By Holly Bynoe.
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) was recently awarded three awards for the production and design of two catalogues for its 2017-2018 exhibitions, namely the retrospective catalogue for "Thierry Lamare: Love, Loss and Life" and the collective showcase "Medium: Practices and Routes of Spirituality and Mysticism" which closed earlier in the year. At the NAGB we have the unique opportunity to create a container of research and curiosity to support the life and dissemination of works that live for a much longer time than exhibitions. With this we have an opportunity to use our resources in powerful ways to inspire and share the wealth of Bahamian visual art.
The Lamare retrospective catalogue garnered a Certification of Merit and the Best of Category from the Premier Print Awards (PAF). The Award of Excellence, given to "Medium: Practices and Routes of Spirituality and Mysticism", was awarded by the Florida Print Awards.
The Premier Print Awards Competition recognises the highest quality printed pieces in various categories from around the world. Each year, only the most worthy pieces receive Awards of Recognition, Certificates of Merit, and the highest honour--the Benny statue. Executives from print companies all across the state of Florida come together to celebrate the best in print media at the Florida Printing Awards, and on July 20th the winners across categories were announced.
The NAGB publications are printed by the esteemable facility Southeastern in Stuart, Florida and production is overseen by facility print planner, Kathy Karuzas, who put forward both catalogues as stellar examples of work emerging from/through Southeastern. Working with the NAGB team and designer Kriston Chen, Karuzas brings to the fore the elegance of material, working with our team to ensure that we keep expanding and thinking about our encounter with educational material and scholarship. This guidance comes in the form of colour proofing, suggestions for paper stock, and working with laboratories to ensure that the artwork is carefully represented. That means we do not lose images in the gutter. Karuzas shares, "Southeastern Printing is honored to be printer of record for the NAGB. Their catalogues are unique both in the various artists they represent and the educational information about the artists as well. The concepts, colours and treatments requested for each catalogue makes each one its own work of art. We are proud to submit them to State and National Award contests for printing excellence, as they reflect the best in design and printing production."
It is important to acknowledge that it is a rare occasion when exhibition catalogues are produced as budgets regionally and globally have been severely impacted. It remains essential for the NAGB to continue to bring to life and immortalise and memorialise the work produced in the country and its context. As most artworks continue to be housed in private collections, it is a part of our mission and mandate to make accessible the nation's cultural patrimony, and as such, the access point that catalogues provide is crucial to building the resources of research, education, outreach and engagement.
Trinidadian-based designer, Kriston Chen for Notsirk Design who has been working with the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas on special projects since 2016 had this to share, "A big thank you to Southeastern and also NAGB for their commitment to great work. It is so nice to see some of these publications get recognised by the print industry. A lot of behind the scenes work goes into making the NAGB catalogues — from the content curation in Editorial, to the endless details in Design, down to the material and finish in Production. Many moving parts that require many talented and professional individuals. I am very lucky and grateful to work with them and to grow as a designer."
The NAGB will launch its latest catalogue for "We Suffer to Remain", the British Council collaborative exhibition, on Sunday, July 29th, in a closing event starting at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and catalogues will be on sale for $20 inclusive of VAT, and available thereafter in our Mixed Media Store. We are excited and proud to share this with our public, and pretty confident that this time next year, we will have another round of awards in our pocket for this gem.