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West and West Hill Streets
Nassau, N.P.
The Bahamas

(242) 328-5800

Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Mixed Media Blog

The Mark of a Woman: Portraits of black womanhood in the work of Gabrielle Banks.

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. Reclining nudes, women posed ‘just so,’ we’re all quite accustomed to this kind of figuration and portraiture in the art world. Even those of us who are just dipping our toes into the wonders of the art world associate art with this kind of imagery. Art students at universities the world over can be found squinting in deepest concentration, poring over their depictions of a nude model before them - often a woman - and trying to figure out form, perspective, how to capture the ‘essence’ of this stranger they’ve met. It’s part of the canon, in many ways.

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Blank Canvas, June 22, UB Art Graduates and Keisha Oliver

Katrina Cartwright

Tonight's "Blank Canvas" highlights the UB Graduate show, which is being held tomorrow night, June 22nd, at Hillside House on Cumberland Street between 6 pm to 8 pm.

Our guests are Keisha Oliver (left) Programme Coordinator for the Arts at UB; Matthew Rahming (middle right) a second year art student at UB; and Moriah Lightbourn (far right), one of the first graduates of the Art programme from the University of The Bahamas.

 

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From the Collection: Michael Edwards’ "Untitled II"

Natalie Willis

By Natascha Vazquez.  The interpretation of abstract art entails an inventiveness that allows you to discover for yourself the meaning behind the work. It’s an organic process, it has no equation or set of rules – the art presents itself and you are left with little information to process it. For many, this is unsettling. As humans, we yearn for understanding – we desire clear, detailed instruction. Abstract art provides none of that. Revolutionary colour field painter Mark Rothko says, “Art that truly engages us is felt even when you have turned your back on it.” There’s something really special about that – about feeling the sensation of a work beyond its physicality. It’s when you can feel the strength of the painting from across the room. You can stand in the space the artist once occupied and imagine him or her in that same spot, debating over the next smear of black or red pour or blue dot. Similarly, Jerry Saltz says, “Abstraction disenchants, re-enchants, detoxifies, destabilises, resists closure, slows perception, and increases our grasp of the world.”

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Balancing Act: Heino Schmid’s “Temporary Horizon” (2010)

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis.Heino Schmid’s practice can perhaps be described as slippery or amphibious - and it’s not so much to do with the water, as it is to do with his fluidity in dealing with the bounds of what we believe to constitute drawing, sculpture, painting as separate genres - the proverbial lines in his practice become blurred. This movement between the medium and the means is why “Temporary Horizon” (2010)  was chosen for the current Permanent Exhibition, “Revisiting An Eye For the Tropics” on display at the NAGB.

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Losing our steps: Intangible culture, living memory and the space for a culture to exist

NAGB

By Dr. Ian Bethell-Bennett.  "And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart.  Deuteronomy 28: 23 + 28."  I cannot say why this quote from Los pasos perdidos (1953) by Alejo Carpentier the Cuban writer and musicologist resonates with the work of capturing or documenting cultural heritage in the Southern Bahamas. However, these words capture beyond reason so much of what time has done in these islands. We, as a people, also treat Bahamians as if they were second-class citizens in their country. The system of paradise and exploitation, created during piracy and continued during colonialism, is not about white against black but rather about a system of exploiting those who cannot—or are not allowed—to speak for self because they are repeatedly told they do not have souls, they are not human and they should be grateful to be allowed to be near such greatness. 

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Lamare’s Frame Building Workshop brings a crowd: Hands on experience at the NAGB

Natalie Willis

By Katrina Cartwright.  As a part of his retrospective “Love, Loss and Life,” artist Thierry Lamare hosted a frame-building workshop at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) on May 20, 2017. In just over three hours, he generously shared techniques that he has used to build driftwood frames for his paintings over the years. More than thirteen people from diverse backgrounds and varying degrees of experience were in attendance. Artists, art enthusiasts, craftspersons and a few do-it-yourselfers came seeking to acquire a new skill, build on existing knowledge or satisfy their curiosity.

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From The Collection: “A Native Sugar Mill” (ca. 1901) by William Henry Jackson

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. “A Native Sugar Mill” (ca. 1901) by William Henry Jackson is part of the suite of historic colonial photographs in the National Collection. Jackson was an American, who started a photo studio here after emigrating from New York in the 1870s and is one of the small group of colonial migrants whose pictures help us piece together part of the story of the time. According to the catalogue for “Bahamian Visions: Photographs 1870 – 1920,” curated by Krista Thompson, Jackson first came to The Bahamas at the request of the Governor of the time, Sir William Robinson, in 1877. Since around 1856, Jackson worked as a landscape painter, colourist of photographs and also owned a studio specialising in Daguerreotype photographs. In addition, he manufactured albumenized paper, managed a stereoscopic printing shop and had even worked as a Civil War photographer. Many of these things seem very far removed from us now, but they were staples of photography at the time.

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The Blank Canvas, June 7th, Tyrone Ferguson

Holly Bynoe

Joining Amanda in the studio tonight is one of The Bahamas’ foremost artists: Mr. Tyrone Ferguson. An expert in metalwork, Tyrone speaks to his discovery of his talent as a blacksmith and the young age of 14, his training and his calling. The NAGB is extremely proud to announce that the Board has sanctioned the commissioning of a monumental  set of gates for the poverty on West Hill Street; the Gates Commission is currently underway and will be unveiled at the end of June. 

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Women's Wednesdays - Gender Equality Panel

Natalie Willis

#WomenWednesdays highlights Bahamian women and our experiences in The Bahamas, specific to our identities including gender, race, sexuality, age, and ability. Held once per month at minimum, the events will draw women together to have conversations that bring our individual lives into focus while connecting to family, community, and national narratives.The Gender Equality panel kickstarted our event series, as a way to lay the foundation for later discussions.

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Keith Thompson – UNITY

NAGB

The second in a series of three solo shows by Popop Junior Residency Prize winners, “UNITY” features the work of Keith Thompson. "UNITY" opens Thursday, June 8th, at Popopstudios ICVA on Dunmore Avenue in Chippingham, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. The exhibition will be on for display until June 29th, 2017. 

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NAGB Mural Call: Tellin' We Story

Holly Bynoe

The MMSAC is looking or two artists to conceive a mural on public and NAGB walls along with MMSAC campers. Not only will you make amazing art, you will facilitate an amazing experience for young Bahamians. The theme is ‘Tellin’ We Story: Narrating National Identity". For more information, contact Community Outreach Officer and Camp Coordinator Abby Smith here. 

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Cultural development and investment: The recognition of our cultural heritage

Holly Bynoe

Cultural heritage, shockingly, is actually not unique to or owned by a people unless it is inscribed as such. So, as a nation, we think we are the sole practitioners of Junkanoo the way we perform it on Boxing Day morning and New Year's Day morning, however, this unique cultural relationship does not endow us, The Bahamas or the Bahamian people with the right to use Junkanoo as we wish. We do not own the practice nor do we benefit from it, despite the fact that whenever we are invited as a country to an arts or culture festival we tend to drag an entire Junkanoo group with us. The nation and the state have been historically irresponsible when it comes to officially claiming and so protecting our cultural heritage.

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From the Collection: Blue Curry’s Nassau From Above

Holly Bynoe

A sense of gloom surrounds Nassau from Above through Blue Curry’s use of black-and-white collage-styled imagery, paired with the words “Doesn’t it all look so peaceful… from up here.” We are slapped with sarcasm as these words overlay an image of Nassau seen from above through an airplane window.

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The Blank Canvas, May 31st, Ubersee with Holly Bynoe and Jeffrey Meris

Holly Bynoe

On today's episode of the Blank Canvas host, Amanda Coulson, is joined in the studio by NAGB Chief Curator, Holly Bynoe and practicing artist Jeffrey Meris to speak about their involvement in Übersee: Cuba and The Bahamas, Contemporary Art from the Caribbean, curated by Bynoe and Cuban independent curator, Tonel. The show is on view at Halle 14 through August 6th in Leipzig, Germany. 

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From the Collection: Lavar Munroe's "The Migrant"

Holly Bynoe

Lavar Munroe’s “The Migrant” is an illustrative portrayal of a spindle-legged, knock-kneed nomad carrying his home on his back. In many ways, the tale this digital print tells of the ubiquitous image of the immigrant is reminiscent of the Phil Stubbs classic song, ‘Cry of the Potcake.” The xenophobia and self-hate we deal with as a nation is quite easily summated in the lyrics of the catchy tune, “they don’t love me, they only know me when they need me,” and Munroe’s look at the struggle of the emigrant bolsters this when we think of our history as forced immigrants. For instance, can we image our Bahamas without teachers, nurses and doctors from elsewhere in the region working alongside those we consider to be ‘born’ Bahamians?

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The Blank Canvas: May 24, 2017 talking Tilting Axis 3 with Heino Schmid and Tessa Whitehead

Holly Bynoe

This week’s “Blank Canvas” hosts part of the Bahamian contingent of delegates who attended the pan-Caribbean conference for art professionals, “Tilting Axis,” hosted this year at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. “Tilting Axis" is a roving conference, conceived by the NAGB’s own Chief Curator, Holly Bynoe (while she was still the publisher of ARC Magazine), and Annalee Davis, Director of the Fresh Milk Art Platform in Barbados. 

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