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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

THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS OF FINDING YOURSELF: Reporting from Tilting Axis 5

Natalie Willis

By Letitia Pratt, The D’Aguilar Art Foundation. On a late Monday at the end of May, I sluggishly – by fault of a sleepless travel day –  made my way through the airport arrivals in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, unaware of the new ways in which experiencing Tilting Axis 5 (TA5) would change my perspective on many things – on art, the institution, and on my own practice; and how, despite all the harrowing setbacks that I have endured, that it is important to do work in and about the Caribbean.   

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Unplugged Sessions at Fiona’s Theatre

Natalie Willis

By Kevanté Cash, NAGB Correspondent. Rashad Leamount and Chase Fernander curate the first of many soul sessions to be held at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Bodies sway, hands raised and heads bop from left to right; feet resist the urge to get up and shake, while mouths formulate to ad lib the words to songs hearts may know. There is magic in the air at Fiona’s Theatre, where an eclectic group of musical artists are performing. They are setting the mood for what to make of the rest of the year with events held here, as this appears to be the start of something new. “Unplugged” a part of A Season at Fiona’s, curated by Rashad Leamount and Chase Fernander, marries the two art worlds, inviting one into its backyard.

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ETHAN KNOWLES’ FRESH MILK RESIDENCY – WEEK 1

Natalie Willis

Bahamian photographer and writer Ethan Knowles shares his first blog post about his Fresh Milk residency in Barbados. His first week has been spent familiarizing himself with Barbados and embarking on research into Caribbean identity, the archetypes/stereotypes associated with it, and how we see ourselves and shape our own identities from within the region.

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Blank Canvas: June 19th, 2019, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Katrina Cartwright

On this week’s Blank Canvas we host international guests visiting from the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, located in Miami in the Coconut Grove area. As many here know, this area was settled long ago—at the turn of the 20th century—by Bahamians and the museum has traced records that show Bahamians working as both masons, domestic staff and gardeners. The question of the impact of Bahamian culture and migration on Vizcaya’s design, construction and life on the estate is intriguing.

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Check Yourself: Thinking about stereotypes and Chan Pratt’s sincerity in painting Over-the-Hill

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. A man walks along a row of houses with a crowbar in one hand, a piece of wood in the other, he is speaking to someone: a friend, an acquaintance, a family member, a neighbour perhaps? The houses are neat, patched up with care - no doubt due to the stresses of time and hurricanes alike, there’s only so much this old clapboard can take. The street is neat, orderly, a pubescent boy leans against a tree in the shade, and things feel calm, serene in the row of homes. This is not what people think of when they think of the current state of Over-the-Hill (OTH). Bain and Grants Town are woefully underserved communities, that much is certain, but they are also demonised for circumstances largely beyond their control in a cold, classist manner of stereotyping.

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Up next, Matthew Pinder’s ‘Give Me Some Time’

Natalie Willis

By Kevanté A.C. Cash, NAGB Correspondent. Baha Mar’s Current Gallery and Art Centre hosts album release party for Pinder’s latest body of work. On the heels of his rise to wider recognition and fame, Bahamian indie-folk artist Matthew Pinder is creating a space for himself in both the musical and visual art worlds in The Bahamas. Using Baha Mar’s The Current Gallery and Art Centre as a venue to host the album release party for his sophomore anthology, Pinder asks that you give him some time to get his thoughts all out; to be heard and understood from a perspective outside one’s own. “Give Me Some Time”—a 10-track compilation permeated with heartache and soul—comes just 13 months after the publication of his debut album “Too Young To Understand,” and the passing of his mother some seven months ago.

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"Wellington Street Dwelling": Exploring the Bahamian vernacular

Natalie Willis

By Kelly Fowler, Guest Writer. An island landscape in the mind of a non-native may include picturesque coastal scenes of blue and turquoise shaded waters gradually transitioning to crystalline, onto shallow shores of powder white sandy beach, and further to lush foliage of coconut and palm trees. To the native Bahamian, the island landscape may vary considerably. The landscape may range anywhere from the quintessential narrow, yet neat streets featuring well-kept,  board houses nestled among vibrant Bougainvillea, Poinciana and golden shower trees, to scenes of markets, daily life and the historic Over-the-Hill community where centuries-old silk cotton grow, fruit trees flourish and royal Bahamian potcakes roam freely. Both the outsider’s notion and the insider’s experience are represented in Bahamian art. Melissa Maura’s 1983 oil on canvas painting entitled Wellington Street Dwelling is a glimpse into an insider’s experience of island life and landscape. The painting draws the viewer into the lived experience of the native Bahamian and invites the onlooker to reflect on the diversity of the island landscape and how the landscape has changed over time.

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UB and NAGB Formalize Agreement for the Arts

Natalie Willis

University of The Bahamas (UB) and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) have solidified an agreement that will facilitate academic and cultural interchange in arts education, research and collaboration, thereby strengthening the relationship between the two national institutions.

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Belize Film Festival Open Call

Natalie Willis

The 14th Belize International Film Festival will officially open on Wednesday, Nov. 6th and close on Sunday, Nov. 10th, 2019 at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City (unless otherwise advised). Each film will screen 2x. Once during the dates of the Festival in Belize City and the second screening will take place either at the BelizeIFF Preview Event on Friday, Sept 13th, 2019 or during our Encore Presentations which are public screening events held at various community spaces across the country of Belize typically within one month after the official close of the festival.

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The United Nations Civil Society Conference + Exhibit Proposal Open Call!

Natalie Willis

The United Nations Civil Society Conference is the premier event in the civil society calendar at the United Nations. It typically attracts more than 3,000 participants representing over 700 civil society organizations from over 100 countries. Each Conference focuses on a different UN topic of interest related to the work of civil society and NGOs. This international forum also brings together senior UN System officials, prominent international civil society organizations, academicians, public opinion makers and international media to discuss issues of global concern.

The Exhibits Sub-Committee for the 68th UN Civil Society Conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, from 26 to 28 August 2019 now welcomes proposals for Exhibits from Civil Society, UN Agencies, private sector, national and local authorities. Conference Title: “Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities.” All Exhibits must relate to the overall theme of the Conference.

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FRESH MILK BARBADOS WELCOMES A TRIO OF RESIDENTS FOR JUNE 2019

Natalie Willis

Fresh Milk is excited to announce that we will have three writers/researchers in residence with us for the month of June, 2019: Bahamian writer and photographer Ethan Knowles (June 10th – July 5th) as part of our international residency programme; Barbadian artist Kia Redman (June 10th – July 5th) as the selected participant in the Colleen Lewis Research/Writing Residency; and Barbadian writer Mark Ramsay (June 17th – July 12th) as the sponsored participant in this year’s ‘My Time’ Local Residency Programme.

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Creative Nassau Survey Open! Help us learn about our Orange Economy in The Bahamas!

Natalie Willis

This survey will be used to create a comprehensive database of persons in The Bahamas who are involved in creative endeavors in order to determine how they are contributing to the growth of the economy.  Collectively, the creative industries and other contributions in this area are often referred to as the 'creative economy'. The results of this survey will also be used to get a sense of how Creative Nassau can better meet some of your needs and interests as an entrepreneur working in areas of Bahamian art, culture and heritage.

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2019 MAC Conference and Annual General Meeting

Natalie Willis

The Museum: Identity Marker, Actor of Cultural and Socio-economic Development in the Caribbean and its Diasporas. The 2019 MAC Conference and Annual General Meeting will take place in Fort-de-France, Martinique from Nov. 12-16. Hosted by the Collectivité Territoriale de Martinique (CTM), this multi-lingual conference will bring together museum and cultural heritage site professionals and students across the globe to explore the ways in which Caribbean museums in the region and in its diasporas have served as socioeconomic agents for the creative industry, drivers for economic development and heritage instruments in the service of cultural diversity.  For its 30th anniversary, MAC is pleased to be returning to the French Caribbean to explore its current museum landscape and intersect with museum professionals in the region. Session content will be presented in English and French through simultaneous translations. We are also exploring the addition of Spanish translation. The CTM and MAC will provide additional travel, visa, and accommodations information by July 1.

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Open Call for Submissions: Telling Yinna Stories

Holly Bynoe

The NAGB invites creative and art writers and critics to submit to tell your stories by joining our expanding writing cohort through an open submission process called “Telling Yinna Stories”. The NAGB aims to be a comprehensive platform welcoming multiple voices that will lend to the expansion of our narratives and development of more comprehensive, inclusive scholarship, critical analysis and various readings around the growing National Collection, your collection.

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This opportunity would afford art writing development opportunities, rejuvenating the creative ecology by lending voices continuing the extensive and robust history of critical writing that our we have come to learn ourselves and to enjoy. 

The NAGB is asking for entries from those who might be unlikely, those off the beaten path and who may be finding a new way to think about their culture, histories, presents and futures. Up to five writers will be brought on with a modest stipend to develop essays, exposés, other informal writings and interviews or reviews for the Weekly Nassau Guardian Arts and Culture segment, the NAGB website, database and if applicable, supported on view in our gallery spaces.

Please send all submissions to thenagb@gmail.com with the subject line:  “Telling Yinna Stories”.

All applications should be sent with a 200-word biography and a 300-word statement on the intention of your submission. 

Applicants are allowed to submit up to three pieces of writing.

Applications must be submitted in word doc format.

The application deadline is Friday, June 28th, 2019

Tilting Axis 6 to be hosted by NAGB in 2020!

Holly Bynoe

The NAGB is thrilled to announce our partnership for Tilting Axis 2020! The roving, pan-Caribbean conference will find itself on Bahamian limestone in a rather significant year.

The mission of the late Jackson Burnside III and his wife Pam Burnside, in establishing Doongalik Studios, stated that “by the year 2020 more persons would travel to The Bahamas for its art, culture and heritage rather than for its sun, sand and sea.” With 2020 on the horizon, the question remains - how close are we to reaching this goal not just as a country, but as a region?


Chief Curator, Holly Bynoe, announcing the hosting of the next convening of Tilting Axis 6 which will be held in The Bahamas at the NAGB. Image courtesy Guillaume Aricique and Memorial ACTe

Chief Curator, Holly Bynoe, announcing the hosting of the next convening of Tilting Axis 6 which will be held in The Bahamas at the NAGB. Image courtesy Guillaume Aricique and Memorial ACTe



Pivô Research Program 2019: OPEN CALL

Natalie Willis

Pivô announces the open call for two fully sponsored residencies at Pivô Research program 2019. The first residency grant is directed to Brazilian artists born and currently living in Brazil, with exception of the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The second one is directed to non-Brazilian artists born and currently living in Latin American countries.

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Transoceanic Visual Exchange 2019: OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Natalie Willis

The Fresh Milk Art Platform (Barbados), China Residencies (NY and China), The Barbados Museum and Historical Society, I: project space (Beijing) and Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago) are pleased to welcome submissions of recent film and video works – screenings, installations, new media and expanded cinema – by contemporary artists, to be included in the third edition of Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE), a series of programmes taking place this year between Barbados, China and Trinidad & Tobago. Submitted works must have been completed in the last five years and must be made by artists practicing in the Caribbean, China and their diasporas.

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Dialect and Diaspora: The intuitive art of Joseph “Joe Monks” Weaver

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis . As the current Permanent Exhibition, “Hard Mouth: From the Tongue of the Ocean” comes to a close next month, it’s an apt time to review one of the key themes that resonated with many during our tours and casual chats here at the museum. We love to speak about how special, confusing, and linguistically interesting our Bahamian dialect is, but one of the questions posed in this exhibition in the section titled “Dialeck” [sic] gives us a moment to think on what our visual dialect could look like. When we look at the work of intuitive artists such as Amos Ferguson, Netica “Nettie” Symonette, or Joseph “Joe Monks” Weaver, we see just that - people who move beyond the “proper grammar” of Eurocentric art history and the canon of art practice, choosing instead to communicate in an art dialect of their own making.  

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