Over the last weekend, the Sculpture Garden at the NAGB began to take shape, thanks to the involvement of the wider local community and a group of passionate volunteers. Under the direction of Dr. Ethan Fried, botanist at the Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) Leon Levy Preserve in Eleuthera, enthused gardeners — both amateurs and pros — shoveled dirt, moved rocks, recovered ceramic shards and cleared brush to start giving shape to the creation of a public space that would fuse native plants with local artworks.
Under the guidance of St. Andrew’s School teacher Mr. Enzil Cooper, a slew of young people came out to rack up their “Creativity, Action and Service” (CAS) hours. Eleventh graders Celine Seymour, Plesha McPhee, Jack Moree, Keita Smith, Jason Ren and Andrés Arenos, put their backs into the hard work.
Members of the local art community, including artist Thierry Lamare, collector Dawn Davies, cultural pioneer Pam Burnside, wood-turner Robin Hardy and NAGB Education Officer Corinne Lampkin, also pitched in. Art world representatives from further away joined us, including visiting Assistant Curator from the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands Kerri-Anne Chisholm.
Bahamas Waste and Rotary Club of East Nassau were represented by Francesco de Cardenas and Diane DeWitt, respectively, while local kids from the surrounding neighborhood also came out to participate in the happenings. The NAGB sends a big thank you to Princess, Immanuel, Rashad and Valente, as well as the adults from Meeting Street and beyond! We are grateful also to Brittany, Aliahar, Teddy and Josué, of Kemp Road.
The pros included BNT and the team from New Leaf Landscaping, who were thankfully on hand to rein in some of the kids’ over-enthusiasm. With mighty assistance from NAGB volunteer Ms. Katrina Vanderlip, we worked together to coordinate donations from Craig “Crab” Roberts of Native Sun Nursery.
From his hidden treasure trove in Palmdale, we collected three beautiful native wood benches, donated by supporters of the Sculpture Garden. We also happily received various shrubs and plants for the future art space, which were donated by Native Sun.
On Sunday, Eric Carey, the Executive Director of BNT, with whom the NAGB is partnering for the space’s creation, also paid a visit. The motley gardening crew were given “two thumbs up” for their progress. While there is still much to do, including the relocation of Candis Marshall's “A Garden of Dreams”, the Sculpture Garden looks to be taking root.