By Malika Pryor Martin
The very first Friday Night Live! took place at the NAGB on April 27th and proved to be a hit with our New Providence community in spite of the rain. Activities and events included a drop-in workshop, special tours, drawing in the galleries, a special on memberships, delicious food provided by POW and Cassava Grille, and although unfulfilled (thank you, bad weather), a live performance by Willis and the Illest.
At 6:00 pm, individuals, families, friends and couples began to converge on the museum - wandering the campus and garden, meandering through the galleries, eventually selecting an activity to engage.
Each component of Friday Night Live! was curated to reflect or highlight the NAGB’s current exhibitions, both located on the upper floor. Tours, most of which were facilitated by chief curator, Holly Bynoe spoke with intimacy and detailed the featured works of “We Suffer To Remain”. Audiences engaged with varied installations that ranged from multimedia based to large cardboard works - all rooted in the trauma of the Trans-Atlantic space trade, its impact on The Bahamas, the wider Caribbean and those British subjects who took part in or were impacted by the brutal system.
Across the hall, “Traversing the Picturesque: for Sentimental Value”, a historical survey of works created in The Bahamas (by non-Bahamians) before 1960, explores the country as seen through the lens of expatriates and foreign travellers. It was there that drawing in the galleries occurred. As visitors traversed the gallery, they were met with the intense, excited and sometimes pensive expressions of both dedicated artists as well as novices. One duo, a mother and daughter were completely immersed in their visual arts escapade. The exhibition also served as loose inspiration for the drop-in workshop, which focused on sea and landscapes.
The first thing that was said by an older couple when they joined the workshop was, "I know nothing about art." It was decided between them that the wife would create a landscape while the husband watched. Then halfway to completion, the project was transferred to the husband who added more details as the wife started a new piece. She commented to the workshop's facilitator, NAGB Education Officer, Katrina Cartwright, "I fill in the big sections, and he adds the details.” Beyond the delightful couple, a group of junior high school mates and even toddlers sitting in the laps of their parents made their version of creative magic.
There is a popular and relatively well-founded belief that Bahamians do not come out in the rain, so it was incredible to see nearly 150 people attend an event, that although most of it was facilitated indoors or in covered spaces, transpired on a night when the weather was simply unrelenting. However, all was not lost, as music was pumped in through the breezeway and guests enjoyed their drinks and food, made new friends, and caught up with old ones. As 10 PM neared, Friday Night Live! came to an end.
The event will return on July 13th and will feature some amazing jazz sounds to keep us all cool in the hot summer weather. Visit nagb.org.bs to discover more fun, entertaining and informative programming for everyone.