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.

• • • •

Friday, May 24, 2019
Issue No. 381

• • • •

“Two Baskets” (2002) by the late Bahamian artist Chan Pratt
(oil on canvas / 18 x 24 in / From the Andrea & Ednol Smith Collection)
• • •
The painting above is part of an exhibition of over 110 works from the late
Bahamian artist, Chan Pratt, entitled Resurrection now on view at the
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) until Sunday, July 28th.
Working with Pratt’s son Dewitt, along with 20+ collectors across the archipelago,
the NAGB bring to life Pratt’s story and ruminations on the landscape
as they honour the legacy of works left for study and record.
• • •
See stories below...


art & cultural
events calendar




A R T / T O U R S :

NAGB presents: 4th Sundays at the NAGB

• Sunday, May 26th | Noon–5pm | The NAGB, West Hill Street


With just two 4th Sundays left before the NAGB takes a short break for the summer, the public is encouraged to add the NAGB to your Sunday activities and treat yourself, family and friends to a unique cultural experience. Take a free tour and learn more about the exhibitions and artwork on view now at The National Art Gallery.

Get a free tour on Sunday, May 26th of the NAGB’s newly opened Bahamian exhibitions, Chan Pratt’s “Resurrection”, Tessa Whitehead’s “...there are always two deaths” and Anthony ‘BigMo’ Morley’s “The Bahamas on Canvas: Historic and Nostalgic”. This will also be your last chance to tour the NAGB’s current Permanent Exhibition entitled “Hard Mouth: From the Tongue of the Ocean”; the exhibition closes on June 2nd.

Tours will be held every 30 minutes beginning at 12:00 p.m. Stop in at the NAGB Mixed Media Store to sign up for an available tour.

Interested in becoming a volunteer tour guide? Contact Education Officer, Katrina Cartwright at or call 328-5800.


E X H I B I T I O N :

Penelope Nottage presents: “Young Artists of The Bahamas” Exhibition Series

• Sunday, May 26th | 3pm–6pm | Doongalik Studios, Village Road


The Young Artists of The Bahamas Exhibition Series is hosted and sponsored by Bahamian librarian and researcher Penelope Nottage. She created this resource to document the history of her charity fundraisers which she started in 2014. She has now transitioned from a charity fundraiser to an art exhibition series that will give young artists the opportunity to have their work displayed in an established gallery.

This Sunday's exhibition opens at 3pm at Doongalik Studios on Village Road. The exhibition will remain on view for one week and will close June 1st, 2019. For more information, please contact 395-2763.

CLICK HERE to visit the Young Artists’ Facebook page.




P E R F O R M A N C E :

NAGB presents: A Season at
Fiona’s Theatre – “Unplugged”

• Saturday, June 1st | 7:30pm–10pm | The NAGB, West Hill St


The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas invites the public to attend their new “Season at Fiona’s Theatre” on Saturday, June 1st, 2019 starting at 7:00 p.m.

The NAGB collaborates with two emerging trailblazers in their fields: Chase Fernander: singer, songwriter and visionary entertainer; and Rashad Leamount: producer, poet, artistic director and R+B singer, as they jointly produce “Unplugged” with ten exciting Bahamian musicians.

With “Unplugged” organizers take it back to the music, to the beat, to the rhythm of tongue, skin, rhyme and bone. Performers for the evening include: AbiYah, Tanisha Sweeting, Leoneisha Johnson, a.k.a. Leo, NevAndria Lyriic, Kenique Maria, Foots, Sherwood Rahming, Judah the Lion, Foreign Sound with headlines by Chase Fernander and Rashad Leamount.

Admission is only $5. Come out and support these amazing artists and the future of this creative space.

CLICK HERE to RSVP at event page.


L E C T U R E :

The NAGB presents its ACE Series featuring curator and researcher Paulo Miyada

Tuesday, June 4th | 7pm–8:30pm | At the NAGB


The NAGB ACE Series presents its fourth instalment welcoming Brazilian curator and researcher Paulo Miyada as he speaks on “A Potlatch of Histories: 2 or 3 lessons from Brazilian art” on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 at 7pm–8:30pm. All are invited.

In this new ACE lecture, Miyada will bring some significant episodes from Brazilian art history and offer the audience an exchange: for every narrative about Nassau’s culture and history that someone can bring to the table he will also tell about another artist or event from Brazil.

The NAGB presents the fourth instalment in their Art, Culture and Exchange (ACE) Series, devoted to growing a healthy space for reciprocation, discourse and debate. This invitational brings established international artists, critics, and an extensive network of art professionals to present on their works in public lectures, informal talks and symposia. They will offer diverse perspectives and exciting interpretations of art, social/global issues, and innovations in culture. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details at the NAGB website.


art & culture stories
from the bahamas



A Choice Landscape

The early work of the late Chan Pratt and how art practice gets shaped by the environment – literal and imagined.


“Warrior God” (1982), Chan Pratt, acrylic on paper, 18 ½ x 17 ½ inches. Part of the Chan Pratt Foundation Collection.

by Natalie Willis

There are a few names that come to mind for us when we think of the quintessential, traditional, picturesque Bahamian landscape: Hildegarde Hamilton, Alton Lowe, Eddie Minnis, Dorman Stubbs, Ricardo Knowles, and the well-collected (but not quite always at the forefront of our minds), Chan Pratt. Landscape painting is quite a contentious genre of painting for The Bahamas and certainly for the rest of the Caribbean region, and this is for good reason. The colonial photography and postcards and paintings of days-gone-by were instrumental in framing and re-shaping the region as an idyll for tourist consumption, and this growing industry would later become the backbone and difficult foundation of many Caribbean economies.


“Yellow Shutter House” (1989), Chan Pratt, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. (Part of the Insurance Management Collection.)

Krista Thompson outlines the way this idealised image has been produced, reproduced, and reingested by the region for almost 200 years in her key text published in, An Eye For the Tropics: Tourism, Photography, and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque, 2006. Within it, Thompson asks us, and asks landscape painters alike to consider, “If many of these images [colonial postcards] served formerly as quintessential souvenirs of the tropical, the picturesque, and “civilised savagery” for colonists and tourists, what do such objects mean for contemporary residents?”

It also asks us to consider this visual lineage in all its forms, from colonial American photographers like William Henry Jackson, or Jacob Frank Coonley who became a mentor to the Bahamian photography apprentice and later fully fledged photographer James Osborne “Doc” Sands of Eleuthera. All of whom would have been key in their own way in helping produce this changing image of the landscape as we moved from our indigenous environment to one of settlers, slavery and colonialism, to one being manicured to suit a growing tourist interest. We must think of American Hildegarde Hamilton (b.1898, d.1970), whose paintings en plein air or outdoor paintings, in Nassau inspired a generation of artists growing up in the capital. We also are reminded of Abaconian Alton Lowe’s (b.1945) realistic-yet-dreamy depictions in oil, and the now iconic Nassuvian Eddie Minnis (b.1947) who was encouraged by his contemporary Lowe (and who one would imagine may have come across Hamilton in her work), and of Chan Pratt (b.1964) who was then encouraged and mentored by Minnis. This is by no means a comprehensive list but serves as a keyhole through which to begin to look at our history of landscape paintings in slightly more depth—rather than a mere mass of oil paint poincianas. [...]

CLICK HERE for full text at the NAGB website.


Beauty and loss in the new Pratt and Whitehead NAGB exhibitions now on view

A death foretold, yet not dying!

Chan Pratt Install Shot

Installation shot of Chan Pratt’s “Resurrection” featuring the Poinciana room. (Image: Jackson Petit and the NAGB)

by Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett, The University of The Bahamas

Beauty, as we began two weeks ago, heals souls and allows us to come to a higher place where we feel more human, connected, communal and loved. Nature, green trees, and shade along roads allow us to walk in and explore the special areas and spaces around us. This exploration is seen in Jean Rhys’ novel Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), and in Tessa Whitehead's work, the creek (2018) as beauty envelopes us in its natural form. When cement covers every inch of land, the soul is taken out of life. Singer Gloria Estefan’s Mi Tierra (1993), similar to Coulibri, the main location in Wide Sargasso Sea speaks of the loss, longing and nostalgia for a home that we have lost the deep connection to and the healing that comes from revisiting even if only metaphorically, metaphysically or through imagination.

The Creek Tessa Whitehead

the creek, 2018. Tessa Whitehead, oil on canvas, 50” x 84”. (Photo: Roland Rose. Work courtesy of the artist.)

Imagination is the space that creates possibility and promotes personal and community healing and development. Yet many imaginations are killed through infertile spaces whereas Frantz Fanon and Paulo Freire write, the oppressed are sown into spaces of underachieving. The vanishing present is a good place to start a discussion around healing through identification and belonging, a trauma that is often disallowed far too many people. Jean Rhys’ novel Wide Sargasso Sea much like Tessa Whitehead’s work especially Portrait (2019) and Sydney gets married (2018) speak to nature and the relationship between the human and nature, tropical fecundity. The beauty and harmony seep through and into the soul. As Rhys’ main protagonist Antoinette begins to explore her self; she also explores her surroundings:

“I went to parts of Coulibri that I had not seen, where there was no road, no path, no track. And if the razor grass cut my legs and arms I would think, 'It's better than people.' Black ants or red ones, tall nests swarming with white ants, rain that soaked me to the skin – once I saw a snake. All better than people.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full text at the NAGB website.

Jonathan farrington

Bahamian singer Jonathan Farrington (Source: BahamasPress)

Bahamian singer receives award from one of the finest acting schools in America

He started out signing gospel music at home, went on to place second in Canada’s leading talent contest, and has wowed audiences at the Apollo in New York. Now, he talks about his big break working with one of the oldest acting conservatories in the Western Hemisphere.

by Cara Hunt

For Jonathan Farrington, performing is pure joy. The Bahamian singer/actor has made quite the name for himself in recent years, appearing on world-renowned stages such as the Apollo Theatre in New York and in season four of “The Shot”, Canada’s premiere signing competition.

He has now added another impressive item to his resume: Jonathan is the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Lawrence Langner Award from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, New York. The award is given based on a student’s cumulative body of work, especially as it pertains to speech for theatre.

“It was an honour and a fruit that came by not giving up and putting in the work,” he proudly told Tribune weekend.

Jonathan has spent his entire life working towards his goal of becoming a world-class entertainer. He got his start signing gospel music at home before landing his first big break with a second place finish on “The shot”.

“Before doing ‘The Shot’ I felt like I needed to expand my artistry, networking and experience as a performer. I always knew the world stage was the place where I saw myself. The most memorable experiences for me were meeting so many amazing singers and building relationships that are still current. Living in Canada for a month was also a fantastic. I love new culture and I enjoyed it so much while being there. I also got to perform for the High Commissioner while being in Canada,” he said. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story on Pg 4 in The Tribune Weekend.

Elijah Stevens2

Elijah Stevens (courtesy photo)

From homeless to Manhattan School of Music, Bahamian pianist shares inspiring story

by Kimberlee Buck

Elijah Stevens’ musical ability began to develop while he was in the 7th grade after he was introduced to the piano by his church in Freeport, The Bahamas, which also paid for his music lessons.

Prior to receiving music lessons, Stevens aspired to be a chef and had dreams of going to culinary school however, after he started taking piano lessons, all of that changed.

“After I received my first keyboard, I spent countless hours practicing even during break and lunch periods. Sometimes I wouldn’t even eat because I would be so excited about practicing and playing the songs,” said Stevens.

Elijah Stevens

“It just felt like I belonged on the stage performing.” (courtesy photo)

“I decided that I wanted to be a musician because I just fell in love with [the piano]. Once I heard some of the classical pieces on my keyboard, it touched me and I just felt so connected to this music. There would be songs by Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and I would just hear it and it would do something to me and I would push myself to learn the songs. So from that time, I knew that this was something that I really wanted to do and something that I really wanted to pursue.”

Stevens performed his first recital in the 9th grade at Woods Music Academy, where he won student of the year after completing only one year of music lessons. He was then awarded a scholarship to continue studying at the school for another year free of charge.

“I remember getting all of the hand claps after my first recital. Before my teacher brought me on she said, ‘prepare yourself because you are about to be amazed by this talented young man who has only been taking lessons for over a year.’ Since that time, it just felt like I belonged on the stage performing” said Stevens. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at the LA Sentinel.


Bahamian artist sets himself adrift in a quest to find ‘home’

Kishan Munroe Drifter

by Cara Hunt

Kishan Munroe is an artist adrift in the most literal sense, or he will be. The artist who is known for his artistic take on social issues recently launched his latest project, “Drifter in Residence,” for which he will literally spend a few weeks adrift on the Atlantic Ocean aboard a specially constructed raft.

Kishan Munroe Portrait

Kishan Munroe

The project comes as he celebrates the 10th anniversary of his flagship project, “The Universal Human Experience,” a global expedition seeking to identify the common threads shared by humanity through an intensive examination of various conflicts and resolutions.

“I got the idea for ‘Drifter in Residence’ while I was in Russia doing research to follow up my ‘Flamingo’ series,” he told Tribune Weekend.

During his stay there, he became intrigued with the idea of displacement and how artists can create art when they are away from home or their natural environment.

As a member of the African Diaspora, he also was interested in exploring the idea of black people being adrift; taken across the sea, away from their homes, and still hundreds of years later still searching for their identity.

“We still are trying to define what it means to be a Bahamian,” he said.

Kishan built the vessel for the project himself. “This vessel, the r/v Diaspora, is a 20-foot raft constructed partially of repurposed and salvaged materials; some commonly associated with vessels craft by ingenious seafaring migrants and refugees,” [...]

CLICK HERE for full story on Pg 7 in The Tribune Weekend.

Screen shot 2019-05-24 at 8.29.54 AM

The Secret’s in the Sauce

Knowles’ Crab Shack celebrates official opening

by Alesha Cadet

Just in time for crab and dough season, the team at the new Knowles’ Crab Shack will host their official grand opening tomorrow.

Since 2014, the Knowles Crab Shack brand has provided its customers with signature dishes of crab and dough, crab soup, stuffed crabs, baked crabs, curry crabs, BBQ grilled chicken and pork – each dish prepared by the Shack’s general manager and head chef, Hubert Knowles.

Chef Knowles said the idea to open the business was inspired by his family members and friends who loved the way he made various crab dishes.

Colleagues of his wife, Tanya Knowles, started to request that he prepare his crab and dough for special events. These special requests continued to grow to the point where it became apparent that he would have to establish an actual business to keep up with the demand for his food.

In order to get a better feel for the public’s interest in a crab shack, Chef Knowles’ son, Diego Knowles, created a Facebook page to gauge how much of a market existed for their product. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story on Pg 2 in The Tribune Weekend.

Shee Tongue Souse

Sheep Tongue Souse

How to make Bahamian Sheep Tongue Souse

by Amanda Diedrick

It’s always a good day when you can cross something off your bucket list, and last Wednesday, I got to check off, “learn to make sheep tongue souse.”

Souse (rhymes with house) is essentially meat cooked in a clear broth, flavoured with onion, lime juice, all spice, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Though “souse” as a pickling/preservation method dates back to medieval times, the souse we know in The Bahamas and the Caribbean originated during the era of slavery.

On plantations, when animals were slaughtered, the least desirable parts — chicken wings, pigs’ feet, sheep’s tongue, etc. — were left for the slaves. Using the simple ingredients and seasonings available to them, they created a fulfilling and flavourful meal that stretched these few bits of meat to feed many.

Despite its modest beginnings, Bahamian souse tends to be a special occasion dish, served on weekends and holidays. As a child, I remember eating mostly chicken souse. But in recent years, I discovered sheep tongue souse, and was hooked.

The texture of the meat isn’t at all what you might expect. It’s smooth and tender, and to me, it gives a richer and more complex flavour to the broth than does chicken.

I’m told that fresh sheep tongue isn’t easy to clean and prepare, but thankfully, Maxwell’s in Marsh Harbour now sells tongue that’s already cleaned and diced. [...]

CLICK HERE for full recipe at The Little House by the Ferry.


Transforming Spaces Art Tour donates to Lend A Hand Bahamas


LAHB Programs and Facility Coordinator, Mitsyann Burrows (left) looks on as Founder, Lucas Metropolus (2nd right) receives the donation from TS Executives, Antonius Roberts and Pam Burnside in front of the first mural that was produced in conjunction with the Center’s students. (Photo: Keisha Oliver)

by Pam Burnside

Transforming Spaces (TS) has announced that its 15th anniversary Art Tour entitled “SUSTAIN: I Have A Dream – I Am the Dream - We are the Dream” was a resounding success, having transported close to 300 patrons over the April 6 weekend to visit five art galleries (D’Aguilar Art Foundation, Doongalik Studios, Hillside House, The Current at Popop Studios, and the University of The Bahamas), together with allowing them to view their Dream Wall of Respect Mural project in Lewis Street, as well as Atlantis’ Marina Village Art Walk.

“Our 15th anniversary year has achieved various goals,” stated Treasurer and Master Artist, Antonius Roberts. “When we started this art tour event in 2004, we wanted to expose the best in Bahamian art and artists to the local population, as well as to establish a strong enough foundation for the next generations of artists to build upon. We have been consciously developing our plan to ensure that Bahamian art has the right environment in which to flourish amongst an appreciative audience, both local and foreign.We are now moving towards highlighting the 2020 mission statement of one of our founding members, the late Jackson Burnside, who stated that ‘by the year 2020, more persons will visit The Bahamas for its art, culture and heritage, rather than merely for its sun, sand and sea.’ [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at The Bahamas Weekly.

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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, Account & Office Manager:

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