Smith and Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART and CULTURE’ Issue No. 360Friday, November 2nd, 2018 • • • •Sharing Art and Cultural News of The Bahamas for


Smith and Benjamin’s
Issue No. 360
Friday, November 2nd, 2018

• • • •
Sharing Art and Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 18 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

“Salt of the Earth” (2018),
by Bahamian artist Edrin Chris Symonette
(Materials: Long Island pond salt, polyester
resin, plexiglass, water, and air)

• • •
This piece is just a sneak peek of a greater work Edrin is creating
for the NAGB’s 9th National Exhibition opening December 13th.
• • •
Scroll to end for artist’s statement.


upcoming art
and cultural events




NAGB opens 2018 ‘Creative Time Summit’

TODAY: Friday, Nov. 2nd | 10am–6pm | NAGB, West Hill Street


The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is happy to partner as a screening site with Miami’s 2018 Creative Time Summit: On Archipelagos and Other Imaginaries—Collective Strategies to Inhabit the World. The 2018 Creative Time Summit is an annual convening for thinkers, dreamers, and doers working at the intersection of art and politics.

Today, Friday, November 2nd at the NAGB from 10am–6pm, come on out to listen to the exciting streamed talks, performances, activations and more.

Over 80 speakers will engage with themes including immigration and borders, climate realities, notions of intersectional justice, gentrification, tourism as an enabler for neocolonialism, and the roles art and activism can play in all these pressing issues. This year’s speakers include Haitian-American author and MacArthur “Genius” Edwidge Danticat, philosopher Timothy Morton, writer Vijay Prashad, artist Zach Blas, curator Elvis Fuentes and Cuban-born artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons.

Following the discussions, The NAGB has invited several key professionals to speak towards issues addressed in the streamed conference: Adelle Thomas, Joey Gaskins and others. The day’s conversation will be moderated with moments for healthy debate and discussion before and after lunch. The NAGB will be providing refreshments during breaks.

CLICK HERE to register for the conference.
CLICK HERE for Facebook event page.




NAGB presents: Photo Walk and
Talk in Over-the-Hill

TOMORROW: Sat., Nov. 3 | 10am–1pm | NAGB, West Hill Street


Tomorrow, Saturday, November 3rd, the NAGB invites the public to a one-of-a-kind experience – A Photo Walk and History Talk around the Over-the-Hill Communities, with a guided tour by Christopher Davis, lead historian at the Pompey Museum. The tour will focus on issues of gentrification and sustainability in this vibrant and complex neighbourhood.

Joining the tour will be artists and academics Angelika Wallace-Whitfield, Melissa Alcena, Jodi Minnis, Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett and Eric Rose, each of them bringing their expertise and unique vision to the tour, along with the NAGB staff.

Bring your water bottles, cameras, sketch pads, recording and mobile devices and remember to wear comfortable shoes. Tour begins 10 a.m. sharp and everyone is invited to have lunch afterwards at the Pepper Pot Grill located on King Street. All events are FREE and open to the public.

CLICK HERE to register for the conference.
CLICK HERE for Facebook event page.




NAGB presents: Teachers’ Seminar: Art & Literature

Saturday, Nov. 10
At the NAGB, West Hill St.

The NAGB presents the newest edition of their FREE Teachers’ Seminars for educators living and working in The Bahamas on Saturday, November 10th, 2018. Participants are encouraged to bring a novel, collection of poems, short stories, or even a play as you discover how Art and Literature make a great pair in the classroom.

The NAGB’s quarterly Teachers’ Seminars are a series of professional development workshops for all teachers who are interested in learning more about integrating art with other subjects in their classes and utilizing resources at the museum to enhance their students' creative experience.

These workshops can also be used by teachers to accumulate professional development hours over the course of the school year. To register, contact Katrina Cartwright at or call 328-5800.

CLICK HERE for more info at NAGB.


NAGB presents: Jonathan Bethel Open Studios

Saturday, Nov. 10th
At the NAGB, West Hill St.

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas invites you to Bahamian artist Jonathan Bethel’s Open Studios which takes place at the NAGB on Saturday, November 10th, from 5:00 p.m. Jonathan will speak about his practice of painting and his exploration of the environment.

CLICK HERE for event’s Facebook page.


art & culture stories
from the bahamas


Bahamian ceramicist set to launch first book
on her whimsical teapots

On Sunday, November 11th, talented Bahamian ceramicist Jessica Colebrooke will launch her first publication, a feat 10 years in the making.

The publication is a coffee table book which represents a small but specific niche of Jessica’s art production – Teapots! The launch will take place at Hillside House Gallery on Cumberland Street from 2pm to 6pm in a combination launch and Fall Teapot Collection Exhibition. Tickets are $120 and will include a signed copy of the book, a keepsake teacup made by Jessica, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and samples of native Bahamian bush teas.


Jessica Colebrooke working in her ceramics studio (Jessica’s Tileworks Studio in Gleniston Park, Nassau, The Bahamas. (Photo by Keisha Oliver)

Jessica explains a bit about her love for making teapots and the inspiration for the book: “My love for teapots began when I was a young child and that love further grew when I attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. It was as a result of one of my major courses during sophomore year that catapulted me into the challenge, the pursuit and the passion for making teapots. The dynamics of my teapots are to make them flamboyant and whimsical, similar to the performances one can view on the Baptist Day parades here in The Bahamas. To date, I have produced over 200 teapots.


One of Jessica's teapots inspired by African ceremonial masks.

“The inspiration to publish this book was sparked when a talented young lady by the name of Danielle Bethel Farrington took a picture of one of my earlier teapots. The image was stunning. The way her eye captured the very essence of the teapot and brought out the character of this inert object, was simply remarkable to me. Through the lens of her eye, she displayed and photographed the importance, significance, value, and beauty of that teapot against a botanical backdrop. I wanted to share these images and not just store them away on a jump drive. The photographs and the work itself needed to be celebrated. It has taken me over 10 years to publish this book, but finally it is completed.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at NAGB website.


Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe

Work of Bahamian artist to be featured in Museum of the African Diaspora Art book

Publishing company Cameron + Company is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco on a series of art books that reflect MoAD’s mission as a contemporary art museum that celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African diaspora.

The third in the series of this trilogy of books is entitled, Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold. It explores the legacy of European colonialism in the Caribbean through the work of nine contemporary artists, including Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe. The other artists include Angel Otero, Adler Guerrier, Phillip Thomas, Leonardo Benzant, Lucia Hierro, Andrea Chung, Ebony G. Patterson, and Firelei Báez.

Whether connected to the Caribbean by birth or focused on the region by choice, the exhibiting artists use their work as a means of examining the relationship between the power structure, those who are controlled by it, those who benefit from it, and those who actively seek to liberate themselves from it.

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Lavar's piece "Gun Dogs" on view now at MAXXI in Rome.

This year alone, Lavar has had shined bright in multiple exhibitions around the world including at least three solo shows that opened practically simultaneously in the fall of this year: “Rudeboys Like We” at Jack Bell Gallery in London; “Devil in a White City” at Meadows Museum of Art in Shreveport, Louisiana which ends December 3rd; and here, at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, in his 10-year survey “Son of the Soil,” that ends December 2nd. He is currently in the group exhibition “African Metropolis. An Imaginary City.” at the MAXXI–The National Museum of 21st Century Arts, in Italy and after having traveled to Egypt to create a site specific piece, his assemblage installation debuts in “Something Else,” the Off Biennale in Cairo. Lavar also soloed at VOLTA NY in 2015 and three months prior, he exhibited in All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor at the Venice Biennale. He will be giving a lecture at American University, College of Arts & Sciences in Washington DC on November 9th.

CLICK HERE to visit Lavar’s website.


Grand Bahama artists come together for new exhibition: ‘YIN’

Yin & Yang – each a half of the harmony of the universe, balancing sun and moon, light and dark.

Next Friday, November 11th, five Grand Bahama-based contemporary artists — Chantal Bethel, Paula Boyd Farrington, Claudette Dean, Del Foxton and Laurie Tuchel — will open their newest group exhibition entitled YIN at Hillside House Gallery at 25 Cumberland Street from 6 to 9 pm, accompanied by live music from Grand Bahama jazz singer, Shelley Carey-Moxey.

The exhibition features works honoring the energy of the divine feminine, including homages to the empowerment of women as vessels of love, healing, and transformation. There are also contemplations on reverence and wonder for Mother Nature and the feminine role as guardian of the sacred, gatekeeper to the manifest world. There will be tributes to the wisdom and beauty of women in every phase of life, art celebrating sisterhood and solidarity, and musings on the unapologetic teeming life of the natural world.

The artwork represented include mixed media pieces, oil paintings, assemblage, handmade paper works and sculptures, collage, and acrylic works. The artists will be present for the November 9th opening next Friday.

A walkabout with the artists is scheduled at Hillside House Gallery on Saturday, 10th November 2018, from 10 am to 2 pm. The exhibition closes November 30th, 2018.

CLICK HERE to view event page on Facebook.


Top Left Clockwise: Bahamian artists Gabrielle Banks, June Collie, Angelika Wallace-Whitfield, and Jodi Minnis.

Bahamian artists set to open ‘FOUR’ Exhibition

On Thursday, November 22nd, 2018, FOUR will officially open within the Island House’s Meeting Room at 5:30pm. FOUR is a group exhibition featuring artworks by contemporary Bahamian artists Gabrielle Banks, June Collie, Jodi Minnis and Angelika Wallace-Whitfield. Ranging from charcoal drawings to oil paintings, the exhibition highlights practices that center the investigation of self, womanhood, and the known and unknown women around them.

The opening will be accompanied by the Island House’s featured musicians, The Jazz Cats, and will close at 8pm. Although the official opening is on the Thursday, the exhibition will be on view from Wednesday, November 21st. For more information about this exhibition please feel free to contact

CLICK HERE for event Facebook page.

Edmund Moxey

Edmund Moxey

Time to celebrate life of Bahamian cultural icon Moxey

by Riel Major

A week-long cultural festival is set for next month to honour the memory of Bahamian icon and politician Edmund Moxey.

Shanendon Cartwright, executive chairman of the Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority, said Moxey was a ‘cultural icon’ who committed his life to the development of Bahamian culture.

“We are excited about what we have planned,” Mr Cartwright said. “What we want during this week besides importantly honouring Edmund Moxey that is well deserved, we want to have a larger discussion about culture because that's what Edmund Moxey’s life represented.

“This is the time for the Bahamian people and visitors to come and see…we’re celebrating us and what it is to be Bahamian.”

Deborah Moxey Rolle, the former politician’s daughter, said: “When my father was elected to power with the Progressive Liberal Party in 1967, he came with a burning heart with the desire to empower the Bahamian people through social and economic and cultural development, so he envisioned that people power would take place if we all come together and if we celebrate who we are, hence his idea to start the Coconut Grove Festival just two years prior into his election to office. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Tribune.


Photo Credits (top left, clockwise): Creative Nassau,, Deus X Florida, and Trip Advisor.

Central Bank presents its first Cultural Festival

On Saturday, November 10th, The Central Bank of The Bahamas will showcase its cultural platform to the wider community by hosting its first ever Cultural Festival. Admission to the festival is free of charge and it will feature an array of Bahamian food, crafts, music, and arts vendors to help foster a greater appreciation of all forms of arts and culture that enrich our country and economy.

The Central Bank planned this festival in an effort to support the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Orange Economy initiative. The Orange Economy is a group of linked activities through which ideas are transformed into cultural goods and services, whose value is determined by intellectual property. These goods and services include advertising, architecture, film, fashion, visual and performing arts, plus many others.

Historically, the Central Bank has always supported art and culture in the country and is further committed to assisting local cultural groups determine a dollar value for these goods and services, with a view to quantify their contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Although our cultural economy has long been a vibrant part of the fabric of the Bahamian experience, this initiative will, for the first time in the country, reveal its financial value and contribution to Bahamian economy.

The public is invited to come celebrate our unique Bahamian culture and enjoy food from dozens of culinary vendors. There will be live performances from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Band and other local artists, cultural demonstrations, a Kiddie Corner, activities for the whole family and a Junkanoo rush out.

CLICK HERE for event Facebook page.


Artist Profile

Alistair D. Stevenson

Bahamian ceramicist Alistair D. Stevenson recently completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Ceramic Art and Design from the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute (JCI) in the world renowned porcelain capital of Jingdezhen City, China.

Upon graduating, Stevenson was awarded a Silver Place Award for the 2018 JCI Outstanding Works Exhibition along with the First Place Award from the JCI International Students exhibition, again for outstanding work.


Stevenson stated that although it has been a challenging and successful journey thus far, he is extremely proud to have the honour of being the first Bahamian to have achieved a Degree in Ceramic Art and Design from JCI.
Despite five years of intense studies in China, Stevenson has also managed to maintain his own artistic practice by participating in solo and group exhibitions both in The Bahamas and China.

Stevenson was invited to be the first Artist-in-Residence for the Ex Nihilo Artist Residency in New Providence for 2015, and he participated in two other international Ceramic Art residencies: one at Guldagergaard International Ceramics Research Center (Denmark, 2017) and the Kohila Wood firing Symposium (Estonia, 2018).


In addition, he contributed to spreading cultural awareness about The Bahamas by representing Creative Nassau twice at the annual Jingdezhen International Ceramics Fair in 2015 and 2017, and once as a representative during the UNESCO Creative Cities Sub-Network Meeting held in Icheon, South Korea (2018).

Stevenson’s approach to creating art stems from his life growing up in Long Island, Bahamas where he spent much time observing and appreciating nature. His work easily reminds viewers of ocean life by inducing the idea of its primitive, yet elegant beauty as well as its relevance to modern day society.

Stevenson’s goal is to continue his education this autumn at the China Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing where he will pursue a Master’s Degree in Sculpture focusing on sculpture materials and concepts.

CLICK HERE for Alistair’s artist page on Facebook.


Artist in the Spotlight

Tessa Whitehead

by Cacique International

Cacique’s Artist in the Spotlight series is a journey into the thriving Bahamian art scene and a look at some of our most exciting artists, pushing boundaries on island and around the world. In this episode, Shawn Sawyer chats with island-grown Tessa Whitehead, a painter and sculptor whose ability to communicate landscapes through shapes, vessels and symbols is remarkable.

As art has never been defined by materials or techniques – neither has Tessa. Each piece has a bold intensity to it, each completely different from its forerunner, but never lacking her unique and perfectionistic style. Tessa’s friends are her most meaningful of critics, as she navigates the art world from both “NINE”, her Nassau-based Studio, and from across the pond. A true flaneur in nature, Tessa sees what others let go unnoticed. Tessa’s work explores the very meaning of “canvas” and the societies from which we find our bearings.

CACIQUE: Where do you get your inspiration from?
I have always been inspired by descriptions of landscape. Derek Walcott’s ‘Omeros’ is currently on my nightstand and is incredible, but I will just as easily find a single passage in an unassuming novel or even an autobiography. One of my favorite passages is in ‘Going Solo’ by Roald Dahl. I am also always collecting images from the internet, from my family’s photo albums, from magazines, from second-hand stores and then I pile them up in my studio and flip through when I need to. I reference them all the time.

CACIQUE: Define canvas?
TESSA: When I came back home 7 years ago, I stopped painting and made sculptures for a while. Oil paint doesn’t seem to make much sense in this landscape and I was facing a whole new set of issues. Firstly, I was creating from the memory of home when I was away and when I returned I was quite suddenly responding to my surroundings. It was jarring. I started by making a cement boat in my parent’s yard, using the soil as a mold, and it just grew from there. I don’t really think sticking to one media holds any importance for me, but I also think I move between things because I am still on a kind of search for what fits. [...]

CLICK HERE for full interview at Cacique.


Details from "Bushmen: Tale of Twin Gods", (2012). Lavar Munroe, From his series “Grant's Town Trickster”. Mixed Media, 108" x 46" x 62”. Work courtesy of Lavar Munroe.

The Case for Lavar Munroe

The Son of Soil

by Jhanée Rowena Finlayson

In order to understand the work of the critically acclaimed artist Lavar Munroe, you have to throw away the sole reliance of beauty when it comes to apprehending art. This recommendation should be considered because being dismissive of this work can truly make one lose out on an art practice that is genuine and truly profound. For centuries, the idea of art being defined by its beauty has been a heavily populated thought; a thought that was molded by the minds of Western philosophers, like Immanuel Kant and David Hume. Two thinkers that shared a background in western culture and privilege and associated ‘great art’ with European standards of taste. With all of this being said, there is an underlying question that exists. Is there space to appreciate the uncanny?

Sigmund Freud, a problematic figure in the field of psychology, gave a definition of ‘the uncanny’ that is used in the art world. Freud defines ‘the uncanny’ as something that is released from the unconscious mind and it is deemed as frightening and yet simultaneously familiar. This began as the foundation of the artistic method of the surrealist of the 1920s and the definition continues to influence the work of contemporary artist. One might argue that this is the essence of Munroe’s ten-year survey on view now at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas “The Son of Soil”. [...]

CLICK HERE full text at the NAGB website.


A D V E R T I S E M E N T S:


The Portrait Studio: Print & Frame Experts

Top of the Hill, Nassau Street | Tel: (242) 322-3413

CLICK HERE to visit website. CLICK HERE to visit Facebook page.


“Art from the Heart” Kids’ Art Competition

Submission Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 30th at 6pm


Furniture Plus is hosting a special art competition for children aged 8–18 called “Art from the Heart”. Submission deadline is November 30th, 2018. Kids are asked to create artwork from their hearts – something that shows the place where they feel most at home, happy and free. The competition wants kids to use their imagination to draw or paint that place where they feel connected to themselves and full of joy.

Winners receive a score of amazing prizes including $2,500 worth of kids’ bedroom furniture, scholarships, art supplies, and having their work showcased on Furniture Plus vehicles, plus more! For more information, full rules and entry form, please email

CLICK HERE for full details at the NAGB website.


art stories from the region
and around the world


Ntozake Shange (Photo by Stephen Lovekin © Getty)

Ntozake Shange is dead at 70

by Laura Collins-Hughes

Ntozake Shange, a spoken-word artist who morphed into a playwright with her canonical play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf,” died on Saturday in Bowie, Md. She was 70.

Her death was confirmed by her sister Ifa Bayeza, who said she had been in fragile health since a pair of strokes more than a decade ago.

Only 27 years old when “For Colored Girls” opened at the Booth Theater in 1976, Ms. Shange was a Broadway rarity on two counts: She was black and she was a woman. But her unconventional play was a hit and nominated for a Tony Award. A series of searing feminist monologues for seven black female characters named for the colors of the rainbow — Ms. Shange herself played the Lady in Orange — it inspired generations of playwrights coming up behind her. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at the New York Times.

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Alison Ramsay

Actress earns Fulbright to Jamaica

by Alexandra Simon

A Brooklyn theater actress is going to her ancestral home of Jamaica on a Fulbright scholarship. Stage performer Abigail Ramsay is heading to her parents place of birth for a 10-month teaching program at the Edna Manley School of Performing Arts, located in the country’s capital of Kingston. The nearly year-long stay will be the first time in years that a thrilled Ramsay returns to the island, but this time around she is exploring an educational avenue she hopes will be stimulating.

“It is truly and hugely exciting for me on all levels,” she said. “I get to spend time in Jamaica, and it’ll the most time I’ll spend there longer than a month, and I’ll also get to see the ways it has changed since the last time.”

She felt honored the Fulrbight committee accepted her application, and said she was thankful they saw the importance of her mission statement.

“This dream realized would not have been possible without their selecting my project for this generous scholarship, and for this I am humbled and grateful,” she said. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at Caribbean Life.

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Gee's Bend quilter Mary Lee Bendolph in front of one of her quilts in an exhibit at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, May 21, 2005. (AP Photo / Chitose Suzuki)

Can you copyright a quilt?

Long after their iconic American quilts caught the art world’s attention, the Gee’s Bend artisans are taking control of their legacy.

by Alexandra Marvar

In 1998, an art collector named William Arnett arrived in Wilcox County, Alabama. Over the next two years, he went door to door in the African-American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, asking women if he could see their quilts: vivid, off-kilter assemblages of worn denim, outgrown school dresses and other salvaged bits of cloth, particular to Gee’s Bend and nowhere else.

Most of the 275 residents of Gee’s Bend are descendants of slaves from once-thriving cotton plantations. At the time of Arnett’s first visit, a serious art collector was an unlikely presence on their doorsteps, not least because Gee’s Bend is so far off the beaten path—a tangle of red dirt roads and overgrown fields nestled into a deep arc of the Alabama River. There are no stores or offices; just trailers, retired barns, and houses built for a short-lived economic program by the Roosevelt administration, some 40 miles from the nearest pharmacy.

For years, Arnett, a native Southerner, collected Asian art, then African art, and ultimately, African-American art from the South. He saw quilts from the Bend in a Civil Rights–era photography book, and became determined to track down their makers. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at The Nation.

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Dominican Haitian artist Firelei Báez.

A conversation with Dominican Haitian artist – Firelei Báez

by Hồng-Ân Trương

I first encountered Firelei Báez’s work in 2012 in a group show called Cultural Transference at EFA Project Space, curated by Sara Reisman. Over the years, I watched in awe as Firelei’s work expanded and deepened in formal explorations of color, figuration, abstraction, and appropriated materials while creating a kind of new mythos that works to change the way we perceive ourselves and our present reality. Her work examines subaltern histories that are rendered invisible because of dominant master narratives which always work to flatten out the contours of what we embody as much more richly complex experiences. Her oftentimes large scale paintings and installations intervene upon pre-existing images, but also create new ones, using traces we might recognize as existing in the broader culture and subverting them. Firelei’s current exhibition, Joy Out of Fire, which is presented by The Studio Museum in Harlem and on view at the Latimer/Edison Gallery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, is a site-specific installation that includes mural size paintings celebrating women whose histories are preserved in the archives of the Schomburg. I visited Firelei in her studio in Inwood on a chilly Saturday morning to talk about her work. We connected over our immigrant and refugee experiences growing up in the U.S., the power of female role models, and our love of archival materials.

Hồng-Ân Trương (Rail): We were just talking about superstition and we both have some of our own family burdens.

Firelei Báez: Is it a burden or is it caring? What is it to have them all with you no matter where you go?

Rail: These kinds of superstitions really shape us. Even though they feel insignificant, they shape how we see the world. In your work, you incorporate these aspects of mythology. Is it intentional, or do you feel like this is the way that you just filter the world? [...]

CLICK HERE for full interview at Brooklyn Rail.


As an artist, Dunkley often explored sociopolitical issues taking place in Jamaica at the height of the the Pan-African movement, and often left his work ambiguous as to whether the setting was day or night.

Work of Jamaican artist on display at American Folk Art Museum

by Alexandra Simon

The work of Jamaican artist John Dunkley is exhibiting outside of Jamaica for the first time at the American Folk Art Museum starting Oct. 30. The exhibit titled “John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night,” features dozens of the late artist’s work and it is also the first time many of them will be at one place, said the co-curator.

“This is the first exhibit of his work in the United States and the largest since a retrospective organized by David Boxer in Kingston in the 1970s, and we spent quite some time getting a bulk of his work together in one room,” said Diana Nawi. “That was really the thrill of putting show together.”

Dunkley was a very expressive artist. His work paintings often could be interpreted in different ways, and showcased the beauty of nature. “In his paintings, the landscapes have a very precise and unique visual language. It’s often ambiguous as to whether it’s day or night; there’s a recurrent orb that appears in the work that could be a sun or moon,” said Nawi. “That’s where the title of the show comes from.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Caribbean Life.

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What happens to student behavior when schools prioritize art

by Sir Ken Robinson, PhD
and Lou Aronica

Room to Maneuver
There’s more room to make changes within the current education system than many people think. Schools operate as they do not because they have to but because they choose to. They don’t need to be that way; they can change and many do. Innovative schools everywhere are breaking the mold of convention to meet the best interests of their students, families, and communities. As well as great teachers, what they have in common is visionary leadership. They have principals who are willing to make the changes that are needed to promote the success of all their students, whatever their circumstances and talents. A creative principal with the right powers of leadership can take a failing school and turn it into a hot spot of innovation and inclusion that benefits everyone it touches.

Take Orchard Gardens elementary school in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Ten years ago Orchard Gardens was in the doldrums. By most measures, it was one of the most troubled schools in the state. The school had five principals in its first seven years. Each fall, half the teachers did not return. Test scores were in the bottom 5 percent of all Massachusetts schools. The students were disaffected and unruly and there was a constant threat of violence. Students weren’t allowed to carry backpacks to school for fear that they might use them to conceal weapons, and there was an expensive staff of security guards, costing more than $250,000 a year, to make sure they didn’t. Remember, this was an elementary school. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at KQED.


about the cover


“Salt of the Earth” by Edrin Symonette

“Salt of
the Earth”

by Edrin Symonette

Made with Long Island pond salt, polyester resin, plexiglass, water, and air.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” – Matthew 5 ver. 13

In the 1970s, Diamond Crystal Salt Company opened an extensive salt plant west of the town called Hard Bargain on the southern island of Long Island in The Bahamas. Many Long Islanders have stories to tell about the plant; those Bahamians who wanted to work were employed. The 25,000 acre property was once the main driver of Long Island’s economy, providing the biggest source of employment on the island. The plant was said to have closed in February 1982, due to its main plant in the U.S. filing for bankruptcy.

Since 2005, the property has been entangled in an unresolved frivolous legal dispute; resulting in large prime tracts of valuable Bahamian real estate seemingly bogged down in never-ending disputes involving overseas investors, depriving this nation and its people of its potential use and economic benefit.

The purpose of this project is twofold. Firstly: as a visual interpretation of this Biblical parable given to Jesus’ disciples. Secondly: as a means of raising awareness to the depopulation of Long Island due to lack of economic opportunities.


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 & Publisher:
Stephanie Shivers, Account & Office Manager:

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