MMSAC 2018 goes “Back to da Island”: The NAGB opens early registration for its annual summer camp

By Katrina Cartwright

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is excited to announce the opening of early registration for its Mixed Media Art Summer Camp (MMASC). Now in its fourth year, the camp was started in response to the need for an arts focused camp after the FINCO Summer Art Workshop was discontinued. MMASC has been popular since its inception and has impacted the lives of over 300 students since 2014. The camp takes place between June 25th and August 3rd and is divided into two, three week sessions.

The NAGB welcomes children ages 5 to 17 to the museum, where they will spend their time learning visual art techniques, exploring different avenues of creativity and developing their knowledge of art. This year campers are going “Back to da Island” as they explore indigenous Bahamian crafts like straw work, basket weaving, shell craft, wood carving and much more – in traditional and not so traditional ways. Under the guidance of professional artists and educators, their exploration of materials and techniques will pay homage to Bahamian crafts in their original form while pushing it into the realm of fine art, building a bridge between two equally important forms of creative expression.

Campers on a field trip to Fort Charlotte

Participants experience fun, team building activities through the annual mural project, develop individual works that span an array of disciplines, interact with and watch demonstrations by professional artists and go on exciting, educational field trips that allow them to see The Bahamas in new ways. This all culminates in an exciting exhibition at the NAGB that showcases each student’s most successful work at the end of the six-week period. Students can proudly show off their finished products to family and friends, and parents will know that their child has partaken in an unforgettable experience.

MMASC provides a space where aspiring artists can experiment with diverse materials and explore a range of artistic techniques. It increases students’ exposure to the arts and allows them to dabble in new or familiar art forms in different ways. Paint, paper, shells, wood, bottle caps, leaves, straw – students will be invited to use them to create work that pushes the boundaries of traditional art. All of this while using indigenous materials and learning about the uniqueness of our Family Islands!

Making art takes a lot of concentration.

The annual mural project will immerse participants in truly memorable, creative team experience, where they will engage in an exciting mural project that will occupy a public space for months to come. Under the guidance of professional muralists, the finished piece will engender a sense of accomplishment among students that is invaluable. This wonderful project will encourage children to solve problems creatively, work together and share their ideas freely.

MMASC is an important part of the NAGB’s yearly programming. Students come from all over the country to participate in this camp and for many of them, this is their first interaction with the museum. “For some, it is the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the institution and the people who work there,” says Abby Smith, NAGB’s Community Outreach Officer and camp coordinator. The NAGB works hard to ensure that the camp is open and accessible to children from diverse backgrounds and actively engages Family Island students.

The camp is held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday on the grounds of the NAGB. At the MMASC, we value your child and work to provide a fun and safe environment for them to explore in. All the materials, equipment, instructors, lunch and snack are included in the fee. Campers are only asked to bring a great attitude and lots of creativity.

Camp is filled with art and some old school playground games

Come back to the island with us as we go on a journey filled with the sounds and colours of our beautiful waters, the brilliant greens of our landscape, the feel of our balmy breezes, the rhythmic sounds of our music and the colourful language of the Bahamian people. See The Bahamas through the lens of the artists and artisans who have used and continue to use  natural indigenous materials as a source of inspiration and to create their work.

Summer Camp enrollment is on a first come, first served basis. However, those who register and pay before May 4th, 2018 receive a discounted rate of $405.00 (inclusive of VAT). This is a savings of over $70.00 on the original price! Paper applications are available at the NAGB’s Mixed Media Gift Store. To make it even easier to register, the online application will soon be available through the museum’s website. To learn more about MMASC contact Abby Smith at 3285800/1 or [email protected].