A typical museum has a variety of departments and a very
important one is Membership. In a museum, one of the first things a
visitor will see is a banner or some sort of leaflet, describing the advantages
of joining with the institution. But what does membership exactly do? At The
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) there is no separate department that
makes up membership. Rather, Curatorial Trainee’s, Nastassia Pratt and Averia
Wright spearhead the NAGB’s Membership Program. Straddling two teams, they have
a lot on their plate.
To understand the Membership program fully, one must first
talk about why it is so important to the NAGB. On a basic level, Membership is
crucial to the continuation of the NAGB, the National Collection and Bahamian Art.
Any monies collected from members goes directly into the Acquisitions Fund,
which allows the Gallery to purchase Bahamian art for future generations. As a
part of the NAGB’s mission statement, the collection, preservation and
documentation of Bahamian art for Bahamians are the building block of the
institution. Without membership to assist, there would simply be no art bought.
The moment an individual becomes an NAGB member, they become
part of the NAGB’s mission and enter a large community of artist, collectors,
art aficionados and the NAGB and all affiliating galleries and organisations
intent on preserving, collecting and defining Bahamian art. NAGB members are
also given special privileges such as free entrance into the Gallery,
members-only tours and discounts in the Mixed Media store and any events. All
of these incentives seek to encourage individual participation with the
One exciting way that the Membership Department is
encouraging participation in the Membership Program is by hosting the NAGB’s
first Annual Membership Drive Fair in the NAGB grounds on Saturday, July 28th
from 11AM to 5PM. Including an admission fee of only $1, the fair promises a
variety of activities and events for all ages. One unique quality of the
Membership Drive Fair is its Art Raffle featuring prizes from, Toby Lunn (piece entitled, The Sorcerer's Hand)
and Jessica Colebrooke.
The Sorcerer's Hand, 2011
Lunn, a painter by nature has a long history of supporting
and working with the NAGB. Recently in an extension of the Kendal Hanna
Exhibition, “Happy Birthday to Me”, Lunn hosted our “In The Likeness” painting
workshop. As an artist that, Lunn has a stunning abstract style and uses a
myriad of materials in his paintings like oil, stain and shellac and has worked
alongside Kendal Hanna and exhibited in the 2007 ‘Fire’ Exhibition. Colebrook,
a well-known Bahamian ceramicist, is the owner of Jessica’s Tileworks Studio
LTD. Colebrook’s style has strong natural influences with floral motifs fond
often in her work and her work can be seen in the McDonald’s Downtown, Marlborough
St. franchise. Raffle Tickets are currently on sale at the NAGB.
The Venus of Guava Duff
For the artistically inclined, guests have the chance to
meet the wood artist and turner, Robin Hardy. Hardy will give demonstrations
throughout the day and guests will even have a chance to make their own pen
with him. There will also be 2 free tours given that day, that day at 1PM and
3PM. For the kids, there will be a bouncing castle, Paint Like Amos section,
Graffiti Wall, Hoop-La table, Go Fish table and a bunch of sweet treats and refreshments!
Parking will be available at the St. Francis Xavier church.
Altogether as the NAGB’s concentration on membership grows,
we expect the National Collection to reflect this, allowing visitors to get a
more collective understanding of the Bahamian Art story. We encourage all to
take up our responsibility to join us in our mission and become a member today
and remember, belong to the NAGB... It belongs to you.
For further information on Membership or the Membership Drive Fair, volunteering and donating, please call 328-5800/1 or visit our website: Here