The NAGB’s Summer Camp Takes a Walk Through Time

By Katrina Cartwright.

With less than two months left, the Education Department at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas has accelerated preparations for the Mixed Media Summer Art Camp (MMSAC). Now in its third year, the camp was started in response to the need for an arts-focused camp after the FINCO Summer Art Workshop was discontinued. MMSAC has been popular since its inception and has impacted the lives of 220 students since 2014. The camp is divided into two, three-week sessions that take place between June 19 and July 7 and July 11 and 28, 2017.

Participants experience fun, team-building activities through the annual mural project, work on individual work 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 work to family and friends and parents will know that their child has partaken in an experience that will be remembered.

Mixed Media Summer Art Camp 2016. Making art requires complete focus. All images courtesy of the NAGB.

“Students come from all over the country to participate in this camp. The social interactions are unique and the experiences unforgettable,” 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 theme this year “A Journey Through Time” melds history and visual art and approaches the history of The Bahamas, from the Lucayans to modern day Bahamas through the work of the artists who are a part of the NAGB’s permanent exhibition. Under the guidance of professional artists and educators, students explore ideas of perception and reality as seen in through artists’ work and follow the threads that connect our present to our past.

End-of-camp Student Exhibition at the NAGB.

MMSAC provides a space where aspiring painters can embrace their inner Brent Malone and experiment with traditional and contemporary painting techniques. Students explore the world of the Expressionists and Impressionists, paint from observation and sample the wonderfully expressive qualities of abstract art through the lens of Bahamian history.

This experience has been designed to increase students’ exposure to the arts and give them the opportunity to dabble in new or familiar art forms in different ways. The untapped potential of the undiscovered sculptor will be brought to the forefront as students create three-dimensional artwork using recyclables, clay, found objects and other materials. Your aspiring builder or inventor will be given room to let his/her imagination soar!

Of course, we cannot overlook the emerging printmakers and mixed media artists who use materials in fun and expressive ways to tell their stories. Paint, paper, string, wood, bottle caps, leaves – students will be invited to use them to create work that pushes the boundaries of traditional art. All of this while learning about our rich, unique history!

Eliana and Tamina working on their drawings at MMSAC 2016.

The annual mural project will immerse participants in an unforgettable, creative team experience at the NAGB’s Mixed Media Summer Camp, where they will engage in an exciting mural project that will occupy a public space for months to come. Under the guidance of professional mural artists, the finished project will engender a sense of accomplishment among students that is invaluable. This wonderful team-building project will encourage children to solve problems creatively and share their ideas freely.

Come with us as we take a walk through Bahamian history using the stories that artists tell through their work. Watch the story of the Lucayans unfold, experience the excitement of Independence Day and delve into the events that shaped The Bahamas that we live in. See The Bahamas through the lens of artists who have experienced significant historic events, were inspired by them or used the arts to effect change in their communities. Give your child a memorable artistic experience that tells our story.