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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

Blank Canvas: September 6, Averia Wright and Spurgeonique Morley

Katrina Cartwright

Returning to “Blank Canvas” are two young Bahamian artists who, until now, have been known as ceramicists. Averia Wright, completed her BFA in Ceramics at the University of Tampa, returned home to work at the NAGB for 4 years as an Assistant Curator, and is now completing her masters (MFA) in “Expanded Practice” at Ohio University. Spurgeonique Morley received a BA in Art Education from UB and was one of the first year of graduates under the newly-formed university. As a practicing artist she has presented at the NAGB, in Transforming Spaces and at Hillside House, among other locations.

 

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The Nature of Art: In proverbial bloom

Natalie Willis

By Malika N. Pryor.‘They’ say that art imitates life. However, sometimes, art does more. It reflects, as a full and truly inspired representation of its surroundings, both pulling from and aspiring to the beauty that nature—flora, fauna and even human beings—bring to our world.

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Re-encountering Identity: The newest Double Dutch exhibition, “Re: Encounter”

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis.Regional engagement is key to developing the arts ecology in The Bahamas. This historic hurricane season has shown us that the Caribbean is far stronger united than apart, and that we must look to our archipelagic family of island-nations to support us when the rest of the world might not quite feel so compelled. The Double Dutch series of exhibitions is our way of extending that notion of camaraderie and union, the coming together of different artists to show how we are a Caribbean full of places that, while similar given the history, still hold very unique practices and cultures and ideas of self. This newest iteration of the playful, two-person show brings Dede Brown into the fold as our Bahamian contingent, known for her vivid and beautiful material explorations in space (think: the aluminium flamingos at the airport), and paired with her is Dominican-American artist Joiri Minaya and her intriguing explorations into identity and Otherness.

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Searching for Empathy: Revaluing self in relation to others

Natalie Willis

By Dr. Ian Bethel Bennett. Where is our empathy?  Empathy is our ability to understand other people’s experiences and to provide some support, either from afar or from nearby.  We understand, or so we claim, that Black Lives Matter; we get the idea that Black and Latino youth have different experiences in the United States than most white children. 

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Blank Canvas: October 11, DeDe Brown and Joiri Minaya

Katrina Cartwright

Tonight’s “Blank Canvas” sees Bahamian artist, Dede Brown (left), in conversation with Dominican-American artist, Joiri Minaya (right), her collaborator on the next NAGB exhibition, “Double Dutch: Re : Encounter.” The NAGB’s Double Dutch series was conceived as a way to bridge our regional divides, by bringing artists from the region and diaspora together to produce provocative bodies of work through collaboration and exchange.

 

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Cultivating the Local: In the wake of change

Holly Bynoe

By Dr Ian Bethell Bennett This is our time, the occasion for thinking and being different, not bound by an antiquated, out-dated design and building model, or for that matter a tourism model that focuses almost exclusively on resort style entertainment at the expense of locally-fashioned rustic flavoured spots that draw in tourists with their uniqueness. 

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Mural Project Transforms Exuma International Airport

Holly Bynoe

On Thursday, September 28th, the traveling exhibition “Max/Amos: A Tale of Two Paradises” landed on Exuma soil and journeyed to Wenshua Art Gallery in Georgetown to be installed, in preparation for the opening reception and a week of programming including a mural project, which is a part of The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ (NAGB) Mural Programme.

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Boundaries, Borders and Brotherhood: “Proxemics: Personal Space/Commanding Stance” (2015) by John Beadle

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. By now, many of us who are denizens of the Bahamian art community can easily recognise the curlicue gate-covered figurations of John Beadle. He’s been a fixture in the art community for some time, but this certainly does not indicate any sense of being stagnant. Beadle shifts between media - painting, sculpture, installation - and the message is often rooted in Bahamian history and culture. The series of cardboard and mixed media assemblages he makes using the patterning of metal gates that are ubiquitous, can be seen all over Nassau and the rest of the country. We are a space that is very much determined by borders - national, personal and private. But who do we block from access? And why

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E. Clement Bethel National Arts Exhibition showcases national talent: Fostering Future Artists

Natalie Willis

By Katrina Cartwright. On Wednesday, September 27th at 7:30pm in the Crown Ballroom, Atlantis the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, under the auspices of the Organizing Committee of the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival (ECBNAF) was pleased to showcase the talent of Bahamians and residents from all over The Bahamas who participated in this year’s festival. Awards and honours were granted in art and craft, dance, drama and music. An art exhibition displaying select entries from primary and secondary schools was on view in the lobby and winners in the performing arts categories proudly performed their entries for a rapt audience that included parents, teachers and students

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In the wake of storms:  Moving forward as a nation displaced

Natalie Willis

By Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett.Dominica, The British Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, in particular, Ragged Island and some other southern places, are beautiful and far-flung, exotic and form parts of people’s dreams of paradise.  They are paradises on earth and they have been devastated.  They have, like many parts of the Commonwealth world, experienced unprecedented natural disasters and suffering in the short space of a few weeks. They are stunning spaces of natural beauty and amazing depth of feeling and life. 

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Blank Canvas: September 27, The "Tingum Collective"

Katrina Cartwright

On this week’s Blank Canvas, we expand into the wider creative community by speaking with a group of young poets from the University of The Bahamas (UB). The “Tingum Collective” is a group born from a creative writing class at UB under Assistant Professor Tiffany Austin (third from left), who visits us in the studio with her group to speak about the power of the spoken word.

 

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From the Collection: “Metamorphosis” (1979) by R Brent Malone

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. There are few artists who were able to evoke the energy of Junkanoo as Brent Malone did. He didn’t just show vibrant costumes swaying lightly: he showed colours and costumes that vibrated, bodies tense with energy and muscles coiled as cowbells get poised to strike, eyes as red as the feathers from that 3 am lap, sweat dripping down faces holding tired red eyes. Malone set out the path for others to display Junkanoo as the manic, feverish, exhausting, and mesmerizing spectacle it is - he made it his mission to show the feeling at the root of the celebration, the cathartic outpour of energy and freedom. It is fitting that he lends this deference of accurate portrayal to a work that means so much to so many: “Metamorphosis” (1979) is a testament to the idea of a nascent Bahamas, the burgeoning forth of a still transforming nation after independence

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Volunteer Docent Programme launched at the NAGB: Building institutional capacity

Natalie Willis

By Katrina Cartwright.

This fall, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas will officially launch its volunteer docent programme, which has been formulated to give arts enthusiasts in the Nassau community another avenue to contribute to the continued growth of the NAGB, by sharing their knowledge and experience with the public through guided tours of our permanent and temporary exhibitions. Docents are an imperative part of a successful museum’s structure as they support staff by providing tours to visitors, enhancing their experience and promoting a greater appreciation of the NAGB’s collection of Bahamian art and an understanding of the role the institution plays locally and nationally.

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If an entire population moves, is it still a nation?: Post-Irma and Post-Colonial devastation

Natalie Willis

By Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett. A few weeks ago, this question was asked in a column that focused on the death of legendary artist Sam Shepard.  Today, I ask this question again in the wake of Hurricane Irma’s devastation to the map of Bahamianness and Caribbeanness.  As a people who survived the reality and the legacy of slavery and resettlement, we do not take time to process our grief.  We do not sit and ponder! We do not have time.  Our lives are so often predetermined by external forces that are both visible and invisible to the eye that we are always moving.  What has occurred over the last two weeks is mostly invisible, aside from the obvious and daunting structural and spatial devastation we see on the surface. 

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The Clapboard House: A Disappearing Relic within The Bahamian Landscape

Natalie Willis

By Keisha Oliver. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma’s devastation, as the Caribbean recovers and rebuilds, it would be remiss not to pause and reflect. In moving forward, there is much to be considered from our survival and journey as an island people. Our social and physical landscapes have and will continue to weave the rich cultural fabric of our existence once we continue to value and preserve them.

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