What’s on at the NAGB: Keep a lookout for the gallery’s upcoming artists’ talk and summer camp

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is pleased to announce more new and upcoming events on its jam-packed calendar.

NE7 catalogues and panel discussion

First up is the recent arrival of catalogues for the Seventh National Exhibition, Antillean: an Ecology (NE7). The exhibition, which opened on December 11, 2014, has gotten tongues wagging and brains whirring with its subtle and not-so-subtle examinations of the issues surrounding race, class, economy and gender. Antillean: an Ecology will be on display at the NAGB until May 10, after which date the exhibition’s curators hope to see the show travel outside of The Bahamas.

Those who want to remember the groundbreaking show are encouraged to pick up a copy of the NE7 catalogues,
which were freshly delivered last week. The four-color, 147-page catalogues feature addresses by NE7 Co-curators Holly Bynoe and Michael Edwards as well as NAGB Director Amanda Coulson, images of all the show’s works, artist biographies and essays by literary artists. The never-before-seen essays include: “The Haitian As Unspeakable Blackness in the Bahamian Imagination”, by College of The Bahamas (COB) Assistant Professor of English Craig Smith; “Remapping Blackness”, by COB Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts Dr. Ian Bethell-Bennett; “What Is Not Yet Can Be Born”, by Helen Klonaris; “Bahamian Identity: Reshaping the Narrative of Belonging”, by COB Associate Professor in the School of English Marie Sairsingh; and poems by Obediah Michael Smith.

They can be purchased from the Mixed Media gift shop at the NAGB for $35 (inclusive of VAT) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, and 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Linking their recent installation to the Seventh National Exhibition, cousins Nicolette and Margot Bethel, along with architect Anthony Jervis, will be hosting an artists’ talk at the NAGB on April 21. The installation – titled “If” – which currently occupies the PS room at the NAGB, was originally intended to be a part of Antillean: an Ecology, but was instead installed for the 2015 Transforming Spaces Tour. The work is a re-membering of the Bethels’ grandmother’s home, and ventures into territories of class and race, Bahamian architecture and landscape and identity.

The cousins spent much of their childhood on the East Bay Street property, where both their fathers grew up. After their grandmother’s death, they began the process of renovation, only to suddenly find it demolished inexplicably and without permission in 2005. To this day, they have no idea who was responsible for the demolition.

“I like the idea that the three panelists can bring different, yet complementary perspectives to a very layered social, political or personal drama,” explained Margot Bethel. “I hope we are successful in conveying that. And I also hope that some unexpected discussion is generated. I am looking forward to hearing what Tony has to say about this from the perspective of his field as an architect whose practice is concerned with restoration.”

Those who want to hear the Bethels’ personal accounts of the tragedy first-hand are encouraged to attend the talk, which begins at 6:30 p.m. COB Dean and NE7 artist Dr. Ian Bethell-Bennett will be moderating the panel discussion.

Mixed Media Summer Camp

In the throes of preparation for what is sure to be a summer camp to remember, the NAGB’s education and curatorial teams are readying themselves to select the winners of the mural “paint by numbers” and “writing on the wall” competitions. Still open to submissions, the competition asks visual artists to submit proposals of mural designs and literary artists to send in entries of poetry or prose of 50 words or less to be splashed across outdoor wall spaces by the NAGB’s 2015 summer campers. Both the imagery and poetry or prose should respond to keywords including “mixed media”, “kids”, “art”, “camp”, “colorful”, “fun”, “community”, “dynamic” and “on the hill”. Those interested in entering the competition are encouraged to submit their proposals to Abby Smith, at [email protected], or Corinne Lampkin, at [email protected] this week.

On that note, registration for both sessions of the 2015 NAGB Mixed Media Summer Camp is open, and families are encouraged to sign their kids up as soon as possible to reserve their spots. The camp is divided into two three-week sessions. The first takes place from June 22 to July 9; the second will be held from July 13 to 31. Early bird registrants who sign up and pay before April 27 receive a discount of more than 15 percent per session. The cost of the camp includes tuition for three weeks, materials, two T-shirts per camper, field trips and events and a snack and drink each day. To find out more about registering for the camp, contact Abby Smith or Corinne Lampkin at the NAGB.

Next month at the NAGB

Next month, things to look out for at the NAGB include a spoken word night with C.R. Walker Senior High School students and American poet and motivational speaker Omekongo Dibinga on May 1, the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival exhibition in the PS room and the Central Bank collection exhibition titled “40 Years of Commitment to the Arts”, which opens on May 28.