In Bermuda, Displaced Gallery Settling in to New Home


Nadia Hall (The Royal Gazette) reports that the latest incarnation of the Windjammer Gallery is thriving in its new home after relocating from the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, according to owner Danjou Anderson. The new location is in Bluck’s on Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda.

[. . .] “They were all relieved that we finally got a space,” said the gallery’s owner and director, Danjou Anderson. “It was incredible.” Mr Anderson credits his success to the artists. “I know sometimes that people think that impressionism, traditional paintings of Bermuda, these landscapes and these coastals, some people think they’re boring, but those are my top sellers. “But beyond them being top sellers, they’re done by really accomplished artists.”

[. . .] “We’ve carried almost 60 artists in here and when they knew about the closing, they panicked. Where do you show? Aside from the Bermuda Society of Arts, Arts Centre at Dockyard and Masterworks when they have their retail show, there isn’t a gallery in Hamilton.” As part of Hamilton Princess & Beach Club’s $100 million renovations, its Bermuda collection was sold to make way for the personal collection of modern art belonging to the hotel’s owners, the Green family.

Mr Anderson is a fan of the collection. “I lean toward the Green collection,” he said. “They have a contemporary collection, a very expressionist collection.“Having said that, for public art, it’s a bit disappointing. Not just for me as a dealer, but for the guests. I had a couple in here today who were staying at the Princess. They said this was their 27th visit. They were lamenting. They came here looking for me. They asked me what happened to the local art. They thought that we were responsible.

“With us having to leave the Princess, yeah, it was sad and it still is and if they ever asked me to come back I would say yes. “I liked that environment. You’re in the middle of visitors. We will miss the folks at the princess, the guests of the hotel. Even if it was about 20 or 30 per cent of our sales, that was a big chunk of our sales.”

Mr Anderson said that about 70 per cent of their sales were to a local clientele.

“People argue that Bermudians don’t buy paintings of Bermuda, they do,” he said.

He added that he was looking to attract a new, younger client base. “We still have people looking for Bermuda works of art, paintings that are of Bermuda,” he said. “One of the things that was really expressed [at the reception] by artists and collectors was that there’s now a retail gallery in Hamilton. That was a big theme. The other big thing was the relief that there was a gallery that has this quality of art.

“I will continue to carry wonderful impressionist landscapes of Bermuda because that is a big seller for me. Having said that, you will see an introduction of some new art.

“We say this thing, ‘contemporary art’. It’s all contemporary. These are all living artists that are painting today, so it’s all contemporary art, but it’s expressionism versus impressionism and abstracts versus realism.” [. . .]

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