Smith & Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’ A Weekly Digest of Art & Cultural News from The Bahamas and the World – Since 2000 • • • • CLICK HERE


Smith & Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’
A Weekly Digest of Art & Cultural News from
The Bahamas and the World – Since 2000

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019
Issue No. 392

• • • •

“Rest in Peace, Dear Child” (2019)
by Grand Bahamas resident artist
Laurie Tuchel
(Oil and acrylic on archival paper mounted on board / 16" x 16")
• • •
This piece is part of a developing body of work Tuchel is creating to raise
funds for hurricane relief, specifically the Grand Bahamas Disaster Relief
Foundation Bahamas. The images were birthed from the anguish and
devastation left behind by Hurricane Dorian.
• • •
(Read story below)


art & cultural
events calendar




T H E A T R E :

Shakespeare in Paradise 2019

• NOW: October 1st–October 12th | 8pm | Dundas Theatre

Shakespeare in Paradise celebrates its 11th Annual Festival of Theatre in The Bahamas by bringing four separate productions to the Dundas stage, including the second annual production of Short Tales, featuring ten new Bahamian short plays written by ten local playwrights. Also on stage this season is “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, a celebration of Fats Waller’s music; “Measure for Measure”, a tale of an absent duke, a strict deputy, and an innocent nun and her brother sentenced to die; and also “Old Story Time”, Trevor Rhone’s classic about a man, his wife, and the mother-in-law from hell. For Box Office tickets, call 242-393-3728 / 242-394-7179. Shakespeare in Paradise is a theatre festival held every October in Nassau, Bahamas. Part of its mission is to develop new works and new talent for Bahamian theatre.

CLICK HERE to visit the festival’s Facebook page.
CLICK HERE to visit the festival’s website.


TONIGHT – Thursday, Oct 3rd:


E X H I B I T I O N:

Central Bank Art Gallery presents:
36th Open Art Competition

• TONIGHT: Thursday, October 3rd | 6pm–9pm | Central Bank Art Gallery, Market Street


Since its inception in 1984, the Art Gallery of the Central Bank of The Bahamas dedicates the months of October and November to their art competitions.

To promote, foster, and advance Bahamian artists remains our dedication and especially in hectic and difficult times like this, creative processes are even more important and are the essence of all progress.

This evening, Thursday, October 3rd from 6pm to 9pm, the Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery presents its 36th art competition. The event is free and open to the public.


E X H I B I T I O N:

The Current Art Gallery presents:
“Apartment Therapy” by June Collie


• TONIGHT: Thursday, October 3rd | 6pm–9pm | The Current Art Gallery, Baha Mar, Below Grand Hyatt Main Entrance

Tonight, The Current: Baha Mar Art Gallery will be opening a new exhibition of artwork entitled “Apartment Therapy” by Bahamian artist June Collie. It opens from 6pm to 9pm and will be available for viewing until October 24th.

CLICK HERE to RSVP at event’s Facebook page.


SATURDAY – Oct 5th:


F E S T I V A L :

Soundwaves Festival for Hurricane Relief

• Saturday, October 5th | 2pm–11pm | The Retreat, Village Rd.

Soundwaves concert

SoundWaves’ second festival is coming to The Retreat Gardens on Village Road this Saturday, October 5th. All proceeds will go to the Bahamas National Trust and Rotary for hurricane relief.

There will be three stages with performances by Judah Tha Lion and the Truth, Pineapple Down, Von Trap, KrazyRingo, Sacha the Duchess, Foreign Sound, Tanisha Sweeting, Abi-Yah, Militant Fyah, Gary Francis Jr...and more! There will over 25 vendors and artists serving food and showing off their incredible artwork. Tickets are only $20 in advance. Don’t miss out on this amazing experience in support of a great cause.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets and to learn more.


O P E N / S T U D I O S :

NAGB presents: Open Studios
with Kachelle Knowles

• Saturday, October 5th | 5pm–6pm | NAGB, West Hill Street


The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) invites you to an Open Studios session with Bahamian artist Kachelle Knowles on Saturday, October 5th starting at 5:00 p.m. The informal conversation will look at a collection of work supported by Knowles’ current Project Space show at the NAGB entitled “Bahamian Man Since Time.”

Open Studio sessions and all programming in support of exhibitions are FREE and open to the public.

CLICK HERE to RSVP at event’s Facebook page..


SUNDAY – Oct. 6th


P E R F O R M A N C E / L A U N C H :

The Current presents: “The Best
Estimation in the World”
by Sonia Farmer

• Sunday, October 6th | 4pm–6pm | The Current, Baha Mar Art Gallery


The Best Estimation in the World is a performance accompanying the launch of Bahamian artist and writer Sonia Farmer’s latest poetry collection, published by Poinciana Paper Press. Limited-edition copies of the book and a letterpress-printed broadside celebrating its launch will be available for purchase after the performance.

A collaboration with Shakespeare in Paradise 2019, the performance stars D. Sean Nottage, Joey Gaskins Jr., Beaumont Todd, Yasmin Glinton, and Malesha Joseph.


Portrayed as interviews with employees at a resort development, these poems examine the effect of the tourism industry on Bahamian identity.

This is a work of satire. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

CLICK HERE to RSVP at event’s Facebook page.
CLICK HERE to read a sampling of poems from Sonia’s book.


A R T / A U C T I O N :

Alleviate Art Auction

• Sunday, October 6th | 6pm–9pm | At the NAGB, West Hill Street


The visual arts community of The Bahamas has come together to organize an art auction entitled Alleviate in support of the ongoing relief efforts for Abaco and Grand Bahama post-Hurricane Dorian. The auction opens Sunday, October 6th at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas from 6pm to 9pm.

The artists participating in the auction are Dede Brown, Tamika Galanis, Kenechi, Thierry Lamare, Anina Major, Justin Moultrie, Dyah Neilson, Kya Nyugen, Carissa Rho, Philece Roberts, Nowe Harris Smith, Katrina Toothe, Tessa Whitehead, Durelle Williams, Deime Ubani and more. On the website, we have other Bahamian artists and international artists such as Rahiem Milton and Lucious Smith featured. Artists of Alleviate were asked to donate artwork understanding that 100% of the proceeds from sales will be donated to various organizations in Abaco and Grand Bahama.

Although there is no entry cost, the organizers kindly asking the public to bring donations to further assist these efforts. For more information, please feel free to contact Jodi Minnis at

CLICK HERE to RSVP at event’s Facebook page.




F I L M / F E S T I V A L :

16th Bahamas International Film Festival

NEW DATES: December 9th–December 15th | Nassau, Bahamas


The 16th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) announces its new dates. The award-winning festival takes place this December 9th through December 15th with all activities taking place in Nassau. BIFF will contribute all revenue after expenses towards Hurricane Dorian Relief for Hope Town, Abaco.

BIFF is a community event that brings Hollywood to The Bahamas, surrounding audiences with a complete film experience, rubbing shoulders with film professionals and the opportunity to network with the who’s who of cinema. BIFF makes the film industry accessible and is open to everyone, while bringing the world to The Bahamas.

Over the years BIFF has expanded the film festival with the BIFF Writers Residency Programme, which has been hosted in the Family Islands, as it did last year in Hope Town, Abaco. This year, BIFF’s films will help to provide moral and material support for Hope Town, Abaco. In addition, proceeds from BIFF ticket sales will go directly to assisting students affected by Hurricane Dorian with school uniforms, supplies and assistance with school tuition.

CLICK HERE to visit the BIFF website.


art & culture stories
from the bahamas



“I don’t have the I paint.”

Grand Bahamian artist Laurie Tuchel is in the process of creating a stunning and poignant body of paintings for two reasons – to express overwhelming feelings about a devastating hurricane and to raise money for those adversely affected by it.


"Face of an indomitable Spirit in an articulate space" by Laurie Tuchel, (2019), Oil and acrylic on archival paper mounted on board, 16" x 4" (cropped). Painting available for purchase on artist’s website.

An exclusive for Bahamian Art & Culture Newsletter

Grand Bahamian artist Laurie Tuchel was thousands of miles away as she watched Hurricane Dorian hit her beloved island home of 19 years. What she saw deeply grieved her and left her stunned. Not knowing what to do so far away, she did what came naturally to her – she painted. In her own words, Laurie speaks to what inspired this new body of work.

“I have lived through major storms since my arrival in Grand Bahama in 2002. I have watched this island fight its way back from Hurricanes Jeanne and Francis and Wilma and Matthew and now...Dorian. Dorian, a league unto its own.


"The Evacuation of Sweetings Cay" by Laurie Tuchel (2019), Oil and acrylic on archival paper mounted on board, 4" x 16". Painting available for purchase on artist’s website.


"Indescribable Relief" by Laurie Tuchel (2019), Oil and acrylic on archival paper mounted on board, 16" x 16". Painting available for purchase on artist’s website.

“I watched from Scotland. I watched Grand Bahama and the Abacos fight for survival. I watched the storm unfold as ZNS tirelessly kept the people informed as best they could. I listened to the stories of bravery and watched the footage of humanity emerge as the storm grew tired of beating the life out of our islands and finally moved off shore.

“I have been laid speechless by the scenes of destruction, of incredible bravery and of deep, deep sadness. I simply don’t have the vocabulary to express the devastating loss of life, homes, and culture. Or the indescribable relief of survival. Listening to the stories of those who faced days of torment sheltering inside roofs, or hanging onto tree branches, or refrigerators, or a loved ones’ arm, for unspeakable hours; it was too much. And so I painted.


"A Generational Disaster" by Laurie Tuchel (2019), Oil and acrylic on archival paper mounted on board, 16" x 16". Painting available for purchase on artist’s website.

“I painted thinking about the courage, the dignity, the survival and the loss that I feel for my Bahamian island family. I think about our collective vulnerability as human beings facing such a cataclysmic natural disaster. I think about the future, the past, the present. I think about our will to rebuild, to not give up. And so I painted with collage, pieces of paper representing our tattered present state, but made whole when pieced and painted together into a unified image. Torn but not broken.


"Wading into the Melee" by Laurie Tuchel (2019) Oil and acrylic on archival paper mounted on board, 16" x 16". Painting available for purchase on artist’s website.

“I am dedicating this developing body of work to the indomitable spirit of Grand Bahamians and Abaconians. I have done what I know to do—and that is to create art. So it is my hope that the paintings will sell and from the sale, I will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Grand Bahama hurricane relief effort: May the people of these islands remain forever strong and never give up.”

Please support Laurie in her efforts to assist in the relief efforts in Grand Bahama by purchasing her work at her website below. All paintings showcased in this article are available for purchase on the artist’s website.

CLICK HERE to purchase works and to contact Laurie Tuchel.


Grand Bahama artist Laurie Tuchel.

• • •

Artist Biography

Laurie Tuchel is an American artist who divides her time between her adopted homes on Grand Bahama Island and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Interested in landscapes and the human figure, her subject matter observes the interplay between people, place and culture, in both remote and urban settings. She is always looking for the common denominator that makes us human. Laurie’s work begins with sketchbooks filled with recordings of emotional and visual responses by working in Plein Air. These interpretations become the intuitive foundation for future paintings created in the studio.

She is a founding member of the Grand Bahama Plein Air Painters Society and is an active participant in that island’s artistic community. Laurie is equally interested in creating works of art that tell the stories of her island, Grand Bahama, a community with limited exposure to the power of visual art and its storytelling abilities. She is the inspiration behind a collaborative ongoing series highlighting the island’s unique history. Together with other island artists, Grand Bahama’s heritage is being showcased in new ways.

Since 2014, Laurie has exhibited paintings in The Bahamas, the United States and Scotland. She is a 1980 graduate of Sweet Briar College, Amherst, Virginia and 2018 graduate of the Leith School of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Laurie and her husband Charles are permanent Bahamian residents and have lived on Grand Bahama since 2002.

• • •

Screen shot 2019-10-03 at 12.07.59 PM

(Source: Romolo Tavani)

NAGB collecting data to help displaced artists affected by Hurricane Dorian

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is collecting data from professional artists from Grand Bahama and Abaco, who have been affected by Hurricane Dorian, so they can best assess the scope of needs.

Please contact Natalie Willis at or call the NAGB at 1-242-328-5800.

Further to this, the Bahamian Art & Culture Newsletter (BAC) welcomes artists who have been directly and economically impacted by the storm to please send us their stories. Let us know if you are okay, what you need, and if you have sites where people can donate to. We wish to help by spreading your stories to our wide network of international readers who may wish to be of assistance.

Please contact Dionne Benjamin-Smith at

• • •


Brigitte with her paintings.

Abaco artist lost home and studio

Artist Brigitte Bowyer Carey & her husband Donnie had their home and possessions destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in the first few days of September. During the eye of the storm, they managed to flee their home of 34 years with just two bags and the clothes on their backs. Brigitte’s livelihood of painting has been cut off – all materials, tools, and finished work have been lost. They are currently living in Nassau with Donnie’s oldest son, Matthew. They are safe and cared for and tremendously grateful that they are alive.

If anyone is inclined to assist them in their time of need, they have set up a GoFundMe page. Here you can read more of their story and learn how you can help. Every little bit can help. Thank you.

CLICK HERE for the Carey’s GoFundMe Page.

• • •

From Editor:
If you are an artist in Grand Bahama or Abaco and
your life and practice were adversely affected by Hurricane Dorian
and you would like to share your story and efforts to rebuild,
please email us here at Bahamian Art & Culture Newsletter.


Natalie Willis, assistant curator at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. (JACKSON PETIT/COURTESY NATIONAL ART GALLERY OF THE BAHAMAS)

‘The whole country is traumatized’

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas coordinates relief in wake of Hurricane Dorian.

by Claire Selvin, ArtNews

[September 12, 2019] – After the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian, the category 5 storm that pounded the Bahamas last week, a local arts institution is spearheading recovery efforts across the country’s islands.

The head of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas in Nassau said that, though the museum itself suffered damage, the institution’s top priority is helping those hit hardest by the storm.

“We’re dealing with people first,” Amanda Coulson, the museum’s executive director, told ARTnews. “The whole country is traumatized.”

One of the museum’s aims is to provide Bahamians with a “sanctuary space,” Coulson said. Through its “We Gatchu” campaign, the National Art Gallery has brought in mental health professionals to support survivors of the storm. The NAGB is also running a bus service to transport people currently housed in shelters to the museum for forums, meetings, and meditation sessions to facilitate collective healing.

CLICK HERE for full article at

Related Article:
“NAGB extends relief after Hurricane Dorian” [The Art Insider]

Screen shot 2019-10-03 at 12.52.15 PM

Janine Antoni, "I open the gates", 2019 © Janine Antoni; Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and The Green-Wood Cemetery, New York. (Photo: Ralph Smith)

Bahamian artist Janine Antoni stages artwork at storied Brooklyn Cemetery

by Claire Selvin, ArtNews

“Bones have been appearing in my work for the past few years, so the catacombs were the perfect place for me to come back to my love of the body and its bony armature,” Janine Antoni told ARTnews in a recent interview, discussing a new project she is staging in a New York cemetery. “The vaults hold memories for the living, as our bodies do.”

The catacombs and vaults are part of Green-Wood Cemetery, a historic 478-acre home in Brooklyn for thousands of statues, mausoleums, large-scale monuments, and tombstones—and, as of this past weekend, Antoni’s I am fertile ground, a site-specific installation comprising small photographs in gilded frames modeled like human bones that are scattered throughout a dark underground space illuminated by skylights. Open on weekends in catacombs dating back to the mid-19th century and typically closed to the public, the work—which resides amidst the final resting places of some 560,000 bodies, including those of luminaries like artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and composer Leonard Bernstein—remains on view through November 17.

The images in Antoni’s pieces depict human bodies engaged in prayer, dance, and other gestures, and they are meant to function as odes to the memories and histories contained within flesh and the overall “fragility and conductive capacity” of the body, Antoni said. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at

Related Articles:
“A Day At Green-Wood Cemetery” [Bklyner]
“Antoni’s symbolic images of the afterlife...” [The Art Newspaper]

Screen shot 2019-10-03 at 1.06.59 PM

Art historian and educator Erica Moiah James

A trailblazer for art in the Caribbean

Erica Moiah James is an assistant professor of art and art history at UM. Before she began teaching at the college level, James was the founding director for the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, a post she held for eight years.

by Janette Neuwahl Tannen

Erica Moiah James is an art historian who helped paved the way for contemporary art to flourish in The Bahamas.

Lately, art history assistant professor Erica Moiah James has been struggling to keep away from Facebook. The images of her native Bahamas, where she was the founding director of the national art gallery, are both distressing and consuming her.

James feels fortunate. Her parents, extended family and most friends — along with the gallery — are safe in Nassau, about 100 miles from the worst destruction of Hurricane Dorian. But as she fielded calls from concerned friends and colleagues throughout the Caribbean, the storm forced James to realize the grim impacts of climate change on the region. It even prompted her to write a piece for The New York Times on the need for governments to work together in what is sometimes a fractured region.

“Every year it’s someone,” she said. “This is the new normal.”

James, who teaches African Diasporic Art Histories with a focus on the Caribbean at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, made many of her connections across the Caribbean as the founding curator and director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB).

Her journey to that position, where she gave tours to everyone from the prime ministers of the country, to Ms. Universe contestants, the First Lady of South Africa and the Secretary General of the United Nations, was heralded by a series of strong mentors, James said. [...]

CLICK HERE for the full article at News.Miami.Edu.


Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe.

Bahamian artist chosen for new artist-in-residence programme at Florida Museum

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, announced today that it is launching a new artist-in-residence programme, which will host four artists annually. The six-week residency was established to promote the work of under-recognized, mid- to late-career artists. Two of the spots in the programme will be reserved for women; one of those two spots will be given to an African American or Latina artist.

The programme’s inaugural cohort includes Lavar Munroe, a Bahamian artist whose multidisciplinary practice encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation art; Addoley Dzegede, a Ghanaian American interdisciplinary artist whose work investigates notions of belonging, migration, and hybrid identities; Jessica Ingram, a Nashville native whose work explores the ethos of communities and notions of progress and resistance in American culture; and Jaye Rhee, a Seoul-born artist known for her performances, photography, and videos such as Notes, 2007, her black-and-white eight-channel video installation made in collaboration with composer Elliott Sharp.

Each artist will be given the use of residences located on Cranesnest Way, alongside the museum’s new sculpture garden on the south side of the Norton’s campus. The participants are not required to produce work as part of their residencies, but they will be asked to lead at least one educational program, such as a public lecture, a master class, or an open-studio day.

“The artist-in-residence programme is an extension of the work the Norton has been doing for years to support and celebrate the work of living artists, particularly women artists who have been historically underrepresented in museum exhibitions and collections,” said Norton director and CEO Elliot Bostwick Davis. “We look forward to welcoming the first artists to our community in 2020 and having their creative energy on campus and as part of our programming.”

(Story source: ArtForum)

• • •

Antonius Roberts looking through work

Antonius Roberts (right) in his studio with stained glass artist James Piercey.

In the Studio: Antonius Roberts

We all need a rosary, whether we’re Catholic or not. We need that sense of connecting to a higher power or calling or inner voice. It transcends whether you are Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, or whatever else. When I’m in my studio, my sacred space, my temple, the connection happens between the work and how I feel, my state of mind, and my belief system. It’s about allowing myself to not think about what anybody else might feel and to have that sense of dance, or prayer. It becomes a kind of a trance, losing oneself and just enjoying that ritual.

I find I am more in touch with a higher power through wood or natural material, because there’s a presence within wood, within stone. My ancestors believed that a spirit lives within everything. And so I’m always trying to connect to objects—to touch them, to allow them to touch me, to enjoy that experience. As I move through places, I want to connect to whatever is sacred within a space.

In my work, people are able to look at the ocean in the context of the art and see that this is truly what the Bahamas is all about. What’s unique for me about the water isn’t just the color or the sand. I see the economic system. Most of my forefathers were fishermen, or they collected sponges or did shellcraft. And a lot of that is dying or dead. Then beyond that, I think about the slave trade, and how many of my ancestors lost their lives to the journey and were just thrown overboard. When I look at the ocean, I’m hearing the spirits and thinking about the contradiction. This beauty has consumed so many of my people. That struggle is a private conversation I have with myself. A lot of stuff washes up on the shore. I could just walk by and say it’s trash. But every now and again I pick up a shoe and say, Let me immortalize this. Let me add some kind of value to this. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Image Journal.

Jonnique Beadle-Facade

Painting by Jonnique A. Beadle

More than skin-deep

Emerging Bahamian artist Jonnique A. Beadle’s first solo exhibition takes on new life post Dorian.

by Kevante A. C. Cash

Since the passing of the monstrosity that has left many Bahamians destitute, dead, traumatized and unaccounted for, “Façade”, the first solo exhibition by Jonnique A. Beadle, takes on new life, challenging its viewers to truly search beyond the skin-deep.

“The human condition is riddled with layers of codes and rationale. In ‘Façade’, Beadle tackles one of the most prominent of them all – the tendency to hide one’s true self. Through this series, the artist dares to probe even further and ask you, the viewer, ‘What are you protecting?’ The hidden self is an entity born of defense, and to hide what we deem as ugly; we cover it up with our own idea of ‘beautiful,’” said Beadle in her artist statement.

Considering these thoughts, the emerging woman artist draws inspiration from the Congo Dandies, a group of people from the Republic of Congo who “use fashion to not only stand out from their environment but also themselves”.

“They live in absolute poverty, and fashion for them is an escape. I chose the Dandies because I was introduced to them in a fashion history class in college. They, being one of the few examples of non-western fashion, stuck with me. ‘Façade’ explores the act of hiding one’s self from society, the Dandies are some of the most extreme and, dare I say, in-your-face representations of covering and distracting society from reality. It only made sense for me to use them as inspiration,” she explained. [...]

CLICK HERE in The Nassau Guardian.


Trinidadian-Bahamian Christian Campbell, poet, essayist, cultural critic, and author.

On Caribbean Empathy?

Written by D. Alissa Trotz, editor of the In the Diaspora column for Stabroek News and Trinidadian-Bahamian Christian Campbell, poet, essayist, cultural critic, and the author of Running the Dusk. Running the Dusk was also translated into Spanish and published in Cuba as Correr el Crepúsculo.

It is now more than two weeks since Hurricane Dorian uprooted and destroyed lives in The Bahamas, with an estimated 1,500 persons still reported missing. Over the weekend, at the time of writing this column, tropical storm Humberto was predicted to dump more heavy rain on already shattered communities.

As last week’s diaspora column by Angelique Nixon and a recent article titled ‘The Poor are Punished’ in the British Guardian newspaper underlined, Dorian has revealed historical and contemporary faultlines in Bahamian society. Vulnerability is unevenly experienced, with the brunt of the devastation falling on poor Bahamians, on Haitians and Haitian Bahamaians, on those without family in other parts of The Bahamas spared by the storm, on those without the requisite papers to leave Grand Bahama and the Abaco islands, on those denied entry to the United States, with the US President referring to Bahamian climate refugees as potential gang members and drug dealers.

But this most recent storm has also revealed an uncomfortable fault line within the Caribbean family. It seems to come from the impression that compared to the rest of the Caribbean, The Bahamas is a high growth economy. There is also a sense that Bahamians think they are better than the rest of the Caribbean, or not even quite Caribbean; that in fact they have stronger ties to the US than the region. In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, these sentiments have translated into arguments against offering assistance, such as an extended comment on social media from a fellow Caribbean. Titled “I have no sympathies for Bahamas [sic]”, the author insists that if he was a political leader he would not help Bahamians, and concludes that “Bahamas pissed on the rest of the CARICOM citizens because they though[t] they were great. How the mighty have fallen.” Another personifies Hurricane Dorian as a vindictive response in patois to Prime Minister Minnis’ rejection of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy’s free movement of people policy. The organizer of a relief drive in a Caribbean country reported getting phone calls from persons asking why they should give anything to Bahamians, while someone else proclaims, “They are not getting a dime from me. I would rather give what I have to the poor children in this country.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in Stabroek News.


“Mass Transportation” (1998), John Beadle, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 71 x 53 inches. (Part of your National Collection.)

We live at the undersides

Resilience in the era of climate crisis and finding the fraternity in loss after Hurricane Dorian.

by Natalie Willis

Two years ago, I wrote an article on the impact of Hurricane Irma on the loss of cultural material and the devastation of the landscape, lamenting the single death we sustained here, how we “lost two cultures that day”. I spoke about how many of us, in light of the nature of our dotted, disparate geography, felt the smallest sigh of relief that the more inhabited islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama were not hit, though it did little to soothe the loss of life and property in the Southern Bahamas.

This year, I write about another Category 5 storm. This year I write about such heart-piercing loss of life that it’s hard to contemplate how much material loss there is. This year, I write about what happened to one of those “more inhabited” islands, the island I have called home for most of my life, and how the culture and people I grew up with Grand Bahama are underwater, and Abaco all but washed away.

There was a sad irony in 2017 hearing about Ragged Island, the name feeling like the sting of some poorly-made cosmic joke in looking at the devastation they have and continue to endure. Inagua was left without its one school. That pair of islands in the southern part of our archipelago have a population who are still largely displaced, and largely left without hope of rebuilding - despite the stories of how Ragged Island could have been The Bahamas’ first “green island”. Another sad irony there, because in my experience growing up in one of the hardest hit islands in the hurricane belt, storms turn everything that once thought of being green to a salty and unbearable brown. [...]

CLICK HERE for full text at the NAGB website.


Climate Refugees

On becoming climate refugees or building back differently.

by Dr Ian Bethell Bennett, The University of The Bahamas


Pirate Bwoy, (2019). Richardo Edwards, digital Painting. 40 x 71 inches. Image courtesy of VLOSA and the artist.

After hurricane Irma hit Ragged Island in 2017 that island was declared uninhabitable given the loss and damage to this small island in the Southern Bahamas. The community was told it would be the first green island in The Bahamas. From this tragedy, grew an initiative to explore how we could rebuild better and retain the lifeways of the small community on Ragged Island.

“Hot Water” was an exhibition under the wider project of the Double Dutch series at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) in August 2018 that drew on best practices and the work and ethnographic research conducted on the ground in Ragged Island by faculty and students of the University of The Bahamas and members of the arts collective Plastico Fantástico. The work has continued on the project, yet government’s words have vanished into a boiling sea of tsunami waves.

The art of living in the tropics was some of the writing derived from the research and documentary that supported the show. We find now that the art of living in the tropics has continued and needs to be a sustained topic of a dynamically changing conversation: how do we retain life in the tropics, become refugees to climate change and flee the islands we inhabit? As the sea levels rise around barely sea-level islands, we face new threats to our existence. As the climate crisis advances, which includes rising temperatures as well as more severe storms, we see the increase in hurricanes or mammoth storms that come through annually during hurricane season. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at the NAGB website.

Amelia Moore Anthropocene

In the wake of Hurricane Dorian

by Amelia Moore, author of “Destination Anthropocene: Science and Tourism in The Bahamas”

As we all know by now, Hurricane Dorian spun out of the Atlantic in early September and squarely hit the Bahamian islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, leaving an unfolding disaster in its wake. Hurricanes are increasing in intensity across the region, and Dorian was the second hurricane of this Atlantic season, the fourth named storm of the year, and the first hurricane to make landfall in 2019. While Dorian will certainly not be the last storm to batter The Bahamas, or even the last storm of 2019, could it be the storm that shatters the archipelago’s climate complacency?

The last few years have seen pervasive Anthropocenic irony in The Bahamas. Climate projections position the islands as some of the most vulnerable in the region, if not the world, to the compounded effects of global warming. The United Nation’s Development Program Climate Change Adaptation branch states that “climate change presents new challenges (for The Bahamas) due to the speed of the anticipated changes and the magnitude of the investments needed to adapt to predicted changes.” Yet despite the prediction of pending crisis, the powers that be in the country appeared to be very far from locating a viable path forward. Large-scale developments were proposed and built with no alternative energy plans to support increased energy usage. Offshore oil and LNG exploration has been courted and supported by successive administrations. The Bahamian economy is dependent on the international tourism industry, an industry that has been allowed to set its own terms for growth, utilizing carbon intensive transportation and construction infrastructures. If the Bahamian government truly believed it was vulnerable to the effects of global warming, you wouldn’t be to blame if you never saw much evidence to that effect. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at University of California Press.


art opportunities


Bahamas International Film
Festival: Call for Writers

Submission Deadline – CLOSING SOON: October 7, 2019

BIFF Screenwriters2

Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) connects emerging TV & Film writers with the best industry professionals in an intimate setting in Nassau, Bahamas, December 9 to December 11. Writers will receive first-hand knowledge and build lasting relationships with field experts at the intense Writers Residency Program.

Three (3) writers will be selected for features film scripts and Three (3) for TV scripts. A total of Six (6) fortunate applicants will be extended the invitation to attend the mentorship in Nassau. Following the announcement of Six (6) selected writers in October; BIFF will open the residency to other writers to participate. Four (4) applications will be invited to pay to participate, Cost: $1,500 Tuition.

CLICK HERE for full details here.
CLICK HERE to submit film scripts.

JOB CALL--NAGB-Chief Curator

NAGB Job Call: Chief Curator

Application Deadline
October 11, 2019

The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) is a world-class museum with a passion for knowledge and a drive to push cultural boundaries. The NAGB collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets historic and contemporary Bahamian visual art. It exists to educate, uplift and inspire. As the leading visual art institution in The Bahamas, we will actively nurture and provoke a healthy cultural ecosystem, empowering multiple generations. By fostering robust partnerships locally, regionally and internationally and by building institutional capacity, the NAGB will become a changemaker in our communities. Through providing more opportunities for access, our public will gain a sense of pride and become active participants in writing their own stories.

Job Description:

The Chief Curator is part of the leadership team of the NAGB and plays a key supporting role in guiding the direction of the institution and being a role model for the growing team. The Chief Curator is responsible for the continued selection, presentation, care and scholarly interpretation of the National Collection for the public and for the development and execution of a varied exhibition schedule for the NAGB. He or she will have a clear vision for the NAGB’s exhibition programming—with supporting activities—and for how the National Collection and Bahamian art is researched, documented and interpreted. The Chief Curator is a museum professional who has demonstrated excellence in curation and is capable of budget planning, grant writing and all aspects regarding the financial side of creating, implementing and installing an exhibition. A managerial position, the Chief Curator is also expected to appropriately manage all departmental staff and actively engage in the implementation of the strategic plan. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details on Job Call.

Templeton Call for Proposals

Remembering Ragged: Abandoned or Delayed? Post-Irma devastation that lasts. Images by Dr Ian Bethell Bennett.

Templeton Religion Trust: Call For Art Proposals

Application Deadline:
October 28, 2019

Art Seeking Understanding (ASU) is a program strategy concerned with improving the methods of inquiry into the existence and nature of what Sir John Templeton called spiritual realities. ASU begins with aesthetic cognitivism, a theory about the value of the arts that approaches them not simply (or not even) as sources of delight, amusement, pleasure, or emotional catharsis but, instead, as sources of understanding.

But is there an empirically demonstrable connection between art and understanding vis à vis what Sir John referred to as spiritual reality and/or spiritual information in particular? And if so, what distinctive cognitive value does engagement with the arts (production and/or consumption) generate? Under what conditions and in what ways does participation in artistic activities encourage or stimulate spiritual understanding, insight, or growth (meaning- or sense-making)?

Projects in this area would bring together writers, poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, filmmakers – artists of all kinds – as well as art historians and musicologists with philosophers, theologians, and scientists from a variety of sub-disciplines within the psychological, cognitive, and social sciences to conceive and design empirical and statistical studies of the cognitive significance of the arts with respect to spiritual realities and the discovery of new spiritual information.

CLICK HERE for PDF with full details.
CLICK HERE to view video that accompanies Call.

NAGB-Open Call Refuge Graphics Square Version

NAGB presents Open Call for Works for: “Refuge”

Submission Deadline: November 11th, 2019

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas acknowledges the dawning of a new chapter in our country’s history after the passage of Hurricane Dorian. Collectively we have made a decision to suspend our planned exhibition for the end of the year and rather, extend an open call to our creative community to start a larger conversation on the personal and collective impacts after the passage of the storm.

“Refuge” is an Open Call to all artists–irrespective of how your practice is defined–to think about this moment, this tragedy, and use it as therapy or an opportunity to reflect on how we pull ourselves and bring the pieces back together. Our hearts and nation have been splintered, but our spirit is now called to do the important work of healing, and be grounded even deeper in our communities and to our humanity.

CLICK HERE for full details of the Call.
CLICK HERE to apply.

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Tilting Axis Fellowship: Call for Submissions

Submission Deadline: November 17th, 2019

Tilting Axis has joined forces with Het Nieuwe Instituut to offer a Fellowship to one mid-career or established applicant based in the Caribbean. The Fellowship is supported by Het Nieuwe Instituut as lead partner and host, and will include collaborations with the Amsterdam Museum, De Appel, The Black Archives and Witte de With.

For Whom?
Mid-career and established researchers, artists, designers, writers, curators, or cultural producers based in the Caribbean region interested in building new links with cultural institutions in the Netherlands, and who have an interest in developing their practice around themes related to architecture, spatial practice, design or digital culture.

About the Position
This Fellowship focuses on applicants living and working within the Caribbean region and is both research and practice-led. The selected applicant will be based in Rotterdam at the Het Nieuwe Instituut and will have access to other partner cultural institutions in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. A total stipend of 12,000 Euros will be granted by Het Nieuwe Instituut to cover living expenses and one round-trip airfare from any country within the Caribbean to the Netherlands. Accommodation will be provided for a period of six months for a maximum of 800 Euros per month. Stipends may be subject to a withholding tax. Specific details about the position will be discussed with the selected applicant. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details of the Call.

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Call for Artwork from Young Artists

Submission Deadline: December 14th, 2019 at 6pm

After the overwhelming success of Furniture Plus’ first kids’ art competition, the home furnishings giant is hosting its second National Youth Art Competition and its open to children throughout The Bahamas, ages 8–18.

Last year’s competition attracted over two hundred talented entrants from across The Bahamas, with twenty young artists emerging as category winners.

This year’s expanded “Art From The Heart” competition will build on last year’s cumulative $5,000 prize package, and provide additional opportunities for positive exposure and skill development for the winners. The competition launched on Monday, September 9th and will close on Saturday, December 14th, 2019. Category winners will be selected and announced in January 2020, and their artwork showcased for family and friends at an official Art Showing hosted by NAGB in February 2020.

For more details, email at or call 397-7587.

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about us


Smith & Benjamin’s Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine

Art & Culture were created to
uplift and inspire mankind.

Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine is an email magazine concentrating on the art & culture of The Bahamas and the world around us. It is published once a week and is a service of Smith & Benjamin Art & Design, a design firm based in Nassau, The Bahamas offering graphic design, custom illustration, fine art, art marketing, art brokerage and publishing.

Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher:
Stephanie Shivers, Advertising/Account/Office Manager:


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