By Malika Pryor-Martin
The NAGB’s Friday Night Live! (FNL), which the NAGB is pleased to announce is now powered by ALIV, was again a fun-filled night for event goers. For the price of admission ($7 for locals, members are always free), a person in attendance could make a handmade notebook or draw in the Permanent Exhibition, “Hard Mouth: From the Tongue of the Ocean”, inspired by Bahamian masters, Amos Ferguson, Maxwell Taylor as well as accomplished younger artists. Once done creating, attendees could make their way to special tours of “Traversing the Picturesque; For Sentimental Value”, with our curatorial staff, including Chief Curator, Holly Bynoe.
The featured exhibition, in its very final weekend made FNL the last opportunity to tour the show featuring works, created pre-independence, spanning more than a century. Guests could also visit the contemporary exhibition “We Suffer to Remain”, a deep exploration of The Bahamas and the broader Caribbean’s connections to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, including a powerful installation inspired by the Scottish role in the historic travesty. Although both exhibitions are now closed, a catalogue of the latter is available as well as texts featuring works from the former at Mixed Media Store, located inside the NAGB.
In spite of the heat and then the rain, the weather eventually gave way and “Jazz Etcetera”, a talented quartet of experienced musicians based in Nassau, blessed the stage with smooth jazz sounds and upbeat funk and reggae rhythms. Fiona’s Theatre, the NAGB’s newest addition to the campus, seems to sway to the beat as it filled with guests who’d been anxiously waiting for the show to start. Holding specialty drinks from the bar, they grooved to the band. Even when the music had ended though, the night hadn’t. Four specialty food vendors were available for your enjoyment. Whether you wanted to cool off with a local fruit popsicle from PopStop 242 or get your sweet crunchy fix with Nutty Bavarian Bahamas, treats were aplenty. However, if you were in need of something a bit more substantial, Cassava Grille or POW! Brunch were available. From fried chicken and waffles to shrimp or vegan wraps, the choices seemed endless. It appeared as though every guest either had a drink or a plate - or both.
One particular highlight was the notebook-making workshop, led by UB student and NAGB intern, Amaani Hepburn. Initially intended to last for only two hours, the workshop became an all-evening affair and participants loved it. From selecting from the colorful papers available, to the process of binding each original book, at any given moment, three generations of Bahamians were toiling away, assisting each other with designs while receiving direction from their instructor. Small gifts, like this one, are the kind that inclusive events like Friday Night Live! bring to our community and to the NAGB’s campus. They are proof that art lives and is loved by all ages. The success of FNL only supports the NAGB’s desire and intention, as recently shared our first annual Open Community Forum, to engage with renewed energy and depth with our many communities in Nassau and beyond. Furthermore, with the incredible support of corporate partners like ALIV, Friday Night Live!, and other events like it, will only grow in number and excitement with time.