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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

Potcake Adopt-a-thon and Workshop at the NAGB

Natalie Willis

By Katrina Cartwright. The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is adding lots of bark and a huge dose of adorable to its first exhibition-related fall workshop. In partnership with the Bahamas Humane Society (BHS), the NAGB is hosting a special adopt-a-thon paired with a workshop today, October 13th between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. that invites visitors to play with and/or adopt a puppy, then create a “patchwork potcake”—a collage that reflects the personality of their favourite canine! This unusual workshop can be joined at any time during the three-hour period and will have a reduced price: $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. This is a great family event and ten percent of all proceeds will go to the BHS! 

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"NAGB Free Film Series Returns!" - An interview with Travolta Cooper

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. An interview with Travolta Cooper on his plans for screenings and finding his “true north”. The NAGB free film series is back for fall! From the spooky to winter-heartwarmers, we have got you covered. This week, we chat with Travolta Cooper - yes, that really is his name! - who will be curating this new season of screenings. The premiere opens with the terrifying classic, Rosemary’s Baby (1968) this Thursday October 18th at 7:00pm in Fiona’s Theatre at the NAGB. First, here’s more on the mind selecting these great bits of cinema for us.

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UBS Donates a National Treasure: The NAGB and the Bahamian people inherit a Malone masterpiece

Natalie Willis

By Malika Pryor-Martin. Art is a wondrous thing. It calls forth memories while speaking to our future self. A technician will produce something beautiful. A visionary - something transformative. R. Brent Malone was and accomplished both. He took Junkanoo, what he saw and correctly knew to be a rich, nuanced and electric expression and elevated an (already exquisite) art form, which for too many had been woefully under-appreciated and even mocked. Thanks to a recent act of incredible largesse by UBS, the NAGB was fortunate enough to add to the people’s collection, the National Collection.  As Mary Rozell, Global Head UBS Art Collection, shared in a statement, “We are pleased to donate the Brent Malone mural, “Celebration: Spirit of Junkanoo”, originally commissioned for the lobby of the UBS office in Nassau, to the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas to make it available to the broader public in this region.” This massive canvas captures the movement, spirit and fiery intensity of the festival and the NAGB could not be more elated to announce this excellent news.

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The NAGB's Film Series Returns: NAGB partners with “The Cinemas”

Natalie Willis

The NAGB is proud to partner with Bahamian filmmaker Travolta Cooper and “The Cinemas” for the upcoming season for the NAGB Film Series. Cooper is a filmmaker with documentaries, a digital series, and an upcoming feature narrative film all at work; he is also the producer of the show “The Cinemas,” which is dedicated to the rise of Caribbean Cinema and under which banner he will be curating film with the NAGB.

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Strange Darknesses: Lavar Munroe’s sinister fantasy creatures in the “specimens” series.

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. They may appear to be things of fantasy, with their glittering feathered wings, beads, embellishments, and horns adorning those who look to be less than the usual hooved suspects, but Lavar Munroe’s “Specimens” series find their footing in the real world through their presentation, and indeed through their representation. By investigating through fantasy and myth the repercussions and implications of the waves of colonialism on this landscape, first with Columbus, but also alluding to British colonialism with the museum-style classifications and taxonomies of these fair and strange imagined beasts, Munroe’s “specimens” give us a moment to really think beyond the horrific impact on humans and into the broader ecology of The Bahamas.

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SeaWords Bahamas Literary Festival this November!

Natalie Willis

SeaWords Bahamas is a literary festival, this 9th-11th of November, poised to take its inaugural flight into the exhilarating world of words crafted by those who know their power and ability to enliven intellect and spirit, releasing readers to mind-fly to realms locked to us in the physical frame. The festival is so named to link writing to the beauties of the marine environment that makes our Atlantic archipelago unique.

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The NAGB's Film Series Returns

Katrina Cartwright

NAGB is proud to partner with Bahamian filmmaker Travolta Cooper and “The Cinemas” for the upcoming season for the NAGB Film Series. Cooper is a filmmaker with documentaries, a digital series, and an upcoming feature narrative film all at work; he is also the producer of the show “The Cinemas,” which is dedicated to the rise of Caribbean Cinema and under which banner he will be curating film with the NAGB.

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June Collie and the Construction of Beauty

Natalie Willis

By Letitia M Pratt, The D’Aguilar Art Foundation. "Collie allows viewers to define their own beauty in interactive installation, Dollhouse.” There is one thing that is absolute about June Collie’s work: it makes me happy. It’s layered, bold tapestries and lush, bright color transports me to my own imagined boudoir, where I languidly rub scented oils on my skin as I lay among soft silk pillows. I so easily see myself in her work. The bodies she paints are like mine, my mother’s, my grandmothers’ – they are familiar, easy-going, and articulate beauty with a confidence that I have seen only in generations of unencumbered women. Her work captures this self-love, the sweetness of brushing your hair as you run bathwater, or the pleasure of listening to your favorite record as you drift off to sleep.  Her work reminds viewers that they are the subject of their own desires and that their lives and bodies are beautiful in and of itself. Her most recent interactive installation, Dollhouse, created for the D’Aguilar Art Foundation’s pARTicipate!, does just this: it encourages the viewer to celebrate the beauty they find within themselves.

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The Future of Democracy: Growing participation and engagement to shift thinking

Natalie Willis

 By Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett, The University of The Bahamas. This week, a team from the University of The Bahamas schools of Communications and Creative Arts, English and Social Sciences partnered with members of organisations for Responsible Governance, Hands for Hunger, and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) to put on “The Future of Democracy” Conference that focused on Participatory Democracy or the importance of people being active and engaged in their democratic process. The idea behind the conference was to explore the interstitial space between people participation, cultural engagement and design for resilience.  So, really underscoring the need for people to participate in the design of their lives and living spaces, otherwise, their homes become spaces where they are no longer culturally, economically or politically welcome.

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From the Collection: “Who the Hell Do I Think I Am?” (2012) by Margot Bethel

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. Writer, artist, craftswoman, gallerist, designer, filmmaker, potcake lover, and any other number of titles and markers possible. How do we begin to identify ourselves? Artist is a simple enough term, easily applicable to whoever might be involved. But when we get into craftsman or craftswoman, things get a bit more tricky. Margot Bethel fits into all of the above, in addition to being a master carpenter ( or should we say carpentress?), and her work in the current Permanent Exhibition at the NAGB delves into this idea of gendering and binary, and playfully hints at its futility in the world.

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Blank Canvas: September 26, 2018, E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival

Katrina Cartwright

Bringing a bit of flair and vivacity into the Blank Canvas studio this week is vocalist and Cultural Officer at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Sonovia (Novie) Pierre, who, along with Katrina Cartwright, NAGB Education Officer and Abby Smith, NAGB Community Outreach Officer, joins Amanda Coulson in the Blank Canvas studio to speak about the upcoming exhibition and awards ceremony and performance for the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival.

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Painting a Park Anew

Natalie Willis

By Malika Pryor-Martin. The NAGB, ALIV and UB students team up to make the Hospital Lane North Park a true place for play. On Saturday, September 15th, 2018 from 9am-3pm, our own art museum, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB), thought nationally while acting locally and engaged it’s next-door neighbours with a park beautification day. The NAGB, in partnership with ALIV, has adopted Hospital Lane North Park between West Hill and Meeting Streets. Groups from across New Providence were invited to join in the celebratory day that, although it was a clean-up effort, was intended even more to bring joy to participants and a bit more charm to the historically significant community.

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From the Collection: “Burma Road” (c2008) by Maxwell Taylor

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. Maxwell Taylor is arguably the father of Bahamian art and his social critique of The Bahamas gives us good reason to believe so. Though Brent Malone is often hailed as such, he often referred the title to Taylor and we like to believe this was less to do with Malone’s graciousness (though certainly he was) and more to do with his admiration of the man. Taylor, along with his contemporaries Kendal Hanna and Brent Malone, all served particular functions in helping us to break down what visual culture in The Bahamas, and particularly engagement with it, can and should mean. First and foremost, all were intensely dedicated in perfecting their craft but their approaches to our landscape - physical, social, and spiritual - are as wildly different as the men themselves.

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E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival at The Current

Natalie Willis

Please join us in celebrating the winners of the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival this coming Friday, September 28th from 6-8pm here at The Current! This is a family-friendly exhibition, showcasing winning art pieces from all over the Bahamas, including  Abaco, Grand Bahama, Andros, Eleuthera and New Providence! Our Bahamian Artistic talent stretches far and wide!

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The Aesthetics of Debt: Double Consciousness and Vision in the age new a new modernity

Natalie Willis

By Dr. Ian Bethell-Bennett, University of the Bahamas. We usually think of aesthetics in two ways: either the aesthetic pleasure of a work of art or the aesthetics of a period, style or artist. Time has moved on, however, and we are now forced to contemplate differently: the juxtaposition of unrelated ideas/concepts fit into a frame that gives them another meaning or gives us pause.  It can be difficult to understand or grapple with the idea of oxymoronic contrast. However, in our daily lives we tend to witness the collapse of modernity in its premise of prosperity struck out by the super prosperous: the contrast between the local and the global. 

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pARTicipate! - New Exhibition at the D'Aguilar Art Foundation aimed at play and accessibility!

Natalie Willis

pARTicipate! - A NEW EXHIBITION open from 17th September to 22nd November 2018. The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition, pARTicipate!, a show that aims to highlight the playfulness and accessibility of art. The exhibition intends to be a medium by which children (and fun adults) can learn to appreciate performative artworks of all kinds: from singing sculptures to painting you can walk into, pARTicipate! encourages its viewers to play with the artwork shown in the gallery. The show features five prominent Bahamian artists: June Collie, John Cox, Kendra Frorup, Natascha Vazquez and Margot Bethel. Each artist created a piece of interactive artwork surrounding themes of play, folklore, and storytelling.

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Blank Canvas: September 19, 2018, Dwight Laadan Ferguson and "The Future of Democracy"

Katrina Cartwright

Gracing us in the studio this week (you’ll get the pun in a minute..) is the artist Dwight Laadan Ferguson, who joins Amanda Coulson in the Blank Canvas studio to speak about his exhibition at Doongalik Studios entitled, “Hope and Grace.” This show was inspired by an abandoned plot of land by his house where sunflowers were growing… something that connects in a larger way to his life and practise.

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