Saturday, October 17, was a popular day for events all across Nassau. Nestled between the International Culture Festival and a reggae concert featuring Beres Hammond and Tarrus Riley, was a monumental event for Bahamian arts. The launch of the Chan Pratt Foundation took place on Saturday at Sapodilla Fine Dining estate and drew a spectacular amalgamation of artists, art enthusiasts and supporters of Chan Pratt including Prime Minister Perry Christie. Needless to say, the launch of the Chan Pratt Foundation was nothing short of a success.
The Chan Pratt Foundation was founded by Dewitt Pratt, the son of the late artist in an effort to preserve his father’s legacy as one of The Bahamas’ master artists while assisting young artists with their career and education. The launch comprised of a mixed media art exhibition, which featured the likes of Eddie Minni, Edrin Symonette, (who recently won the Central Bank’s art competition) and Andrew Weech,.
The exhibition’s theme was “The Chan Pratt Inspiration.” Artists had the task of producing a piece in their own medium inspired by Chan Pratt whether it be his style, subject matter, or personality. Sapodilla’s Shell room was transformed into a gallery adourned with works varying from traditional realism to abstract thanks to curators Christina Wong, Jodi Minnis, and Leanne Russell — all young artists furthering their education within the art field.
The goal was to raise funds to establish the Chan Pratt Scholarship Fund and the start up cost for the foundation, but also to sell the vision Dewitt has for his fledgling nonprofit. That vision is to continue his father’s legacy by helping to promote young artist — bridging the generational gap by using an established name to catapult the careers of those who are finding a name for themselves.
Hors D’oeuvres were provided by Sapodilla, pastries by renowned pastry chefs, Allan Pratt and Chris Weech, and wine by Commonwealth Brewery. Guests were not only treated to an exhibition with delectable eats and wine, but they also were invited to partake in a community painting activity spearheaded by Jamaal Rolle, The Celebrity Artist. Prime Minister Perry Christie dropped in and took part in the fun, lending a few strokes to the painting which was eventually purchased by Island Luck that night.
In organizing the launch of the Chan Pratt Foundation, Dewitt was adamant about engaging a young talented team of professionals, and dynamic young volunteers to contribute to this effort. The College of The Bahamas’ Pro Society art club members were on hand as volunteers but also to gain exposure in the art industry. Pratt’s assistants, Shamon Campbell and Nickelle Ward oversaw the team of volunteers to ensure a smooth operation. Pratt was quoted as saying,
“ The significance of launching the Chan Pratt Foundation is to honor the legacy of an incredible artist while providing opportunities for a new generation of Bahamian talent. This is the first of many events of this caliber. We hope to provide an artistic experience that is inspiring and engaging all at once”
Corporate sponsors for The Chan Pratt Inspiration included Cable Bahamas, Damianos Sotheby’s, and Grant Thornton Bahamas. Notable supporters were Sapodilla Fine Dining, Commonwealth Brewery Ltd., Fidelity Bahamas, Scottdale Bedding Co., Providence Advisors, Studio 3, Graycliff, Olives Meze Grill, and The Movi Group.