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Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Mixed Media Blog

Reinforcing connection

Holly Bynoe

NAGB chief curator looks for potential links for regional artists abroad!!

Chief Curator of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) Holly Bynoe has been seeking new opportunities for local and regional artists abroad. Invited to take part in Caribbean Focus, the British Council’s international curatorial research trip, Bynoe traveled to Scotland, last month with a cohort of eight other curators and cultural workers from the Caribbean, South and North America and India for 10 days of researching and networking.

NAGB Chief Curator Holly Bynoe presents an overview of her work at the British Council International Curatorial Research Trip. 

The connection with the British Council was made at a Tilting Axis conference held in February of this year at Fresh Milk Art Platform in Barbados. Bynoe is a co-founder of Tilting Axis, an ongoing series of conferences and discussions dedicated to developing infrastructure between independent art organizations across the Caribbean, U.S., E.U. and Asia. In hopes of engaging with the Caribbean cultural industry, British Council representatives attended the conference and returned to report to Juliet Dean, visual arts advisor at the British Council.

While the spring and summer months were filled with travels and changes, particularly as Bynoe joined the NAGB as chief curator, the British Council was set on returning the hospitality. In late September, Bynoe was invited to travel to Glasgow to share her work and mission with others from across the region and Atlantic.

“I think it’s good to figure out how the British Council wants to participate in the Caribbean cultural sphere,” said Bynoe. “When you are a post-independence Anglophone territory, it comes with a deep suspicion. But it seems as though they want to facilitate a connection between the UK, and the Caribbean. A stream to support exchanges, collaborations, mentorship programs and direct linkages with institutions within the Caribbean is what they want to achieve and build on.”

Sponsored entirely by the British Council, the trip was an exploratory one, and Bynoe hoped to see how the council’s interests would align with her own as curator of the NAGB. The group’s primary objective was finding out more about contemporary art practices and the creative sector in the UK, and in return, the curators presented individual overviews of their work.

Bynoe hopes more of Graham Fagen’s works like this, “The Slave’s Lament”, will travel throughout the Caribbean. 

Bynoe is well connected throughout the region. In addition to being the NAGB’s chief curator, she is editor-in-chief and founder of ARC Magazine, meaning that she has dedicated herself to travelling the region, fostering relationships with artists, curators and art institutions. This has been done in an effort to promote artists from the Caribbean and contemporary art movements in the region on a larger platform. Still, Bynoe knew no one other than artist and Alice Yard administrator Christopher Cozier, whom she met when he curated an exhibition showing some of her works. The trip offered her the chance to build new relationships from others with similar backgrounds. And with much of the work in the Caribbean focusing on a shared history of colonization and the tensions that come with it, a partnership with the British Council could be eye-opening for many on both sides of the pond.

“I just want to be able to show up and confirm commitment, because the British Council has a vast wealth of infrastructural knowledge and connections, which could be used in very specific ways to support either The Bahamas and the wider Caribbean. So that’s my interest – figuring out where I can intersect and develop collaborations,” Bynoe explained.

Graham Fagen is one example of the ways individual artists can benefit from the exchange. Fagen has already made a name for himself internationally, having represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale this year. His work now reflects his studies in the history of slavery and cultural trauma for those on both sides of the Pond. Fagen has been deconstructing the ways we contemplate and represent slavery and it is anticipated that his pieces will travel throughout the Caribbean region.

The Seventh National Exhibition, which opened last December at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, was curated by Holly Bynoe and Michael Edwards. 

According to Bynoe, the British Council’s interest in the visual art arena in the Caribbean should be viewed as something that local and regional artists should tap into.

The British Council showing an interest in the visual art industry in the Caribbean is a profitable moment for artists, as we will benefit from the council’s infrastructural support,” she said. “In a way, they are looking at a more holistic way to define their support… all granting organizations have their own inherent agendas, so defining our independence and agency within this is going to be crucial and challenging.”

For more information on the NAGB and the ways it is forging connections with international creative spaces, visit its website,

, or Facebook page, or call 328-5800.

The December Artwork of the Month is ‘Balinese Woman With Flamingoes’

Holly Bynoe

By Natalie Willis

For many at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB), Brent Malone’s “Balinese Woman with Flamingoes” is a favorite from the National Collection. An original Malone, the painting is considered one of the gems that has been graciously gifted to the gallery over the years (in this case, by the kindness of Jean Cookson). Painted in the last decade of his life, “Balinese Woman with Flamingoes” resulted from the intersection of several events and factors in Malone’s life at the time.

The 90s was an important decade for Malone, as his work was being recognized on both national and international levels. He was honored at the College of The Bahamas and at a solo show at the Central Bank of the Bahamas. Perhaps, most importantly to Malone himself, he received the honor of becoming a Member of the British Empire and met Queen Elizabeth II herself.

Having just secured the UBS mural commission, he took his daughter, Marysa, on a three-month trip to Indonesia – visitors at the gallery can find evidence of this in the pensive portrait of the Balinese woman, which at first glance seems so reminiscent of Gauguin’s paintings of Tahitian women and girls. There is, however, a fundamental difference between the two artists (time-periods aside) that lies in the gaze through which they painted and observed their subjects. Both viewed their subjects with what could be a near-unavoidable male gaze, but where Gauguin sexualized his subjects and transformed them to exotic beings, Malone’s painting gives off the impression that he immersed himself in the culture and used his painting as a way to understand another society. In “Balinese Woman With Flamingoes”, his subject is sensory and sensual, rather than sexualized.

One theory is that this approach stems from his experience as “the Other”, being white in a predominantly black country. A feeling of marginalization is common among minority groups in all countries, and The Bahamas is no exception. It may be because of this that he approached his subjects with a sensitivity to their humanity.

The brushstrokes are full of the looseness, movement and vibrancy associated with Malone’s work, but the woman appears purposefully still; Malone thereby makes her the focus of the work amidst a pink and crimson cacophony of tropical birds. Though Balinese, the woman somehow seems familiar. Her features are reminiscent of those found in mixed-race Bahamians and indigenous peoples. Her eyes are trained forward, focusing on something in the distance, which brings to mind the motto of The Bahamas: ‘Forward, upward, onward, together’; another national symbol is clearly the bizarrely beautiful flamingo. In some ways, it could be said that Malone was inserting his own Bahamian cultural sensitivities and understandings into the painting.

Malone appears to integrate himself into the environment of the Balinese woman, just as he integrated himself so firmly into Bahamian culture after returning home from university, and carved a path for Bahamians of European descent to claim Bahamianness. Many believe that Malone’s work has such wide appeal because it deals with the fundamentals of soul, getting to the heart of Bahamianness.

Happy Holidays from Team NAGB

Holly Bynoe

The NAGB is wishing you and yours a peaceful and creative 

holiday season. You are invited to visit the NAGB during 

the festive season, as Insurance Management is underwriting 

costs for locals and residents from December 19 to January 


You can also finish up your shopping at our Mixed Media 

Store! Our holiday sale runs from December 22 to January 

3 with discounts up to 50% on select items.

Opening doors at PopopStudios

Holly Bynoe

Opening its doors again to the community, PopopStudios hosted its end of year open studios night yesterday. From 6-9 p.m., visitors were invited to check out studio spaces and view artists’ recently completed works and works in progress. The event is something that Popop has become known for.

The studios were once the home and then a bed and breakfast belonging to the grandfather of Popop Founder John Cox. The space transitioned into a creative one in 1997, with Cox seeking a critical and honest place to work. Soon after, artists like Heino Schmid, Blue Curry, Jason Bennett and Michael Edwards were invited to have studios or use the space to work. In 2008, Popop officially opened into commercial studio space.

“One of the biggest things I missed when I left RISD (The Rhode Island School of Design) was conversation around making work – mature, honest, critical conversation about the works you’re making and the works in the environment,” recalled Cox. “And I was like, ‘Oh, man, how am I going to find that?’ Because it’s important for people to tell you honestly what they think is going on with your practice… Those conversations are pivotal, and you find them in different ways.”

Located in Chippingham, the creative hub has become known as an inclusive space, dedicated to the development of emerging artists. Its annual artist in residency programs provide selected College of The Bahamas art majors with a place to continue their practice and become acquainted with the business side of art, while being surrounded by fulltime practicing commercial and fine artists.

            “The open studios concept was designed initially for the purposes of exposing the public to artists who have studios here, to their practices,” explained Cox. “It was designed to be an event that would take place three or four times a year and be something that all of the artists stationed here would be expected to do. And it is just that.”

            There are nine artists in residence at PopopStudios International Center for the Visual Arts engaged in a variety of art forms, including jewelry making, mixed-media practice, painting, photography and sculpture. The open studios evening is designed to benefit each of them. While it is customary for studios to take a percentage of artists’ sales to fund operating costs, artists keep 100% of the proceeds from works sold inside the individual studios on open studios evenings. Those hoping to support both the artists and the institution should inquire about works on sale in the general Popop gallery space, where proceeds are split between the studios and artists.

            And while the doors to Popop’s studios hadn’t been thrown open in a while, Cox recognized the importance of the event as an artist and member of the Popop community.

“It’s like a litmus test for your practice, and if things are progressing well, and if you’re engaged in your practice, opening up your studio doors every three months to have people walk around for three hours shouldn’t be a task. It does provide incentive to keep making art; people don’t want to come to this open studio and come to another one in February and see the same work.”
 Hosting open studio nights is something Cox hopes to do once a quarter, scheduling them in around formal shows in the space. He also has plans to use the recent Baha Mar closure to benefit the space.

“What we want to do is move a little bit of the energy from The Current to Popup, and have those guys be the creative administrative team that pushes programming, if we can get the funding for it,” he said.

“Popop’s model was cut and pasted in The Current so we’re going to take the good stuff from that experience and repaste here to create a broader, more dynamic agenda.”

For more information on PopopStudios Open Studios events or to visit the studios and gallery, contact Popop at 322-7834. 

Functional Sculpture opened at Hillside House this week

Holly Bynoe

There was a lively scene at Hillside House this past Tuesday when the gallery unveiled its newest exhibition, Functional Sculpture. A group show, Functional Sculpture features the works of John Beadle, John Cox, Tyrone Ferguson, Robin Hardy and gallery owner Antonius Roberts.

 It is curated by Beadle, who developed the idea of a show featuring furniture and décor designed and crafted by artists. He discussed the concept with Roberts, who supported the idea; the two got to work on planning a show at Roberts’ downtown gallery.

“It was initially John Cox, myself and Antonius [Roberts] – painters who also make furniture” explained Beadle. “From there it blossomed to include Margot Bethel, Tyrone Ferguson and Robin Hardy, but Margot, later excused herself due to a scheduling conflict.”

While each artist was asked to submit two “functional” pieces and one wall-mounted piece, he was free to interpret the definition and purpose of “furniture”. The hope was that the group, in a few months, would produce a collection that would be functional, comfortable and intriguing.

Beadle combined three local woods – woman’s tongue, wild tamarind and an unknown salvaged piece – with red metal to design and build a contemporary chair and bench/table duo that is complemented by a mounted sculpture. The sculpture’s elements, reminiscent of parts that might be found on a sailing sloop, echo motifs present in Ferguson’s trio of a mirror, console table and coffee table.

Known for his striking metal works, Ferguson incorporated wood salvaged from a Haitian sloop and industrial materials sourced from his childhood, when his family owned a workshop, in his “Epigenetic Engineering” series. In the series is a ‘sailboat’ mirror that is both beautiful and contemplative. His coffee table, too, is eye-catching in another way. Glass rests on a base comprised of industrial materials, and bits and pieces of machinery make the furniture itself a conversation piece.

“What each artist decided to make was up to him. Whether it would be typical furniture or not made no difference to me,” explained Beadle. “We wanted to experiment with what an object designed by artists, referred to as ‘furniture’, would look like. So the anticipation was not a regular chair or a regular table. It was something different.”

A pair of fanciful chairs that are both comfortable and regal in appearance are easily identified as John Cox’s works. They balance the room with childlike whimsy. More of Cox’s works and works in progress were on display yesterday at the PopopStudios Open Studios night.

The show’s host adds two coffee tables and a mirror to the body of works. A hollowed trunk from a large wild tamarind tree serves as the base of one of Roberts’ coffee tables, lending majestic flair to his collection. Burning the hollowed interior left the base smooth and provided a sensory experience of another nature with a faint burnt aroma. A smaller table crafted from the same tree and accentuated by the addition of goatskin calls attention to locale and speaks to the country and region’s farming practices and relationship with the land and environment. The past and present pair up in his mirror, which is framed by centuries-old wood from the historic Hansard Building in Parliament Square.

Rounding off the room – quite literally – are Robin Hardy’s wall-mounted bowls. The wood turner has made a name for himself with his use of local trees in pen and bowl crafting. Hardy also unveiled a bench and bent plywood floor lamp – the only lighting fixture in the show.

The exhibition seems particularly suitable in a country, where, for so long, most structures were made from wood. According to Beadle, there is a large population of carpenters skilled in cabinetry, home building and furniture making in The Bahamas. He compares these kinds of crafts to fine carpentry.

“Carpentry is a big thing around here,” said Beadle. “We are in an environment where most of the houses were clapboard. Everything was built out of wood. But there is a small population of designers who design with wood as the primary material and who sees wood as raw material to fashion their creative ideas.”

Beadle hopes this exhibition is only the first of a series of exchanges and encounters that encourages creatives to design with wood in mind, as well as any other material that serves the creative impulse, whether or not they are trained in the fashioning of that material.

“I think, I would like this to grow to a point where we have people, artists, creatives who design things. Forget about the skilled practitioners in the first instance; skill can be hired. It’s not about whether you, as an artist, can build the object. It’s about whether someone’s design can function the way we expect it to.”

He added, “I think, with the exercise of doing shows like this, the work future may become more eclectic, more fantastic and more ground in the experiences of this space.”

Functional Sculpture will be on view at Hillside House through December 2015. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and by appointment.

What’s on at the NAGB

Holly Bynoe

Seasonal hours and Insurance Management’s special
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is getting into the holiday spirit with extended visiting hours. The gallery is normally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Now, the NAGB is offering an extra hour of visiting time, remaining open until 5 p.m. to give students and families time to visit after school and work. This will come in handy this month, when Insurance Management will be underwriting the cost of NAGB admission for all locals and residents.
From December 19 to January 16, locals will be able to enjoy the Brent Malone retrospective exhibition free of charge, courtesy of Insurance Management. R. Brent Malone: Reincarnation features more than 260 works by the legendary Bahamian artist. In true seasonal style, visitors are sure to appreciate the Junkanoo exhibition, where more than 50 works tell the story of Junkanoo’s importance to the local creative community.

Panel talk: Cultivating creators and Bahamian art and the marketplace
Brent Malone spent much of his life cultivating collectors and promoting his work. In so doing he became a businessman and did well as an artist. Even now, after death, his work continues to sell, and his estate is managed by his daughter, Marysa Malone. The NAGB will be hosting a discussion at 7 p.m. on December 17 on the importance of cultivating collectors and how to do so. The conversation will cover the business of handling an active artist’s estate. Panel speakers will include estate manager Marysa Malone and art dealers Jay Koment and Uli Voges. For more information, contact the NAGB at 328-5800.

“Coming Home” Exhibition By Alexia Roach Opens On Thursday, December 17 at Doongalik

Holly Bynoe

Doongalik Studios will bring its year to a close with an exhibition of mixed media artwork by Alexia Roach entitled “Coming Home” which will open on Thursday, December 17 from 6-9pm.

The artist, who has come home for Christmas to mount the exhibition, made these statements about her newest works:

While I do not consider myself an existentialist by any means, my work does center on themes of coexistence which I express through the use of layering and gathering, both methodically and materially. Often times I find myself forcing contradictions of medium and theory to work together harmoniously, not only to bring about aesthetic cohesion, but also to make valid unlikely or unimaginable ideals, breaking the rules of convention to form my own utopia.

 ‘Coming Home’ is a parallel between the spiritual and earthly sanctums of family and familiarity, and wanting as a riposte. When my father passed away two years ago, I was moved to begin creating work that expressed facets of that experience. This new work has a strong sense of hopefulness. I've worked with bold colors and traditional mediums in the past, but I'm very excited to introduce these serene and other-worldly pieces. They're very different from what I've done previously, which is fitting, really, because I'm such a different artist now, a different person.

This exhibition will help to assist with my college expenses. I currently attend the School of The Art Institute of Chicago's (ranked as one of the top 3 art school in the U.S. by US News) MDes Fashion Body and Garment program under the tutelage of Nick Cave. The program offers many opportunities for students like myself, and it has been a great experience for me thus far.

Doongalik’s owner Pam Burnside, who also trained as a fashion designer, expressed her pleasure in hosting the exhibition since Alexia is one of her kindergarten students. “As a former teacher, it is extremely gratifying to know that your students are pursuing their dream, especially when it involves creativity. I feel very proud of Alexia’s success!”

The Exhibition will be on display until Wednesday, January 20, 2016. Gallery hours are Monday to Wednesday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. For more information you may contact the Gallery at 394-1886.

Living with art: Toby Lunn is the protagonist in his newest show

Holly Bynoe

Artist Toby Lunn is leading people off the beaten gallery path with his newest show, in more ways than one.

The exhibition, titled Follow the Protagonist, features Lunn’s most recently completed body of paintings – one that ‘travels’ metaphorically and visually from canvas to canvas.

“The protagonist is the leading character in a story, and it just seemed fitting. The title came from a conversation I was having with someone, about movement and inspiration and she said, ‘follow the protagonist’. I thought it was a great concept,” recalled Lunn.

The show embodies ownership and maturity; through his abstract paintings, Lunn bounces from aquatic works reminiscent of the Bahamian seas to darker-hued pieces that seem to acknowledge the constructs of racial identity. A series of landscapes completes the show, which is on view at Interni Interiors, an interior design boutique located on Blake Road.

In his search for a venue, Lunn’s criteria was simple – a neutral and welcoming place where visitors could see his works in their homes. Interni offers just that. Run by designer Gabriella Curry, Interni is its own canvas. Curry blends modern, crisp home décor with eclectic eye-catchers to stage a home both interesting and functional. Lunn’s pieces fit in seamlessly. It was his intention, he explained, to help visitors see how his work could be a part of their homes.

“The idea is that the paintings exist in a functional space,” he said. “So as much as I love a super clean gallery, I also love the interactive spaces, like offices, for my work. The idea is that it’s artwork living in a real space.”
            Still, the exhibition manages to exude something personal. Lunn’s works, largely painted intuitively, change direction in mood and feeling. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he often works on more than one painting at a time – a practice adopted by some of the country’s most celebrated artists, including Brent Malone.
“The show is almost like different parts of my personality, and I’m owning it now,” he said. “It’s like someone who is multiracial, having been told to pick a side. I’m done picking, and not picking has allowed me a kind of freedom.”

He added: “In the Bahamian art scene there’s always that struggle to identify oneself, and for me, I’m the protagonist. I’m just following my own lead now.”
Most of the works in Follow The Protagonist are newer paintings, with a few older pieces dating back to 2011. His works complement and are complemented in return by a graceful series of sculptures by local ceramicist Imogene Walkine. A collection of bright, tropical statement jewelry by Kim Moir completes the exhibition, which is unorthodox, but works in all the ways Lunn hoped it would.
This step outside the box might be read as an indication of Lunn’s future career moves. Acknowledging the concentrated market at home, Lunn hopes to take the lead on exhibiting his work internationally and establishing both relationships with collectors home and abroad.
“Any time anyone gets to show somewhere with a great audience, it’s a win-win situation,” said Lunn. “Here, I’ve heard some collectors come in and say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry I already have 500 paintings. I have no room’. You don’t need to burden local collectors when there’s a huge market outside.”
For now, his works seem quite at home in Follow the Protagonist, which is on view at Interni through the holiday season. Anyone interested in seeing how Lunn’s paintings, Walkine’s sculptures or Moir’s jewelry might fit in with their homes and lifestyles are asked to contact Curry at Interni Interiors for a viewing. Curry can be reached at 376-0205.

A holiday partnership at the National Art Gallery

Holly Bynoe

This Christmas the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) and Insurance Management are getting into the holiday spirit and inviting locals to join in the fun. From December 19 to January 15, Bahamians and residents will be able to enjoy the 260-plus works in R. Brent Malone: Reincarnation without paying a dime.

Normal admission is $7 for local adults and $5 for students 12 and over; children under 12 are free. During the Christmas season, though, locals can enjoy all the gallery has to offer as guests of Insurance Management, which is underwriting admission costs.

The insurance company is no stranger to the NAGB. Much of its significant collection of Bahamian art – including works by Alton Lowe, Chan Pratt and Eddie Minnis – can be found in its Rosetta Street offices. And three of Insurance Management’s Brent Malone paintings hang in the retrospective exhibition, which is curated by Dr. Erica James and covers 50 years of Malone’s career.

Malone helped to transform the landscape of artistic production in The Bahamas during his lifetime. As one of the country’s first successful art businesspersons, his memory and legacy live on through his works and mentees, who include artists like Antonius Roberts and Peggy Hering.

He is remembered particularly as one of the first serious Bahamian artists to paint Junkanoo, and Reincarnation features more than 50 works commemorating and celebrating the Bahamian festival. With the NAGB’s ballroom ablaze with images expressing the freedom and joy of Junkanoo, there is no better time for kids to enjoy the exhibition’s festive colors, while adults admire Malone’s skill and repertoire of art genres. And with the kids out of school, the NAGB is inviting the whole family to stop in for a cultural visit.

Visiting hours at the NAGB are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

For more information on the NAGB or R. Brent Malone: Reincarnation, call 328-5800 or visit its website at

A different kind of craftsman: Andrew Ash, 35 years of framing experience

Holly Bynoe

Andrew Ash has been putting the finishing touches on artwork for 35 years without a paintbrush in sight. A creative of a different nature, Ash began working as a framer in 1980; he claims his is the longest career in the industry in the entire Bahamas.
His career in the craft began at a local shop on Shirley Street called The Frame Center. Under the eye of Richard Charlow, who was then one of The Bahamas’ most respected framers, Ash learned the basics.
“The first thing he taught me was how to read the measuring tape by writing different measurements on strips of paper and taking these strips home to study every night,” recalled Ash.
He mastered cutting and joining the molding and cutting matboard, glass and backing before he was allowed to assemble the piece in a process known as “completing”.
Since 1980, Ash has worked at The Frame Centre, Balmain Antiques Framing – both now closed – and Andrew Aitken Frame Art. Over the decades, he’s been using his skills to complement works by many of the country’s foremost artists of both newer and older generations. Among his clientele have been Brent Malone, whose works are now featured in Reincarnation, a retrospective exhibition at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, and Lavar Munroe, who was recently featured in the main exhibition at the 2015 Venice Biennale.
These days, though, he can be found at The Place for Art – a business he owns with art educator Kim Smith.

Building rapport

Ash and Smith met in 1992, when Ash framed a particularly sentimental work for Smith, who had recently moved to The Bahamas from Canada.
“I needed the first drawing I had done in The Bahamas framed, and Simonetta Raymond-Barker referred me to a framing shop called Balmain Antiques and Framing where Andrew was employed as the framer,” Smith recalled.

An artist and teacher for over 30 years, Smith established The Place for Art in 2001 as an art education center offering afterschool, evening and weekend art lessons for young people and adults. It was originally located off East Bay Street in the Island Traders Building. All the while, Ash framed Smith’s works, even after Balmain closed.
It was then, in 2007, that Smith pitched the idea of opening a framing business together, but it wasn’t until a few years later, with little push from Pam Burnside, owner of Doongalik Studios, that plans began coming together.
“In 2012 Pam Burnside offered one of her vacant buildings on the property to Andrew and me to create the framing business. We decided to incorporate the art classes with the picture framing and relocate to the Village Road location,” explained Smith.
“It took a few years to get organized and to get the funding we needed to open, but in January of 2015, we became Nassau’s newest custom picture framing boutique,” he added.

The Place for Art
Smith’s art lessons haven’t slowed as The Place for Art has expanded its services to included specializing in “archival framing”.
            “This means that all of our materials are of archival quality, giving art and photos, or other treasured documents the best protection from damaging ultraviolet rays and chemical deterioration,” explained Smith.
Framing is a personal experience. Ash offers guidance on framing styles to help each client determine a design that works best for her or him. He takes the artwork’s measurements before providing a quote. And though The Place for Art’s framing service has earned a reputation that keeps Ash busy, the company still manages to guarantee a three-day turnaround on all its framing jobs.   
The Place for Art is located at Doongalik Studios on Village Road and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. To find out more about Smith’s art lessons and Ash’s framing work, call The Place for Art at 393-8834.

The Art of Matt Wild to be Featured at Festival Noel

Holly Bynoe

Freeport, Bahamas – As the Festival Noel committee strings the lights, restaurants prepare their menus and Bristol Wines and Spirits chills the wine, one of the most important aspects of Festival Noel is beginning to arrive at the Rand Nature Centre - the art!

This year’s featured artist is Matthew Wildgoose (aka Matt Wild), a Grand Bahama native who is well-known for his acting talents on Cable Bahamas and BTC commercials and is now showing off his passion for painting.
Wild has displayed his art both locally and internationally, with his first two art exhibitions paying homage to Bahamian pop icons.  Matthew’s art has been described as ‘Drama on Canvas’ where he chooses to paint iconic personalities in a powerful and dramatic way. During his first international art show Wild’s inspiration came from classic cinema.  His first buyers during that exhibition were actor Samuel L. Jackson and his wife LaTanya!

“I was thrilled to be asked to exhibit at Festival Noel,” noted Wild. “It’s exciting to have my work showcased at this very popular event.  I don’t know who is more thrilled – me or my mother?”

Wild’s art can be found in countless homes as well as in art collections at Sapodilla Restaurant & Estate, the British Colonial Hilton hotel and Towne Hotel, located in downtown Nassau. It is also part of the “Dawn Davies Art Collection” and the D'Aguilar Art Foundation.  His art can be seen in murals at The Bahamas Humane Society in Nassau, Bahamas (New Providence) and the Junkanoo Museum in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

“Festival Noel is a wonderful avenue for artists to showcase and sell their artwork to over 400 guests that we annually attract to our event,” noted, Lakeshia Anderson, BNT Grand Bahama National Parks Manager.  “Besides Matt, we currently have eight talented artists also displaying their work and this year we will welcome a young upcoming Bahamian artist, Lamaro Smith, who we hope will inspire others.”

To date, artists participating in Festival Noel 2015 are Adagio Art by Del Foxton, The Painter Poet – Aaron Hanna, Lamaro Smith, the Grand Bahama Artists Association, Paola Correa de Albury, Ken Heslop, Magnolia Designs by Orelia Bowe and Creative DeSigns by Stephanie Doland-Gilbert.

All of this art will go on display at the annual fundraiser for the BNT – Festival Noel - held this year on Friday, December 4th at 7pm at the Rand Nature Centre.  Tickets are on sale for $50 in advance for BNT members and $55 for non-members and $60 on the day of the event for all.  Tickets can be purchased at Rand Nature Centre, the Art of Giving, Bristol Wines and Spirits and Barefoot Marketing. 

To see more of Wild’s art interested persons can visit the Festival Noel event page, which is also giving daily updates on all participants, sponsors and entertainers.

The Bahamas National Trust was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of the Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility the TRUST, as it is commonly known works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas, through stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 27 National Parks managed by the TRUST with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.

What’s on at the NAGB November/December

Holly Bynoe

Seasonal hours and Insurance Management’s special
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is getting into the holiday spirit with extended visiting hours. The gallery is normally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Now, the NAGB is offering an extra hour of visiting time, remaining open until 5 p.m. to give students and families time to visit after school. This will come in handy next month, when Insurance Management will be underwriting the cost of NAGB admission for all Bahamians and residents.
From December 19 to January 16, locals will be able to enjoy the Brent Malone retrospective exhibition free of charge, courtesy of Insurance Management. R. Brent Malone: Reincarnation features more than 260 works by legendary Bahamian artist, Brent Malone. In true seasonal style, visitors are sure to appreciate the Junkanoo exhibition, where more than 50 works tell the story of Junkanoo’s importance to the local creative community.

Mixed Media Store sale

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is pleased to announce its pre-Christmas Mixed Media store sale beginning November 22 and ending December 6.
The Mixed Media store recently underwent a renovation and features locally-made products by more than 60 artists and artisans, including jewelry, pens, woodcarvings, business card holders, pottery and more. Written works by local authors, historians and poets have also made their home on the store’s shelves.
Shoppers are encouraged to stop in during the store’s hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

COB talk

On Thursday, November 24, Marion Bethel will speak on the journey to women's suffrage in The Bahamas, which spanned more than a decade, going from 1948 to 1962. Her presentation will explore the interrelated topics of race, gender & class during this struggle for suffrage. The evening will also involve a screening of the documentary “Womanish Ways”, on the women’s suffrage movement.
‘Gentle Giant’ screening

On December 2, the gallery will screen “Gentle Giant: The Andre Rodgers Story”. A documentary on the life of Andre Rodgers, the first Bahamian to play Major League Baseball, “Gentle Giant” tells the story of Rodgers growing up in a colonized Bahamas and playing in the U.S. in the 50s and 60s during a time of civil unrest. The film covers Rodgers’ 11-season Major League career and gives viewers an understanding of the struggles he overcame throughout. As with all screenings at the NAGB, this one is free to attend and open to all members of the public.


Holly Bynoe

Doongalik Studios will host the Book and CD Launch of Henry Davis’ “My Country, My Island Stories” on Sunday, November 22 from 3-5pm.


Henry Davis was born and raised in New Bight, Cat Island where he attended New Bight All Age School and Old Bight High School.  The last son of sixteen (16) siblings, after graduating, Davis left Cat Island and relocated to Freeport, Grand Bahama where he currently resides.

The stories in Davis’ book are all real and reflect the exciting life he experienced growing up in Cat Island where he was used to going in the field, going fishing on the boat, catching crabs, shooting marbles, running from ‘sperid’ (ghost), rolling tires and trains, singing, and playing musical instruments. 

Davis stated that in recent conversations with his three sons explaining what his childhood was like growing up on the island, he realized that they did not understand the unique life he had lived as a child, which, although challenging, was filled with many stories of value.  “One of the primary purposes for writing my book was to convey our trek as a people from way back, our system as a country and our government. History, Culture, Religion and Love are some of the emotions you would experience and the book will awaken memories that to some may have been asleep for some time.  To say you will laugh, I most certainly think so.  To say you will cry or become emotional, I say yes!”

“While writing my book I found myself singing, and as a result of that, I wrote several songs based on the stories in the book, and a CD was also born which I recorded along with two of my wonderful lady friends. The music is in the traditional Cat Island singing style.” The music will be played at the Book Launch and Davis will be on hand to autograph his book.

For more information contact the gallery at 394-1886.

Lavar Munroe: Solo booth at MIAMI PROJECTS

Holly Bynoe

Lavar Munroe will be sharing recent drawings, paintings and sculpture at MIAMI PROJECT (Booth E1), December 1-6. The work that will be on view is a continuation of Munroe’s investigation of 19th and 20th century phenomena of Human Zoos. Munroe’s intentions are to work through behaviours and philosophies of past non-Western cultures to further understand hierarchy, prejudices and racist ideals in contemporary Western societies. 

Guanahani—An Unspeakable Land

Holly Bynoe

The Bahamas, from European sensibilities, conjures 007 dreams of exotic beaches and cocktails. It appears to be the epitome of a tropical paradise, however the reality is more complex. The past; pirates, colonial times and slave trade, are elements implicit to contemporary Bahamian culture and they still resonate in the collective psyche. Look deeper and there is another raw and painful history.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus’ notorious and much celebrated discovery of the ‘New World’ seems like a wonderful celebration of human perseverance and ingenuity, but for the indigenous Indians it was a death knell, resulting in genocide. It could be called a successful genocide, as there are no descendants left to call out in outrage at the horror of the past. It is estimated that 40,000 people were wiped out in as little as 25 years. A culture whose customs and history were an oral legacy has been obliterated. It is hard to connect to this tragedy and the compounded losses it represents.
But this is a role of art: to talk about the unspeakable.

On 19th November 2015, established Bahamian artist Chantal Bethel, along with fellow Bahamian Arianne Etuk, will be exhibiting in Maroussia—a new art space in Brussels, Belgium.
Taking The Bahamas to Europe, Bethel and Etuk push beyond the glossy stereotype, and deliberately address the beautiful, the exotic, and the dark and the bloody. They narrate a story of The Bahamas beyond a facile imagery of an ex-colony in the middle of an azure ocean.

Titling the show Guanahani starts the conversation: It is a glamorous word to slip over the tongue, but one with a composite imagery—Guanahani my Love—a book of poetry by Bahamian poet, short storywriter, and essayist Marion Bethel, was the inspiration for artist Chantal Bethel. Guanahani is the indigenous Indian name of Columbus’ first landfall. And the name that Columbus negated by choosing the European-flavoured San Salvador instead.

Through Guanahani Bethel exposes this history of The Bahamas with installation and paintings. She deftly references the Taino Lucayan (the indigenous Indians), with petroglyphs, sacred stones, and suspended driftwood. Within the installation, this simplicity conflicts with images of death and Christopher Columbus—the European hero placed behind bars, accountable for his crimes.
This graphic depiction of history contrasts with Bethel’s subsequent sublime works. A palette of saturated blues and greens dissolve images of enigmatic women and flamboyant flamingos are depicted with her signature crackle effect coruscating the surface.

There is a vast distance between these two experiences of Bethel’s art in this show. It makes her work, viewed in totality, jarring and challenging—a provocative juxtaposition that requires contemplation to understand the connection between the two. For example, it questions preconceptions about The Bahamas and asks: how do past and present fit together? Certainly not facile sunsets and cocktails.

Fitting in the space between the two experiences of Bethel’s art is Etuk’s contribution— stylistic, decorative, and beautiful, yet hinting at the macabre, they guide the emotional journey between the dichotomies of Bethel’s work.

Guanahani, is an elegant articulation, which uses art to discuss the layered meanings of Old world and New. It carefully holds the past, honouring and vilifying, remembering and mourning. A difficult aggregate, it narrates to Europe a more balanced and startling story about one of the complexities of The Bahamas. History is a theme underpinning this show, which, through the language of art, talks of an unspeakable past, but ultimately celebrates a diverse, abundant and joyful present.

Text by Susan Moir-Mackay

Gentle Giant screens at the NAGB on December 2nd

Holly Bynoe

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas will be screening "Gentle Giant: The Andre Rodgers Story" at 6 p.m.on Wednesday, December 2. "Gentle Giant" is a documentary on the life of Andre Rodgers, the first Bahamian to play Major League Baseball. Having grown up in a Bahamas that was still a British colony, Rodgers went on to play in the 50's and 60's in the U.S., which was then going through a period of civil unrest. 

Through the film, audiences get an understanding of the discrimination Rodgers encountered throughout his career. They also get a peek at Rodgers' 11 season career in the major leagues, playing for the New York Giants, the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburg Pirates. The screening is free to attend and open to all members of the public.

Dave Smith opens at the D'Aguilar Art Foundation

Holly Bynoe

The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce a solo exhibition by Dave Smith entitled 'Headlines'.

The exhibition features a new body of paintings in which Dave Smith continues his exploration of perspective and power. These paintings are an intriguing combination of old and new media and subject matter. Smith draws parallels between advertising, cultural iconography and headline-imagery, awakening us to the complexity of consumerism.

Disrupting our inertia to the bombardment of shocking and enticing imagery in our day-to-day lives, Smith assembles images by formal considerations and not subject matter. At times pairing images of crime scenes with aspirational products, Smith dislocates and subverts the agency and sensation of objects and images; advertising memorabilia becomes anthropomorphic and corpse-like, and corpses resemble souvenirs.

Though these paintings explore the accelerated speed of our multi-screen, headline-obsessed society, they unfold as they were made, in a slow and considered manner, calling us to spend time re-examining that which appears familiar.


Smith was born in Derbyshire, England and studied painting at Derby College of Art and Hornsey College of Art. After several years of part-time teaching in art schools, he collaborated with 3 other artists in 1969 to form the London-based Electric Colour Company, an artist collective engaged in the design and production of shop interiors, signage, fashion accessories and custom car finishes, primarily for the thriving London fashion scene of the late 1960’s, with the iconic, Pop-infused Mr.Freedom store at 430 Kings Rd. Chelsea being their debut assignment. He left England in 1973 for The Bahamas, where he taught art and began a prolific period of painting with photo-realist and neo-pop overtones, which he showed in a series of 8 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in Nassau & Miami, FL.

Smith left The Bahamas in 1990 and moved to Los Angeles, supporting himself initially by painting billboards, and subsequently working in TV and motion picture studios as a union scenic artist, including 17 years at NBC studios painting numerous backdrops for the Tonight Show. He held his last solo art exhibition in The Bahamas at The Central Bank of The Bahamas in 2011. Recent exhibitions include Nassau Calling: Art in The Bahamas at Galerie Ernst Hilger in Vienna Austria (2015) and London Transplants at Wallspace Gallery, West Hollywood California (2015).

College of The Bahamas talks on race, class and gender

Holly Bynoe

On Thursday, November 24, Marion Bethel will speak on the journey to women's suffrage in The Bahamas, which spanned more than a decade, going from 1948 to 1962. Her presentation will explore the interrelated topics of race, gender & class during this struggle for suffrage. 

The evening will also involve a screening of the documentary “Womanish Ways”, on the women’s suffrage movement. RSVP to attend here.  

BBQ Midnight Feast at the NAGB

Holly Bynoe

On Friday November 20, Island Flare looks forward to taking you on a journey in food, fun and flavours at their midnight BBQ. The price for this event is $65.00 per person and prepayment is required. Seating will be served on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets are moving quickly.  Contact 465-7242, 433-0464 or 565-1509 or email for more info on purchasing tickets. The event begins promptly at 11 p.m.