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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

Amos Ferguson's "Match Me If You Can": Photos of the Event

Natalie Willis

The NAGB staff and Mixed Media would like to wish our viewers a hearty Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and wonderful New Year! Mixed Media has a new posting schedule as of the 5th January 2012 with new posts appearing just once a week on every Thursday. Also, there will be no posts on Tuesday, 27th December and Thursday, 29th December with our first post of the new year appearing on Thursday, 5th January 2012. We hope that our wonderful visitors and guests will continue to support Mixed Media, the gallery and Bahamian art!

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Amos Ferguson Match Me If You Can: Photos of the Event

The NAGB staff and Mixed Media would like to wish our viewers a hearty Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and wonderful New Year! Mixed Media has a new posting schedule as of the 5th January 2012 with new posts appearing just once a week on every Thursday. Also, there will be no posts on Tuesday, 27th December and Thursday, 29th December with our first post of the new year appearing on Thursday, 5th January 2012. We hope that our wonderful visitors and guests will continue to support Mixed Media, the gallery and Bahamian art!

Christmas Hours:
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas will be open on Friday, 23rd and Saturday, 24th December. The gallery is closed on Monday, 26th December but open for the rest of the week with normal operating hours! We are also closed on the 2nd January and resume normally on the 3rd January 2012.

Last week Friday, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas hosted a successful showing of the new film, Amos Ferguson: Match Me If You Can. After the film was a small Q&A session with Amos’ niece, Lorraine Bastian and Director, Karen Arthur. Despite troublesome weather and technical difficulties, the NAGB hosted a successful event with an amazing turnout of over 60 people flocking to see the film! Here are some photos of the event.
Amos’ niece, Lorraine Bastian and Director, Karen Arthur opening the event.



The Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas speaking with Amos' niece.






Guests enjoying discussion and conversation after the film!


Visit the NAGB today, tour the current Happy Birthday To Me: Kendal Hanna Retrospective exhibition, visit our library, our gift shop, the Mixed Media Art Store and eel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you!

Feature: A Look into the role of the Curatorial Assistant

Curatorial Assistant, Jackson Petit-Homme installing art at the Government House.

Curatorial Assistant, Ashley Knowles assisting with a tour.

At The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, the experience of the Curatorial Assistant is very similar to that of the Curatorial Trainee. This position is specialized in technical hands-on work that varies in duties from curatorial, to making sure that conservation and restoration are up to museum standards.

The role of the Curatorial Assistant is simple in definition; they fulfill the mission of the gallery and work closely with the acting Director and Curator in taking oral directions and executing tasks efficiently and effectively. These tasks include, but are not limited to, the collection of artwork for exhibitions, the National Collection or events, collections management, administrative tasks, preparing legal documents, appraisals and contracts for collection loans and the training of individuals in the proper handling and care of artwork. Curatorial Assistants must also work wherever talents are needed and as a result, talents such as carpentry and the use of mechanical hand power tools are encouraged.

The Curatorial Assistants work very closely with the National Collection in collections management. From the moment a piece enters the grounds at the gallery it must be catalogued into the database, regardless of whether the artwork is a loan, donation, purchase or permanent loan. The first step in accessioning and cataloging artwork is to gather information about the piece. This includes the name, medium, size (framed and unframed), provenance, date and creator of the piece. The piece must then be inspected for any wear and tear, rips, rust, mold, discoloration and dents and a photograph taken. This information, with a little blurb identifying the most important visual qualities of the artwork, are first entered into the database and the piece is then given an accession and object number. An accession number identifies which group the individual piece came in, and an object number is the piece’s individual number and main form of identification in the collection. After the data has been recorded, digital and paper accession files are created for reference purposes and it is finally recorded in a large master list.

Despite these tasks seeming very straightforward, the Curatorial Department must have an extensive knowledge of the collection and artists, as this process often becomes complicated a large number of pieces are to be accessioned in a short period of time, or when information is not present. This is a big problem in collections management, as there is often data missing and this must be researched by looking up newspaper articles, contacting artists if they are alive or closest relatives, if they are not. Sometimes the information cannot be found. After the pieces are safely nestled in the NAGB art storeroom, they must be checked constantly to assess conservation efforts and update data files. Due to this closeness with all artworks that enter the gallery, Curatorial Assistants also interact a great deal with other art galleries, donors and art collectors.

At the gallery, Curatorial Assistants have the opportunity to further their growth and understanding of museum practices by undertaking independent research and endeavors, depending on where interests and talents lie. For instance, if the Curatorial Assistant wishes to do so, they can become integrated into the curatorial process with the curator and learn the ins and outs of curating a quality art exhibition. This opportunity for learning can lead to independent curating prospects in the future for the assistant. Curatorial Assistants and Trainees also have opportunities to improve their writing skills by writing articles for exhibition catalogues and newsletters.

Overall, the role of the Curatorial Assistant is a varied one. By working with the Director, curators, Curatorial Trainees and education staff, assistants are able to grow as they are constantly exposed to other positions, work ethics and experiences everyday.

-AK

If you'd like to book a tour with the NAGB, please call 242-328-5800. Feel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you!

Enigmatick Funktication: A Painting's Long Journey

Natalie Willis

This past Tuesday, the Curatorial And Education staff had the amazing opportunity to install art in the Government House, just down the road from us. Over the course of 4 hours we installed 5 paintings and rearranged many more. One of the highlights from the day was trying to move Jackson Burnside, Stan Burnside and John Beadle's mammoth piece, Enigmatick Funktication (which is 52.75 inches by 175 inches large!) down West Street to Government House. Thankfully, the Curatorial team is made up of very strong members!

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Enigmatick Funktication: A Painting's Long Journey

This past Tuesday the Curatorial And Education staff had the amazing opportunity to install art in the Government House, just down the road from us. Over the course of 4 hours we installed 5 paintings and rearranged many more. One of the highlights from the day was trying to move Jackson Burnside, Stand Burnside and John Beadle's mammoth piece, Enigmatick Funktication (which is 52.75 inches by 175 inches large!) down West street to Government house. Thankfully, the Curatorial team is made up of very strong members!

We hope you enjoy the photos, feel free to send us a line if you want to see more.
Stan Burnside's Solomon, wrapped and ready to move to Government House on Friday!





Note: A hearty congratulations to Giovanna Swaby, the grand prize winner of our December trivia!

If you'd like to book a tour with the NAGB, please call 242-328-5800. Feel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you!

NAGB December Trivia

Natalie Willis

It's that time! Mixed Media will host its December quiz today. The rules are very similar to November's. The first individual to get all of these questions right will win a special Mixed Media prize, and the first 10 will receive a small token from Mixed Media.

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December Trivia

It's that time! Mixed Media will host it's December quiz today. The rules are very similar to November's. The first individual to get all of these questions right will win a special Mixed Media prize, and the first 10 will receive a small token from Mixed Media.

December's quiz pertains to the many activities, programs and events that the NAGB has had within the past 6 to 7 months. All of the answers can be found either on Mixed Media or the official NAGB website.

To submit your answers, please email mixedmediablog.nagb@gmail.com with your responses, your name, and an email or phone contact. This trivia opportunity expires on 6PM Wednesday. Good luck!

1. Which artist hosted the Teacher’s Workshop on November 12th 2011?

2. Name the 2 films shown in October as part of the NAGB Film Series.

3. What is the name of the upcoming opportunity for artists in January at the NAGB?

4. What is the name of the film that discusses art as a form of therapy, shown as a part of the NAGB film series?

5. Which month did the NAGB start their t-shirt and book drive?

6. When was the Transforming Spaces 2012 meeting held at the NAGB?

7. Name the organization and artist that the NAGB held a Mural Painting workshop with in August 2011.

Feel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you! Also "like" our Facebook page to get the latest updates and information!
NAGB Facebook Page.

Feature: NAGB Mural Projects

Natalie Willis

Inside the Administrative Building of the NAGB are some not so hidden gems. Standing at an imposing and statuesque height in middle of the building are a series of four murals by prominent Bahamian artists. Each artist was given license to let the large canvases speak to them and do as they please. As a result, the NAGB hosts four very different murals, reflecting each artists particular style and concept. Below are short videos based on these murals, click on the links to see the artists at work!

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Feature: NAGB Mural Projects

Inside the Administrative Building of the NAGB are some not so hidden gems. Standing at an imposing and statuesque height in middle of the building are a series of four murals by prominent Bahamian artists. Each artist was given license to let the large canvases speak to them and do as they please. As a result, the NAGB hosts four very different murals, reflecting each artists particular style and concept. Below are short videos based on these murals, click on the links to see the artists at work!

Allan Wallace:


Steven Burrows:


AJ Watson:


Daniel Coleby:


The Administrative Building is open to our guests and visitors. It also hosts a selection of large pieces by Stan Burnside, Jackson Burnside, John Beadle, Kishan Munroe and Maxwell Taylor. Feel free to drop on by to view the artwork or talk with the Curatorial or Education staff! Feel free to send Mixed Media a comment or email (mixedmediablog.nagb@gmail.com), we look forward to hearing from you!

-AK

Feature from the National Collection: Emancipation Day Boat Cruise

Natalie Willis

The sight of colorful faces, the rock of the music, and the sway of the boat with a boisterous, energetic crowd are all felt in John Beadle’s Emancipation Day Boat Cruise. Viewing this piece is an experience in and of itself. The analogous colors of reds, oranges and yellows are aptly applied across the canvas. The painting also includes elements of drawing, collage and quilting.

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Feature from the National Collection: Emancipation Day Boat Cruise

Emancipation Day Boat Cruise
Acrylic on Canvas
71in. x 53in.
2000
Collection of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

The sight of colorful faces, the rock of the music, and the sway of the boat with a boisterous, energetic crowd are all felt in John Beadle’s Emancipation Day Boat Cruise. Viewing this piece is an experience in and of itself. The analogous colors of reds, oranges and yellows are aptly applied across the canvas. The painting also includes elements of drawing, collage and quilting.

The grids, where sectioned off with the taping method, allow for separate compositions intensifying the expressions on the faces shown. In the spaces where the tape was removed, Beadle super-imposes images, allowing them to flow into one cohesive piece. The slashes of black across the piece, simulating a sail blowing in the wind, helps one to feel the movement of the boat and carries the viewer’s eyes to the gyrating couple in the center. The added texture of layered canvas also implies the use of a sail. The geometric shapes and patterns remind the viewer of the Junkanoo culture of the Bahamas and a feeling of celebration.

In naming the piece emancipation day, which is a holiday, the sentiment of being free from work/school is synonymous with freedom from slavery and is reiterated in this piece. Though the faces are colored with exciting colors and mask-like designs, some faces are lined with anxiety, apprehension and sadness, which remind us of that exact day that slaves were emancipated.

John Beadle’s appreciation of from whence he came, his Afro-Caribbean heritage is recognized in his style and Emancipation Day Boat Cruise reflects this precisely.

Visit the NAGB today and see Beadle’s “Emancipation Day Boat Cruise” for yourself. Feel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you!

-AW

In The Ring with Bahamian Artist Toby Lunn: Truth Revealed Part 2

Today's post is our full interview with Bahamian artist, Toby Lunn! Instead of choosing a few questions to answer, one of our lovely visitors kindly requested that we display footage for all of the questions. We hope you enjoy the interview. The questions from the interview are displayed below the video for your viewing pleasure.



1. Did you always wanted to be an artist?
2. What inspired your work?
3. What is your medium of choice? Why?
4. Least favorite and why?
5. Is there a connection between religion and your work?
6. Lifestyle versus profession?
7. When did you know you were an artist? You’re arrival?
8. What is an artist?
9. What would you do if were not creating art?
10. Favorite color? Any?
11. Technique styles, what is your process?
12. Do you think you can ruin a painting? What do you do when it happens?
13. If you could display your artwork anywhere, where would it be? Include location and art institution.
14. How important is classical training to an artist in your opinion?
15. Right- brain versus left-brain? What does this mean? Which are you, right, left or in the middle?
16. You are inspired by the Burnside brothers, Max Taylor and of course Kendal Hanna. What inspiration do you draw from these artists?

-JB

Feel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you!

In the Ring with Bahamian Artist Toby Lunn: Truth Revealed Part I

Choose the questions you want to have Toby Lunn answer. Select the number of the questions and place them in the comment box below. Entries will be accepted until Monday, November 28th at 4pm. On Tuesday, November 29th, 2011, the answers will be provided.

1. Did you always wanted to be an artist?

2. What inspired your work?

3. What is your medium of choice? Why?

4. Least favorite and why?

5. Is there a connection between religion and your work?

6. Lifestyle versus profession?

7. When did you know you were an artist? You’re arrival?

8. What is an artist?

9. What would you do if were not creating art?

10. Favorite color? Any?

11. Technique styles, what is your process?

12. Do you think you can ruin a painting? What do you do when it happens?

13. If you could display your artwork anywhere, where would it be? Include location and art institution.

14. How important is classical training to an artist in your opinion?

15. Right- brain versus left-brain? What does this mean? Which are you, right, left or in the middle?

16. You are inspired by the Burnside brothers, Max Taylor and of course Kendal Hanna. What inspiration do you draw from these artists?

Visually Inclined: The Architecture of the NAGB

For today's post we decided to give our viewers a break from all the reading they have done over the past 2 months. Instead, we are sharing 3 videos made in 2004 featuring past NAGB staff members and the former director, Dr. Erica James.

These videos detail the advent of the NAGB and the creative processes and struggles that its founding members dealt with when constructing the building.







If you'd like to see more videos from the NAGB, subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here.
The direct url for those who want it is, http://www.youtube.com/user/NAGB2003.

Feel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you!

Feature from the National Collection: Burnside Crowns a King

Natalie Willis

If a visitor at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas were to wander into the office, found on the second floor, and make a left turn, one of the first things they would see is a “larger than life” painting of a man gazing back at them with a contemplative yet peaceful expression on his face. That would be Stan Burnside’s feature piece, “Solomon” (2000).

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Feature from the National Collection: Burnside Crowns a King

Solomon
Oil on Canvas
72in. x 72in.
2000
Collection of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

If a visitor to the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas were to wander into the office, which is found on the second floor, and take a turn to the left, one of the first things one would see is a larger than life painting of a gentlemen gazing back at the viewer with a contemplative and peaceful expression on his face. This is Stanley Burnside’s feature piece, “Solomon”.

The viewer might ask, why is he wearing a crown? What’s with the colorful leaves to the upper right of the canvas? Why is the sea only on the right of the gentleman’s shoulder? And the purple to the left, what’s that about? To answer these questions two men of importance need to be briefly mentioned.

The first is the late Macfarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey, also knows as Tony Mackey and known to most Bahamians as the musical performer, Exuma: The Obeah Man. Born in Cat Island, Mackey wrote and sang prolific songs about Bahamian culture that continues to resonate with visitors and Bahamians today.

The second man is King Solomon, credited as the wisest and richest and most powerful king in the Bible.

The dots begin to connect as the viewer gradually sees Mackey through Burnside’s eyes. Burnside creates a bold commemorative piece of art that recognizes Mackey’s memory and status as a leader at what he did. Mackey’s face is given life with the vivid use of color. The yellows and browns seem to reflect the very light of the sun. The artist chose the color purple to fill the space to the left of Mackey’s face, undoubtedly a reference to the esteem Burnside feels Mackey deserves.

The croton leaves, a native plant grown in The Bahamas, are placed to the upper right of the canvas. It would not be too far removed to say that this alludes to the vibrancy of Mackey’s culture and his deep roots in The Bahamas. Behind Mackey’s right shoulder Burnside placed a view of the sea, another clear symbol of Mackey’s Caribbean roots. The viewer shouldn’t ignore the crown that sits snugly over Mackey’s locks, this is Burnside’s assertion of Mackey’s wisdom and kingly status in Bahamian history.

We sympathize with the viewer who pauses expectantly in front of the image waiting on Mackey to burst into song. The peaceful gaze itself readies the viewer for a calm, wise word that only a king could give. Perhaps you’ll have a different experience all together, but there is only one way to find out.

-NP

Visit the NAGB today and see Burnside’s “Solomon” for yourself. Feel free to send us a comment or email, we look forward to hearing from you!