By: Keisha Oliver
Boasting sixteen years as the premier art festival in The Bahamas, Transforming Spaces (TS) returns this spring to offer art enthusiasts, collectors and visitors alike another unique experience totally immersed in the contemporary Bahamian art scene.
Last week the TS Committee announced plans for its highly anticipated annual event scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 28 – 29th, 2020. Although the event’s highlight is the art bus tour weekend, this year will include a series of events hosted by participating galleries leading up to the weekend–from curated walking tours, private and public openings, to artist talks, all culminating with an exciting closing event.
For those unfamiliar with the TS experience, this year all roads lead once again to Atlantis, Paradise Island, a TS2020 sponsor, where guided bus tours will depart promptly at 9 a.m. Each bus transports patrons to and from the participating galleries which will include: The D’Aguilar Art Foundation, Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, University of The Bahamas, The Current Gallery & Art Center at Baha Mar and the newest addition to the route, Project I.C.E.
Last year TS celebrated its 15th anniversary under the theme “Sustainability – I Have A Dream – I Am the Dream – We are the Dream”. In partnership with Lend a Hand Bahamas and its Neville and Nora Dorsett Community Center, TS facilitated the execution and completion of the “Dream Wall of Respect”. This community mural project, located in historic Lewis Street, adorned the walls of the neighbourhood where Dr. Martin Luther King resided on a trip to The Bahamas sixty years earlier.
As an extension of this project and drawing on the power of art to transform communities in a positive way, TS has committed to expanding on this theme in 2020 by highlighting the mission statement of the late Jackson Burnside, one of TS’s founding members. Burnside envisioned that “by the year 2020, more persons will visit The Bahamas for its art, culture and heritage, rather than merely for its sun, sand and sea.”
“This is a highly significant year for us,” stated Burnside’s wife, Pam Burnside who is the Secretary of TS. “We formed Creative Nassau (CN) in 2008 in order to showcase Bahamian art, culture and heritage to the world, and although Jackson was no longer with us in 2014 when CN obtained the highly respected designation for the City of Nassau to become a City of Crafts and Folk Arts in the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network, we have continued to work towards making Jackson’s prediction a reality. His prediction has reverberated throughout the creative community. This is the year to celebrate, promote and fortify our position and TS2020 will reflect this.”
With less than two months to go, energy is high as the local art community has mobilized in preparation for TS2020, which is marked on almost every local artist, curator and gallery’s calendar. In the coming weeks the Nassau Guardian’s Art and Culture section will spotlight the participating galleries, offering insight into the exhibition vision, curator and artist perspectives and arts programming.
Ticket box offices will be open at the end of February, and will be available at Doongalik Studios, the NAGB and The Place for Art. For more information visit the TS website www.tsbahamas.com and follow @TSBahamas on social media.