Eleven Bahamian artists will be in the spotlight at the Waterloo Centre for the Arts (WCA) in Waterloo, Iowa next month in an Exhibition which will run from October 14 through January 2012 and then travel to various art venues throughout the U.S. Plans for the Exhibition began one year ago when Cammie Scully, Director of the WCA, was intrigued and excited when she came across the widely popular documentary “Artists of The Bahamas’ produced by Filmmakers Karen and Tom Neuwirth (www.artistsofthebahamas.com) which opened during the 2008 Bahamas International Film Festival season. The film chronicles in fascinating detail the lives and art of the late artists Amos Ferguson, Brent Malone and Jackson Burnside along with Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith, Eddie Minnis, John Beadle, John Cox, Kendal Hanna, Max Taylor and Stan Burnside.
Entitled “Master Artists of The Bahamas” the exhibition will feature over 40 pieces of artwork including paintings, installations and sculpture and the opening event will also include a two-day Public Symposium featuring the artists and their representatives who will be traveling to Iowa for the event.
Visitors will also be the first to view the premiere screening of “Match Me If You Can” the documentary on the late Bahamian artist, Amos Ferguson that was produced by the filmmakers, along with the “Artists of the Bahamas” film and the recently completed “Brent Malone: Father of Bahamian
Art” film that premiered in Nassau earlier this year at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
WCA boasts the largest public collection of Haitian art in the world as well as a collection of Caribbean art that includes over 50 works by Amos Ferguson, so their interest was definitely piqued when they came across the “Artists of The Bahamas” film. Having connected with the filmmakers, Ms
Scully and the WCA’s curator, Kent Shankle, travelled to Nassau in October 2010 to meet with the artists and view their work and the visit fortuitously coincided with a city-wide “Artists of The Bahamas” Exhibition which was on display at six art galleries.
Plans were immediately set in motion to mount the show in October of this year. Working with eleven artists and their representatives to coordinate the artwork was no small feat. With the assistance of Erica James, the former Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB), and the exhibition’s Bahamian coordinator, Pam Burnside, along with WCA Curator, Kent Shankle, artists made decisions on which art pieces to select and in July a container shipment of Bahamian artworks left Nassau in route for Iowa where they are presently being installed.
“We would like to thank firstly the filmmakers for having the vision to produce this excellent film and, as a result, the WCA for allowing us this opportunity to expose Bahamian Art to the world at their venue,” stated Mrs Burnside. “We are grateful to the NAGB and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for their support in this endeavour. We were also privileged to garner the support of Her Excellency, United States Ambassador Nicole Avant who was thrilled to learn of the collaborative event between the countries and promptly provided assistance to enable NAGB’s curatorial assistant/videographer, Jackson Petit to accompany the artists to Iowa to document the entire trip.”
“This is the first time that such a large contingent of Bahamian visual artists’ work has ever been on display in the United States and I am confident that it will be an amazing opportunity to showcase the world class talent that we have in abundance within our country. Bahamian Art is flourishing, and quite aside from mere ‘sun, sand and sea’ we intend to let the world know that our country’s art, heritage and culture can truly be the impetus to attract a different type of visitor who is looking for a unique creative experience.”
Ms Scully agreed and stated, “Waterloo Center for the Arts is privileged to be able to host this premiere exhibition of Bahamian art. The Master Artists of The Bahamas Exhibition and Symposium will expose the U.S. to the thriving culture of The Bahamas and their talented artists. By exposing the country’s art to a global audience, interest in traveling to this country will most likely increase, as will the visibility and profile of the artistic and cultural heritage of The Bahamas.”
“The response to our invitations to this Exhibition has been phenomenal,” she continued. “The Center’s guests are in for a special treat as they have the opportunity to view Bahamian art, film, entertainment, and music from this multi-talented group. We are all very excited about this event!”
For further information on the event please log on to the WCA’s website at www.waterloocenterforthearts.org
For the original report go to http://www.eleutheranews.com/national/1759.html