Smith and Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART and CULTURE’ Issue No. 348 Sharing Art and Cultural News of The Bahamas for 18 Years • • • • CLICK HERE to se


Smith and Benjamin’s
Issue No. 348

Sharing Art and Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 18 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

“A Kingdom of Ignorant Kings” (2018)
by Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe
• •
(Acrylic, antique fans, rope and spray paint on canvas / 61-5/6 x 4 feet)
Part of the artist’s “The Redbones” series
• • •
Read stories below.


Friday, June 15th, 2018


up and coming
art & cultural events



RE2 pathways

E X H I B I T I O N:

RE: 2 – Pathways

Friday, June 15th
The Current Gallery at
Baha Mar

The Current: Baha Mar Art Studios is pleased to present RE:2 – Pathways, our second Residency Exhibition featuring new works by Margot Bethel, Drew Weech, Philece Roberts, Theodore Elyett and Tina Klonaris-Robinson.

Pathways reveals a particular type of travel, a physical, spiritual or mental journey – it questions the ways in which we navigate from one space to another. It describes a line of communication – a path, route, course, or way that constitutes each movement in our lives, whether it be forward or backward, and assists us in defining the intricacies of life. The show is on view until July 27th, 2018.

CLICK HERE The Current’s Facebook page.




L E C T U R E :

Public Lecture by Eddie Chambers:
“Caribbean Artists Visualising Enslavement”

Thursday, June 21st | 7pm–8:30pm
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas


The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is pleased to invite you to a public lecture by cultural critic, writer and professor Eddie Chambers on Thursday, June 21st, 2018 starting at 7pm.

With so much of the New World being built on enslavement, it’s not surprising that slavery’s legacies should continue to exercise so many artists, not only of the Caribbean region, but also those of what we might call the Caribbean diaspora. These artists visualise slavery in an astonishingly broad range of ways, and one particularly fascinating aspect of this visualisation are the ways in which visual articulations of enslavement act as a means of animating decidedly contemporary challenges. Caribbean artists are extraordinarily adept at making innovative, challenging, aesthetically cogent work, and a notable strand of this is work that turns its attention to the formidable and ongoing task of visualizing slavery and its multiple legacies.

In this regard, We Suffer to Remain is very much a textured, layered, multi-faceted manifestation of artists grappling with slavery and its legacies. This talk will present and discuss various examples of the ways in which artists of the Caribbean and its diasporas have responded to the challenges of visualizing slavery. Among the artists whose work is to be included in the talk are Charles Campbell (Jamaica/Canada), Terry Boddie (Saint Kitts and Nevis/USA), and Tam Joseph (Dominica/UK).

CLICK HERE for more details at NAGB’s website.
CLICK HERE for event page on Facebook.


C ON C E R T :

BNYC presents:
The Encore

Sunday, June 24
At 6pm
The Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! The Bahamas National Youth Choir presents an encore performance of their 2018 concert. It’s definitely a show you won’t want to miss the second time around. We have something for everyone, so bring the entire family for an evening of live entertainment.


“The Encore” is a true celebration of Bahamian culture. Thirty young artisans will offer you the chance to laugh, cry, sing and dance. Audience participation is encouraged, and the happy crowd often sings along or dances to hit songs featured in the show. The Encore highlights several musical genres and includes such varied numbers from the Broadway musical ‘The Lion King”. The diverse programme of music will include works by international composers: M. Warren, Franz Joseph Haydn, Bob Chilcott, Tom Fettke, and Bahamian composers: Fred Ferguson, the late Cleophas R.E. Adderley, Sonovia Pierre, and Dexter Fernander.

The second half is a folk presentation that will highlight the diversity of The Bahamas as the singers showcase various styles of Bahamian music and rhythms like the traditional dance movements inclusive of ‘heel and toe’, the quadrille dance, ‘rushin’, mash-de-roach and the choir’s favorite – ‘sculling-box-step’.

Tickets are on sale at The Dundas Box Office.

CLICK HERE for event’s Facebook page.




VAT Compliance Workshop for Artists

Thursday, June 28th | 9:00am to 5:00pm
BAIC Training Centre, Old Trail Road, Nassau

Attention Artisans: This one-day workshop will assist you greatly in the proper development of your business venture. Registration fee: $30.00. SPACE IS LIMITED. Deadline to register is Friday, June 22, 2018, 5:00 p.m.


art competitions
and summer camps


“Art from the Heart” Art Competition

Submission Deadline: Saturday, June 30th at 6pm

Furniture Plus is launching a special “Art from the Heart” competition that invites children 8-18 years to design artwork from their hearts. Winners receive a score of amazing prizes and will have their work showcased on Furniture Plus vehicles! Email for full rules and entry form.

CLICK HERE for full details at the NAGB website.


The NAGB Mixed Media Art Summer Camp

Art Camp begins Monday, June 25th

CLICK HERE for full details at the NAGB website.


art & culture news
from the bahamas

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Newly published book shines a light on the ‘Bahama Mama’

A photographic journey through the faces and wisdom of the women that hold the Bahamas together.

Bahama Mama: Portraits and Wisdom from the Mothers of Bahamian Society is a newly published coffee table book by Bahamian writer and photographer Sofia Whitehead. It is comprised of colorful portraits and quotes from The Bahamas’ matriarchs.

It reflects the flamboyant colors and vivacious spirit of the women that hold the country together. It looks to capture simple portraits of the raw aesthetic of these women through photographs that accentuate their long lives through the lines on their faces, the bright backgrounds of their environment and powerful gazes that connect with the viewer.

The quotes focus on revealing the humor, anecdotes and timeless wisdom of this generation, which will soon be lost as technology overtakes the islands. They highlight experiences about love, relationships, work and how life in The Bahamas used to be compared to the present as well as home grown wisdom.

CLICK HERE to order book.
CLICK HERE to see inside book.


Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe.

Bahamian artist in new Washington exhibition

The artwork of internationally acclaimed Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe, who has recently accepted a position at Indiana University School of Art, Architecture + Design as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Painting, will be included in a new exhibition entitled “Becoming American” in Washington state. Paintings and sculptures from Munroe’s recent body of work, The Redbones will be on view in this exhibition.

Becoming American is an international group exhibition taking place on the grounds of the American and English camps on San Juan Island, WA, and satellite venues in the city of Seattle. The exhibition ranges from commissions responsive to the layered dynamics of the primary venue—including the park’s history as a traditional home to Coastal Salish people, the location of the last territorial dispute between the United States and Great Britain, its imminent proximity to Canada, and exceptional natural beauty—to works across media that delve into and question the perhaps permanently contested, never-to-be-resolved nature of the larger understanding of the Americas.

Lavar Munroe is an interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture and installation art. Blending fictional narratives, reminiscent of dark childhood fables, with his own direct experience with research and art historical compositional techniques, Munroe constructs sharp political critiques of contemporary life.

CLICK HERE for more information on the exhibition.
CLICK HERE for more information about Lavar.

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Julien Believe and Angelique Sabrina. (YH MEDIA)

Bahamian recording artists collaborate on new Junka-Soca song

When the prince of “Junka-Soca” (a fusion of Junkanoo and Soca beats) collaborates with a Bahamian pop princess and a French saxophonist/ DJ/producer with a reputation for innovative, eclectic sounds, the result is a high energy, infectious dance single guaranteed to make the world move to the left … move to the right — jump and wine.

“Jump & Wine” is a fun, Caribbean electric slide rooted in The Bahamas and France that will have listeners out of their seats and on the dance floor in a heartbeat. The song is a debut release for Island Vybzz, representing the label’s core values — to produce hot, tropical, party-starting dance music.

The soul-stirring vocals of Julien Believe and Angelique Sabrina blend with the blazing sax/electro-pop track created by super producer DJ Natty Rico for the party-starter “Jump & Wine”, written by Julien Believe, Angelique Sabrina, Gregg White and Natty Rico. “Jump & Wine” is also produced by Natty Rico and Executive Producer Gregg White for the Island Vybzz label. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Nassau Guardian.

NAGB-Nicole Yip

Portrait of Nicole Yip. (Image courtesy of Yip.)

Tall Order:
An interview with Nicole Yip of LUX Scotland

Yip speaks on meaningful exchange and working to decolonize the archive with the NAGB’s Natalie Willis.

by Natalie Willis

The NAGB, in collaboration with LUX Scotland, has put together some really incredible content for our series of film screenings as part of the programming for our current exhibition in partnership with the British Council, “We Suffer To Remain”. Moving image has impacted us so greatly as a region in terms of shaping our narratives, and in how we decolonise and re-shape those narratives for ourselves.

• • •

This week we are in conversation with Nicole Yip, director of LUX Scotland, to see how she began to think through tackling this project and what it means to partner with Caribbean institutions.

NW: Is this the first time LUX Scotland has partnered in the Caribbean and if so what significance does this have for you?
NY: It feels really exciting! A big strand of our current work has to do with ideas around racial equity and diversity, and ideas of transformative justice, especially in the context of Scotland where we’re based. So this has been a continuing thread in which we have mainly been working towards a local context, but we have the chance to expand these discussions in an international context and it seemed like the logical next step. As I mentioned in the introduction to the screening it was one that was quite daunting. [...]

CLICK HERE for full interview at the NAGB’s website.

NAGB-Malcolm X

Black Audio Film Collective, "Handsworth Songs" (1984). Image courtesy of the artist and LUX.

The Moving Image: The First Turn of the Revolution

by Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and LUX Scotland partnered with the British Council to produce a series of short and experimental films that coincides with the exhibition “We Suffer to Remain”. The series highlights a history of moving image expressions of hard to have conversations about race, indigeneity and belonging. The first screening in this series was on Thursday evening 17th May in the amphitheatre of the NAGB. The theatre is a beautiful and incredibly well-done space allowing for the outdoors to be enjoyed, even with the threat of rain, which, fortunately, did not descend. A good sized and engaged crowd came to support this event, and different and distinct viewpoints and experiences enlivened the discussion. The films screened were Alberta Whittle’s Sorry, Not Sorry (2018), and Handsworth Songs (1986) by Black Audio Film Collective, a 16mm work transferred to video.

The evening began with a brief introduction to the films and the series by Nicole Yip curator of the series and director of LUX Scotland, NAGB Chief Curator Holly Bynoe and myself. The discussion set the scene for the artistic representation provided by these artists as well as opening the door to the discussion of moving image development in the Caribbean. It is significant that the Caribbean, a similar yet divided region through colonisation struggles with the infrastructure to support film production which continues to be uneven. The Bahamas has not been known for moving image production–though this is changing with creators like Kareem Mortimer and Maria Govan and others–when compared to Cuba the giant in the region for producing long and short moving images using multiple strategies and techniques of directing and production. [...]

CLICK HERE for full text at the NAGB’s website.

NAGB-Ringplay at Camp

Ringplay is the best activity during a break.

Indigenous art takes the lead at the NAGB’s Art Summer Camp

by Katrina Cartwright

With just three weeks left to prepare for this year’s Mixed Media Art Summer Camp (MMASC), the NAGB team is kicking into high gear to get everything ready for the 100 campers who will be engaging in six weeks of fun creativity between June 25th and August 3rd. The NAGB Mixed Media Art Summer Camp, revamped in 2015, serves as an access point for all kids, ages 5 to 17, to art and its history. The goal is to provide a hands-on approach to educating campers from all communities about the significance of Bahamian art and how it has impacted our daily lives – culturally and socially. Additionally, it informs prospective students on various career paths within the visual arts, presenting them with options for future educational and professional pursuits.

Due to the persistent knowledge and experience gap concerning the arts, many Bahamian youth are unaware of the incredible visual arts history and current creative movements in The Bahamas and how those movements relate to them. To mitigate this, the NAGB consistently selects camp themes that have relevance and resonance to the Bahamian people. In 2018 the NAGB is taking campers “Back to da Island,” where they will experience Rake n’ Scrape, Junkanoo, Bahamian strawcraft and shellcraft and the unique art of Bahamian storytelling. Using these intrinsically creative elements of indigenous Bahamian culture, campers will experiment with bridging the gap between fine art and craft, while exploring the more formal elements of artistic practice. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at the NAGB’s website.


art & culture stories from the region and around the world

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African-American artist Kerry James Marshall with his work 'X-Man' (1989). (Photo: Hadani Ditmars)

Kerry James Marshall:
On painting, politics and P. Diddy’s record-breaking purchase of his work

This is probably the first instance in the history of the art world, where a Black person took part in a capital competition and won.

by Hadani Ditmars

“I wanted to break the notion that blackness was a reductive condition, that it couldn’t be complex and chromatic,” says the 62-year-old artist Kerry James Marshall of his work Invisible Man (1986), now on display at the Rennie Collection in Vancouver. “This colour here,” he says, pointing to the edge of the work, “is actually a very deep green”.


Kerry James Marshall's "Past Times" (1997) bought by rapper and music producer P. Diddy for $21,114,500 at a Sotheby's auction on 16 May, 2018. (Image courtesy of Sotheby's.)


KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, “Untitled (Gallery),” 2016 (acrylic on PVC panel). | Carnegie Museum of Art, The Henry L. Hillman Fund, © Kerry James Marshall

The enigmatic figure in Invisible Man, mostly made out by the whites of his eyes and his toothy grin, seems either to emerge from or disappear into the background, and is at once skeletal and defiant, frightening and mocking. The work was inspired, Marshall says, by a 1961 horror film called Sardonicus, directed by William Castle, in which a man’s face becomes frozen in a contorted grimace when he robs his father’s grave to get a winning lottery ticket. The painting speaks to Marshall’s familiar themes of absence and presence, visibility and invisibility. “It’s our Mona Lisa,” says Bob Rennie, the Canadian real estate magnate and collector who bought the work for $53,775 at an auction in Los Angeles in 2006, from the estate of the African-American actor Paul Winfield. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at The Art Newspaper.

Hendricks Painting

Barkley L. Hendricks’s Greg (1975). Image courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery.

‘Why was it so hard to get here?’

European collectors are at last buying up work by African American artists at Art Basel. Artists including Sam Gilliam, McArthur Binion, and Barkley Hendricks are in high demand this year in Basel.

by Julia Halperin

Art Basel, the topflight Swiss fair that opens to the public today, is best known for presenting the bluest of blue-chip European art. But this year, the event has a bit of an American flavor thanks to prominent—and highly sought after—work by African American artists. Beyond the convention center, the city’s Kunstmuseum is hosting solo exhibitions by two black American artists, Sam Gilliam and Theaster Gates.

At a time when the market is rapidly recalibrating price points for artists who have been undervalued for decades, and as museums are rushing to fill gaps in their collections, dealers say Art Basel can be an important opportunity to provide these historically overlooked artists with European exposure that can have a lasting impact. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at Artnet.

Sam Gilliam

Artist Sam Gilliam in his studio. (© KRISTINE LARSEN)

Sam Gilliam:
a life beyond the frame

With a show of his unstretched canvases at the Kunstmuseum Basel, the lyrical abstractionist is enjoying a late resurgence in popularity.

by José da Silva

“I’ve always listened to everyone, from Coltrane to Beyoncé, but not always while I work,” says Sam Gilliam during the installation of works for his show at the Kunstmuseum Basel (until 30 September), which focuses on the period from 1967 to 1973. This is the 84-year-old US lyrical abstractionist’s first major European exhibition.
Although “the relation between music and my work isn’t so direct, the structure of jazz is important”, Gilliam says. “My Drape paintings are never hung the same way twice. The composition is always present, but one must let things go, be open to improvisation, spontaneity, what’s happening in a space while one works.”

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Sam Gilliam, Marrakech Biennale 6, 2016, Marrakech, Morocco, Installation view. (Source: David Kordansky Gallery)

The African-American artist embodied the late 1960s jazz ethos in pushing his medium to its limits, creating experimental abstract works just like his musical heroes. In 1962, the Mississippi-born Gilliam moved to Washington, DC, where he came into contact with Colour Field painting. But Gilliam took a different path from the abstract painters of the period, peeling right back and dismantling the starting point for most painters—the canvas. In 1967, he began a series of works called slices, or bevelled-edge paintings, pouring diluted acrylic paint onto the unstretched, unprimed canvas, then folding or crumpling the fabric before stretching it on a bevelled frame after the paint had dried. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at The Art Newspaper.
CLICK HERE for slide show of Gilliam’s work.


about the cover


"A Kingdom of Ignorant Kings" by Lavar Munroe (The Redbones Series) Acrylic, antique fans, rope and spray paint on canvas / 61-5/6 x 4 feet / 2018

The Redbones Series

by Lavar Munroe

“I am interested in creating fictitious characters known as The Redbones. The Redbones are a generation of young boys who are placed on the frontline as warriors by the wealthy within society. Ironic to the storyline is that The Redbones are a generation of boys from poverty stricken areas recruited and hand selected to fight for freedom and justice for ALL. The boys march, protest and go to war simply as a rite of passage in hopes of one day being deemed hero by the wealthy within society.

“This series draws very close parallels between the current political space and societal ills being experienced today within the world. This project takes to task, an examination and critique of journey, pilgrimage and the notion of martyr as hero in regard to the act of Protest and war.

Lavar Munroe Witness

"Witness" by Lavar Munroe (The Redbones Series), Acrylic, spray paint, parachute harness, rope, bullet riddled sign, and collage on canvas / 138" x 82" / 2018

“Specifically, this work examines the use of fire as a form of protest. References as early as the 1600s points to Guy Fawkes’ the Gunpowder Plot in Britain. Fawkes became involved with a small group of English Catholics, led by Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate the Protestant King James and replace him with his daughter, third in the line of succession, Princess Elizabeth. This act of Protest, though failed, serves as a historic marker in history and aided in forging the history of my home, the Bahamas (a Commonwealth Nation), a nation still recognizing Queen Elizabeth. It also mimics contemporary acts of Self-Immolation whereby protestant statements are made through self-sacrifice by means of fire.”

– Lavar Munroe


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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