through August 7th, 2016. The collection features a selection of paintings and photographs that deal with abstraction through the exploration of bodies and faces.
Art Supply Drive 2016 In August 2013, Doongalik Studios Art Gallery and The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas launched an annual community service initiative aimed at bridging the financial gap for art students attending government high schools in the country. Recent conversations with art educators had revealed that due to the high cost of materials, students were opting out of art courses or attending classes without even the most rudimentary supplies.
On Friday, April 29, the curators of EN MAS': Carnival, Junkanoo and Performance Art of the Caribbean, Claire Tancons and Krista Thompson, will lead a discussion on the exhibition. The two will discuss the concept of having a show that links performance art and street festivals with fine art. They will share details about the process that connected artists across many borders. Guests will be encouraged to think critically about the origins of particular elements of street festivals like carnival and Junkanoo that we often overlook, including the mask, the drum and the parade. The talk begins at 6 p.m. and all members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend.
En Mas’: Carnival, Junkanoo and Performance Art of the Caribbean, the exhibition’s Bahamian iteration, will be on view at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas April through July 2016.
Meeting Livingstone Pratt one’s first impression is that here is a man who knows with certainty who he is and why he is here on this earth. He has an inner senses of quietude coupled with a strong sense of purpose which is quite compelling. In fact, it is almost tangible.
The NAGB is pleased to invite you to come down and view this dazzling body of works. 'R. Brent Malone: Reincarnation' – a retrospective exhibition spanning the entire gallery features more than 250 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptural pieces by late artist Brent Malone.
Double Dutch brings together artists from the region to produce provocative bodies of work through collaboration and exchange. The first project of its kind sanctioned by the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, the project works against ideas of nationalism and the insularity of our creative environs by creating a safe space to explore regional culture and our creative acumen and sensibilities.
Double Dutch is sensitive to the economy of space and scale as well as the feasibility of transportation and mobility through the region. For this reason, the project attempts to create and maintain ties throughout the Caribbean with the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas as pilot and conduit.
Bahamian Domestic highlights the growth and divergence of Bahamian art with the 50 years. Significantly, this exhibition focuses on the strong influence of the domestic sphere. As such, it is a testimony as to how Bahamians depict and reflect their understanding of their country and the world at large.
On January 4th, 2014, At the age of 72, Mr. Winston “Gus” Cooper, one of the founders of The Valley Boys Junkanoo group, passed away at Princess Margaret Hospital. On April 15th, 2014, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas opens a tribute show entitled, "The Ace of Spades – The Father of Modern Day Junkanoo," curated by the well-known Bahamian artist, Mr. John Beadle
In the film installation “undercurrents”, Parotti finds a temporary reconciliation between strained dualities through a connecting factor in the globe’s landscape: the ocean.
Though an entity completely different from our shallow Caribbean waters, the ocean Parotti became familiar with in the English Channel near her 2011 residency in Scotland provided a somewhat calming continuity of existence despite the change in landscape and culture. With side-by-side films of the ocean approaching and retreating from the shore, “undercurrents” comfortably surrenders to the relentless push-and-pull of rapid change.
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Features from Undercurrents:
- Undercurrents is a dual video projection installation with sound.
Bahamian artist Kishan Munroe has crafted a multi-disciplinary, analytical project that is not only designed to function as appealing visual, audio and literary arts, but which also simultaneously writes a major part of our nation’s history that has, for far too long, gone under-investigated contextually. This project uses the tragedy of the sinking of HMBS Flamingo of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force fleet on May 10, 1980, as a point of dissection and departure, to address further historical and cultural nuances that have shaped Bahamian culture and interactions with the Bahamas’ nearest neighbour. Designed to inspire critical analysis, this investigation comprises an international collaboration with a cadre of both nations’ leading authorities in social sciences and the arts.
With the unfolding of the series of incidents surrounding the sinking of HMBS Flamingo, the newly independent Commonwealth of The Bahamas, still in its infancy, was thrust into the global spotlight, finding itself having to deal with one of the most sensitive issues a country could possibly face at the time: the possibility of open war - war with a Communist country, well-provisioned militarily, during the height of the internationally tense “Cold War.”
This in-depth investigation provides a much-needed contextual foundation. It is offered to increase comprehension in The Bahamas and beyond our shores of the socio-political and cultural climates at various points in time, which in some way contributed to or influenced the attack of Cuban military forces on HMBS Flamingo and subsequent related and extraordinary events. It is not the intention of Munroe of his collaborators to seek to place blame or unearth bitter sentiments, but rather to perpetuate the spirit of deliberative communication that both countries have fostered thus far and is ever important to the upward progress of mankind.
See images from the opening night:
Features from the 2013 Colina Calendar Exhibition:
- Artwork from 13 local artists.
- Artwork based on traditional Bahamian colloquialisms such as 'Mudda Sick' or 'Jam Up'
- Each piece appears in the 2013 Colina Calendar.
- Artwork is for sale with full proceeds going towards the artists.
The Bahamian Landscape
Features from The Bahamian Landscape:
The Bahamian Landscape is a rotational show built around the National Collection and a select few private collectors. It is located on the Ground Floor only.
Features over 80+ pieces by Bahamian artists, with more than 10+ female artists represented.
Four distinct sections in the show:
Formal and Social: Explores historical depictions of The Bahamas’ social, cultural and physical landscape. Artists included: Maxwell Taylor, Jacob Frank Coonley and Brent Malone.
Internal Expressions: Features a hall of portraits, exploring Bahamian depictions of themselves physically, culturally and socially. This section is less historical in scope and contains a mix of contemporary pieces. Artists included: Maxwell Taylor, John Beadle and Kendal Hanna.
Features from SINGLESEX:
- SINGLESEX is part of the rotational Permanent Exhibition scheme built around the National Collection and a select few private collectors. It is located on the Ground Floor only.
- SINGLESEX features artworks from 20+ female Bahamian artists, with representations from the Family Islands.
- The goal of the exhibition is to show female portraits and nudes by female artists
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is extremely pleased to unveil the first chapter of The Bahamian Project, with a series of black-and white photographs by Duke Wells that themselves will form a group entitled “The Bahamian Collection.” This collection will be gifted to the NAGB, as a forward to a longer narrative in which The Bahamian Project becomes far more than a single show, a single artist, or a single set of works. While this phase was initiated and executed by Wells and his wife Lisa, who coordinated and assisted in the project’s management, this wonderful suite of works is only the beginning of something we hope will become a much larger body that will, one day, perhaps instigate the formation of a National Portrait Gallery and include paintings, busts and other art forms.
On this the 40th anniversary of our country’s formation, identity is an important issue. Often our distinctiveness as Bahamians is tied to our landscape—the white beaches, the crystal waters, the blazing sun—but the true identity of any nation lies not in its natural resources but in its people. Meanwhile, the art of formal portraiture—whether photographic, sculptural or painted—is fading as snapshots or Instagrams take over our visual consciousness. As we slowly lose those that are important to us, personally or publically, we realize that there is no serious visual testament left to record their presence.
Wells’ desire was not only to record the myriad faces of our nation in an iconic, formal, and suitable manner appropriate to many of his subjects’ prominent or esteemed positions, but to reinvigorate this lost art, hosting workshops at schools and at the Gallery. The images are large-scale, posed, some with props and some without, but all capturing the essence of the subject in an immutable and timeless fashion. Similarly in the 1920s a German photographer, August Sander, travelled through the country capturing, “a catalogue of contemporary society through a series of portraits.” His opus, The Face of Our Time, became world-renowned and encapsulated what it meant to be German at this critical inter-War period. In a similar manner, “The Bahamian Collection,” at this significant juncture in our history, begins to answer the question, “What does it mean to be Bahamian?” or “What is the Bahamian spirit?”
In developing the project, it was found that the answer did not lie with a single generation, a single gender, or a single race, but reflected the multifaceted nature of our country and heritage. Some rules were instituted, such as no sitting politicians, but of crucial importance in developing the project was that we captured not only our elders who have made significant contributions already to society, as well as the more established mature, who are currently changing, forming or (importantly) preserving our legacy, but also included the young and emerging and identified the “diamonds in the rough.” The desire was to recognise not only conventional role models but also to distinguish the regular faces of seemingly ordinary or typical people whose everyday acts of kindness, friendliness or resoluteness, whose enthusiasm for their job, their life or their passion, seems to summarize a certain indomitable spirit that we recognise as Bahamian.
As stated at the outset, this is only the launch and is by no means an exhaustive or final array of people or of participating photographers and artists. The project aims to grow, as more artists join in, as more characters are captured. We are a young nation and this is only the beginning.
See more images here:
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is pleased to present to the viewing public 40 Years of Bahamian Art, an exhibition that offers an overview of the development of art in The Bahamas from 1973, the year of Bahamian Independence, to the present.
Features from The John Beadle Project:
- Artwork by a single artist, John Beadle.
- Exhibition explores issues concerning security within your own homeland.
- Pieces are primarily constructed out of metal, cardboard and paper.
- Ominous human silhouettes are constructed from colonial-style metal curlicue gates, mosquito netting, or chain link.
- The installation raises the issue of gating in our communities: What message does this send to our neighbors?
Download Press Release PDF: Here
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is proud to introduce its new Educational venture: Art Children of The Bahamas (ACB). This opportunity is granted to students in the Family Islands to showcase their artwork at the gallery and expose Nassauvians and the gallery’s international visitors to the artworks that are being created outside New Providence.
The Education Department’s goal is to highlight and promote the talent occurring throughout the breadth of The Bahamas and welcome Family Islanders participation inproducing artistic works for display, while mentoring their passion for the arts, in the talents of their young students.
Thus, the first showcasing is a collection of photographs from the Haynes Library in Eleuthera, Bahamas that were done by students ages 10-15 years.
If there are any other Family Island schools interested in showcasing their student body art work, please contact Ms. Benjamin at 328-5800/1 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Features from Amos Ferguson: Bahamian Outsider:
Exhibition features over 158 pieces by Amos Ferguson, over 30+ years.
Bahamian Outsider starts in the Ballroom and continues across the hall into the second floor of the Main Gallery.
Exhibition divided into 8 sections: Prayin, Tellin, Livin, Sailin, Bloomin, Wedin, Playin & the Red Room.
Text situated throughout the exhibition that explores Amos Ferguson’s artwork as compared to other famous and more celebrated 'fine' artists.
Fun Amos Ferguson facts:
Ferguson painted on whatever he could find: cardboard, paper, cereal boxes, canvas and wood.
He painted every day.
Ferguson primarily small brushes and nails to paint with.
Ferguson worked exclusively with regular enamel house paint.
He always signed his paintings with "Paint By Amos Ferguson".
Ferguson used nails to create his unique dotted effects. Example.
There are motifs and themes that Ferguson revisited often:
Religious Themes: Amos Ferguson was a very religious man and proudly stated that he read his Bible every day.
Flowers: Ferguson was fascinated with shapes and color.
Amos Ferguson Events: Here
Further Reading: Here
Features from The Middle Passage:
Created for Transforming Spaces 2012 by artist, Jeffrey Meris.
Features ceiling length strips of plywood filled with cotton.
Passage has a wide opening and narrows as it nears the exit, making a personal and uncomfortable experience for the visitor.