Smith and Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART and CULTURE’ Issue No. 368Friday, February 1st, 2019 • • • •Sharing Art and Cultural News of The Bahamas for


Smith and Benjamin’s
Issue No. 368
Friday, February 1st, 2019

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

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

Detail of “What Will Be Remembered in the Face of All That is Forgotten”
by New York City-based Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan
(2014-5 / Neon, stainless steel, electrical transformers / 5' tall)
• • •
Strachan’s installation sculpture was originally included in the solo exhibition
Seeing is Forgetting the Thing that You Saw at Anthony Meier Fine Arts in
San Francisco, which examined individuals whose names have been omitted
from common accounts of history despite their great accomplishments.
• • •
See more below.


art & cultural
events calendar




E X H I B I T I O N :

Stepping Stone Quilters Annual Quilt Show

January 24th–February 2nd, 2019
Trinity Methodist Church


For over 32 years, the Stepping Stone Quilters has been showcasing the art of quilting and has kept this unique art form alive in The Bahamas.

For this year’s show, the Stepping Stone Quilters have committed to supporting the work of The Cancer Society of The Bahamas. All of the money raised from the sale of a selection of Lap Quilts will be used to continue the excellent work of the Society. Pricing will start at $200 for each Lap Quilt. Additional contributions would be gratefully accepted.

CLICK HERE for event Facebook page.




E X H I B I T I O N :

The Grand Bahama Artists Association presents their Spring Art Exhibition

Thursday, Feb. 7th
At 7pm
Gloria Banks Gallery, Rand Nature Centre, Freeport, Grand Bahama

The Grand Bahama Artists Association (GBAA) invites one and all to join them for their much anticipated opening of their Spring 2019 annual exhibition featuring works by many Bahamian and expat artists who make up the membership of the GBAA. Please bring a friend.

CLICK HERE for event’s Facebook page.
CLICK HERE for GBAA website.


A R T I S T / T A L K :

The NAGB presents: NE9 Artists’ Talk and Walkthrough – Ecologies & Vulnerabilities

Friday, February 8th, 2019 | 6pm–8pm | At the NAGB


On Friday, February 8th starting at 6 p.m., the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) will hold an artists’ talk and walkthrough with five artists whose works are supported in this year’s Ninth National Exhibition, “NE9: The Fruit and The Seed.”

Join us as we welcome emerging artists Melissa Alcena, Gabrielle Banks, Cydne Coleby, Alexandra Timchula and Natascha Vazquez as they share the broader inspirations, threats and geneses of their projects. Collectively, they will focus on the role that the environment and its vulnerabilities play and the intersection of utopian/dystopian ideals for the future of The Bahamas. In tandem with this outside look, we also turn to the power of selfhood and coming of age, looking at how gender and sexuality continues to give shape and form to the creative spirit and the rise and place of feminism.

We will end the talk with a walk through and guided conversation with the artists through the projects inclusive of Timchula’s utopian works in the NAGB Sculpture Garden. As a reminder, this event and all programmes in support of the NE9 are FREE and open to the public.

CLICK HERE for event’s Facebook page.


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

The Current at Baha Mar presents:
Open Studio Night

Friday, Feb. 8th
From 7-9pm
The Current Gallery & Art Centre, Baha Mar

The Current invites the public to join them on Friday, February 8th from 7pm to 9pm for their Open Studios night at their Gallery and Art Centre space in the Rotunda Shops at Baha Mar.

Open Studios Night will feature conversations with their current artist residents Lillian Blades and Dr. Ian “Tony” Bethell-Bennett.

CLICK HERE for The Current’s Facebook page.


C O N C E R T S :

The Nassau Music Society presents:
Rowland Sutherland on Flute

• Saturday, Feb. 9th, 2019 | 6:30pm | The Current, Baha Mar
• Sunday, Feb. 10th, 2019 | 5pm | St Paul’s Church Hall, Lyford Cay

Rowland 2

British flautist Rowland Sutherland

The Nassau Music Society continues its diverse and exciting concert season with British flautist Rowland Sutherland in two unique performances.

Flautist, composer, soloist, arranger, bandleader and educator, Sutherland has crafted two unique concerts that showcase the flute in its full range of expression. There is something for every musical palate.

With roots in St. Vincent, classically trained Sutherland incorporates his Caribbean heritage into many of his compositions, especially “Soulistic,” a Caribbean soul jazz reflection of a visit to the West Indies which echoes the resonance of the people, culture and island.


Top Left Clockwise: Rowland Sutherland, Clinton Crawford, Adrian D’Aguilar, and Kevin Dean.

On Saturday, 9th February at The Current: Baha Mar Gallery & Art Center, he takes the stage alongside top Bahamian jazz musicians Cinton Crawford on keys, Adrian D’Aguilar on bass and Kevin Dean on drums to present the vibrant, colorful sounds of the flute in a jazz setting with various influences from around the globe. Additional guest appearances will include a flute quartet, a cellist and also a surprise collaborative performance you won’t want to miss!

On Sunday, 10th February at St Paul’s Church Hall, Sutherland performs rare and not-so-rare lyrical, modern classical pieces for flute and piano and various flute groups, with musical influences from jazz, the Americas, the Caribbean and Asia. The program also includes a number of evocative chamber music compositions by Sutherland himself.

Rowland 4

Rowland Sutherland

There will be a credit card bar open during the Wine & Art reception prior to the concert at The Current, and a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink will be served at the end of the performance on both evenings

Tickets are available online at the link below, at three convenient Custom Computers locations (Old Fort Town Centre, Cable Beach and Cotton Tree Plaza just before Harbour Bay), or at the door on the evenings of the concerts.

CLICK HERE to listen to performance by Sutherland.
CLICK HERE to listen to performance by Sutherland.
CLICK HERE to visit Nassau Music Society’s website.

Rowland-Sutherland Mailchimp

F I L M :

The NAGB presents: February Film Series

• Thursday, Feb. 14th | 7pm–9pm | Fiona’s Theatre at the NAGB
• Thursday, Feb. 28th | 7pm–9pm | Fiona’s Theatre at the NAGB


Thursday, Feb. 14th:
“Pretty Woman”

Love is in the air and the NAGB Film Series is showcasing the iconic romantic film “Pretty Woman,” a modern update on Cinderella, where a prostitute and a wealthy businessman fall in love with one another, forming an unlikely pair.

While on a business trip, Edward played by Richard Gere, picks up a hooker, Vivian played by Julia Roberts, on an escapade. After Edward hires Vivian to stay with him for the weekend, the two get closer, only to discover there are significant hurdles to overcome as they try to bridge the gap between their very different worlds.

Thursday, Feb. 28th:
“A Raisin in the Sun”

The NAGB doubles up on your dose of films for February as they celebrate Black History Month and Sir Sidney Poitier's 92nd turn around the sun with the screening of the brilliant adaption of Lorraine Hansberry’s immortal “A Raisin in the Sun.”

The film, made in 1961 by Daniel Petrie, reprises the original Broadway stars—including Poitier and Ruby Dee—as members of an African American family living in a cramped Chicago apartment, in this deeply resonant tale of dreams deferred. The Youngers await a life-insurance check they hope will change their circumstances, but tensions arise over how to use the money. Vividly rendering Hansberry’s sharp observations on generational conflict and housing discrimination, Petrie’s film captures the high stakes, shifting currents, and varieties of experience within black life in midcentury America.

This and all screenings at the NAGB are FREE and open to the public. They will have popcorn and refreshments on hand for sale.

CLICK HERE for the NAGB website.


art & culture stories
from the bahamas

Tavares Strachan

Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan

What Will Be Remembered in the Face of All That is Forgotten is a sculptural neon work by the New York City-based Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan made between 2014–2015. The five-foot-tall piece includes pulsating neon that mimics the racing of blood through veins, stainless steel to hold the skeleton in place, and a total of seven transformers. The flashing circulatory system is a glowing reminder of English scientist Rosalind Franklin’s contributions to the field of science, mainly the discovery of DNA’s molecular structures. The work was originally included in the solo exhibition Seeing is Forgetting the Thing that You Saw at Anthony Meier Fine Arts in San Francisco, which examined individuals whose names have been omitted from common accounts of history despite their great accomplishments.

Strachan, in partnership with LACMA Art + Technology Lab and SpaceX, also recently launched a sculpture honoring Robert Henry Lawrence Jr., the first African-American to train as an astronaut with NASA. Although Lawrence never made it into space, a 24-karat gold urn with his bust titled “Enoch” will orbit the Earth for seven years in a sun-synchronous orbit.

(Story courtesy of Colossal)

Screen shot 2019-02-01 at 1.35.23 PM

Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan showing Bomber Jacket (Source: #tavaresstrachan)

Bahamian artist brings Space Bombers to Paris with CIFF

Tavares Strachan has created a series of space-age bomber jackets that are being presented by the edgy Copenhagen trade show.

by Alex Wynne

Tavares Strachan is getting into fashion. The Bahamian artist has created a capsule collection and installation of six bomber jackets showing in Paris.

“I never thought I’d be producing something that people would wear,” said Strachan at a preview of the installation at the Crillon. “I don’t see this as fashion to me; this is sculpture.”

Branded under the name B.A.S.E.C., for the Bahamian Aerospace and Sea Exploration Center Strachan created after undertaking cosmonaut training a few years ago, the project is staged by edgy trade fair CIFF under the tagline “The Northwind Trilogy.”

In December of 2016, my mother and I had a conversation about making, and how much this process can provide enrichment and a livelihood to young people. During this time I was working on the story of B.A.S.E.C. and designing and making the jackets became part of the research and prototyping. We now have a line of B.A.S.E.C. Bomber jackets that are 100% made in The Bahamas by my mother, Ella Strachan. A part of our master plan has to do with inspiring young women to make it on their own through these skills and projects.

– Tavares Strachan

Tavares Strachan-BASEC jackets

(Courtesy of the artist, photo credit: Brooke DiDonato)

Curated by Neville Wakefield, the three-part project was unveiled at Art Basel Miami on December 4, 2018 in Miami. The second part was unveiled at Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, and the third part of the trilogy was concluded in Copenhagen during CIFF at the end of January 2019.

B.A.S.E.C. Bomber collection consists of six jackets, each with its unique set of patches based on past conducted missions. The jackets were created in collaboration with the artist’s mother, Ella Strachan, and have a social as well as commercial ambition. Crafted by local women, money raised from their sale will be used to fund training initiatives for women in the island nation and inject resources into boosting local production. Fewer than 600 jackets will be produced in total, and they will be offered to select retailers worldwide that can support the installation concept. They will sell for around $2,000 each.

Story courtesy of WWD & Design Scene.

Screen shot 2019-02-01 at 1.42.12 PM

(Source: #tavaresstrachan)


Lillian Blades presenting her collage work last night at The Mint Museum. (Courtesy of the artist / Source: Facebook)

Bahamian artist presents at large collage exhibition at The Mint Museum in North Carolina

Atlanta-based Bahamian artist Lillian Blades was one of 8 artists who presented her work this week at the Mint Museum’s first large-scale exhibition, Under Construction, where the dynamic medium of collage was explored.

This artistic technique, in which materials are cut, torn, and layered to create new meanings and narratives, gained acclaim in the early twentieth century through the groundbreaking work of such artists as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. But it experienced a renaissance (particularly in America) after World War II when Charlotte, N.C. native Romare Bearden rejuvenated and reinvigorated the technique. His work, which has long been a highlight of The Mint Museum’s collection, serves as the point of departure for this fascinating exhibition.


Installation shot of Lillian's work in The Mint Museum. (Courtesy of the artist / Source: Facebook)


Installation shot of Lillian's work in The Mint Museum. (Courtesy of the artist / Source: Facebook)

Featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art, Under Construction explores the growth of the collage technique and aesthetic in the work of Bearden and his colleagues from the 1950s to the present. It includes numerous works by Bearden, as well as examples by such notable artists as Robert Motherwell, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Sam Gilliam, Howardena Pindell, Dario Robleto, Donald Sultan, and James Rosenquist.

The impact of the collage aesthetic in the fields of painting, printmaking, photography, and assemblage work will be explored as well. Although drawn primarily from the rich holdings of The Mint Museum, this exhibition also includes special loans from private collections and new work by some of today’s leading artists who continue to mine and invigorate this approach.

(Courtesy of The Mint Museum)


TOP: Author Melanie Houston (Left) and Bahamian illustrator Philece Roberts (Right). BOTTOM: Cover of book

Bahamian artist illustrates new book “My Afrikah Hair”, called a masterpiece for Black girls everywhere

Alabaster Box Media Group, a boutique multimedia publishing house, announces the release of My Afrikah Hair, masterfully written and illustrated for black girls everywhere. Using hair as a metaphor and model for self-esteem, author Melanie Houston weaves a journey and a movement from Africa to America, from infancy to elderhood.

The elegant art of internationally renowned Bahamian artist Philece Roberts perfects Alabaster Box Media Group’s mission to marry art and literature. Each page displays poetry, exquisite watercolor, and teastained images that evoke childhood memories, and proudly proclaims the heritage and culture of Africans/African-Americans. The book is polished with a soft touch hardback cover with embossed gold foil and a gold ribbon.

Kirkus Review calls My Afrikah Hair “a heartfelt book of poems,” and the Midwest Book Review lauds it as “Delightfully original, evocatively thought-provoking, and supportive of family, community relationships, and Christian sentiments alike.” Similarly, the Path to Publishing Review Team shares, “…this book takes you down memory lane. It is not only one of my recommended readings, but I give it 5 stars.” Multi-city book tours are planned for Columbus, Ohio, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Tampa, Las Vegas, New York, and Washington, DC, among other cities.

Philece Roberts is a painter, illustrator and graphic designer, most recognized for her strong and graceful representation of women. Using a unique fusion of traditional art with contemporary style, she explores the depths of inner beauty through realism intertwined with the textures of wood grain, tea stained paper and line work. Inspired by the multifaceted stories of women, she takes you on a journey that is grounded in clean aesthetics and immersed in emotion. Roberts has a B.A. in Film and Video Studies from the University of Oklahoma and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta. She has illustrated two books and for clients such as Essence Magazine and Creme of Nature.

CLICK HERE to purchase book at Amazon.
CLICK HERE to visit Philece’s website.

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Lenny Kravitz takes daughter Zoe to his maternal grandfather's childhood home in The Bahamas. (Tumi)

Lenny and Zoë Kravitz visit their family’s Bahamian roots in short film for Tumi

Father and daughter launch the luggage brand's new collection

by David Griner

Just days before her Super Bowl ad debut, Zoë Kravitz is also starring alongside her father, Lenny Kravitz, in a new campaign for luggage brand Tumi.

The video launching the Alpha 3 collection features the father-daughter duo on a trip to The Bahamas, where they venture far from the usual tourist destinations to visit the childhood home of Lenny Kravitz’s maternal grandfather. Lenny Kravtiz’s mother, actress Roxie Roker of TV hit The Jeffersons, was the U.S.-born daughter of Albert Roker, a Bahamian who found work in the United States as a porter. (As you might guess by his grandfather’s name, Lenny Kravitz is also a distant cousin of famed weather personality Al Roker).

While the video, directed by Eliot Rausch and produced by Stink Studios, is stylized and cinematic, it’s also an endearing look into the relationship between the two actor-musicians, and the moral of remaining connected to humble roots is one that many celebrities would do well to take to heart.

The video’s best moments are those that seem least produced, like when the two are discussing the responsibility each generation feels in making life even more successful and rich in opportunities for their children. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article and to watch video at Adweek.


The E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival launches its 60th festival beginning February

This will be an exciting year as the Ministry of Youth, Sports, & Culture (MYSC) endeavor to extend the festival from the schools into the greater communities of our islands. This festival is for everyone. It is a platform for artists of all ages and genres. It is a time for residents of this wonderful country to celebrate and participate.

The festival begins officially on Monday, February 4th, 2019 and will end Friday, May 17th, 2019. The application deadline is Friday, February 8th 2019. The late application period is February 11th–15th and all applications submitted during this time will be subject to a late fee. NO applications will be accepted after Friday, February 15th 2019.

Entrance fees range from $5 to $20. Payments should be made at the accounts department of the MYSC’s head office on University Drive. Family Island entrants may call for special instructions.

Should you require additional information, please contact the office or send an email to

Exuma: February 4th-6th / Eleuthera: February 6th-8th / Inagua: February 11th / Mayaguana: February 12th / Acklins: February 13th / San Salvador: February 14th-15th / South Andros: March 4th-5th / North Andros: March 6th-8th / New Providence: March 12th-22nd / New Providence Drama & Dance: March 18th-22nd / Grand Bahama: March 25th-April 5th / Abaco: April 8-11th / Bimini: April 29th / Berry Islands: April 30th / Exuma Cays: May 1st / Long Island: May 13-14th / Cat Island: May 15th-16th.

CLICK HERE for Music Folder.
CLICK HERE for Art Folder.
CLICK HERE for Drama Folder.
CLICK HERE for Festival Folder.

Chris-Outten-DSC 0117

Painting by Christopher Outten

The Cultural Surface: New artwork by Christopher Outten

by Pamela Burnside

Doongalik Studios announces their first art exhibition for 2019 entitled “The Cultural Surface” showcasing the art works of Bahamian artist Christopher Outten, which will open on Friday, February 8, from 6-8pm. This is Outten’s first showing at Doongalik for which he provided this Artist’s Statement:

“My name is Christopher Outten and I am a Bahamian, born in the city of Nassau, The Bahamas. I’m a practicing artist who recently completed an Associates of Fine Arts at The University of The Bahamas. I have been exhibiting publicly since 2013, and my main emphasis is on Painting and Hand Building, but I’m open to experimenting with new media and concepts.

Chris-Outten-DSC 0177

Painting by Christopher Outten

“This recent body of work has been thematically focused on the people of my country—past and present—and their daily activities. It delves into portraiture and figurative drawing with the occasional abstract painting and mixed media assemblages. Observing people, their cultures and personal ways of life is the focus of my creative process, which I enjoy immensely. I would love to expand my practice to include studying people and cultures in countries that I have yet to visit. I also aspire to continue my education in the Arts, as well as to pursue studies in Anthropology. [...]

CLICK HERE for full statement at The Bahamas Weekly.


Pictured LEFT to RIGHT: The Bahamian “Praguelodytes” – Dario McKinney, Erin Knowles-McKinney, Jovanna Hepburn, Claudette “Cookie” Allens, Dr. Nicolette Bethel, Patrice Francis, and Delores “Red” Adderley.

From Paradise to Prague: Bahamians in Bohemia

Shakespeare in Paradise contingent of seven represent Ringplay Productions and The Bahamas in The Czech Republic.

by Dr Nicolette Bethel

There’s something about capital cities. They are oft regarded as the hearts of nations – the culturally beating centres intended to confirm for locals and introduce to visitors the essence of a country. They don’t hold the whole of a nation’s story but theirs is a significant contribution to the overall landscape of what defines a country. In this regard, Nassau is no exception; neither is Prague.


After 10 years of declaring and demonstrating that The Bahamas is an ideal place for a Shakespeare theatre festival, Dr. Nicolette Bethel, Shakespeare in Paradise (SIP) Co-founder and Festival Director, led a team of seven delegates to the annual Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA) Conference in Prague, the city of a hundred spires. The capital city of Czech Republic, Prague is best defined by its amazing architectural nod to a storied past, crowded pubs, a vibrant theatre scene and that undeniable, energizing buzz typically emitted by capital cities.


The “Praguelodytes”, a term coined by SIP Co-Founder and Ringplay Productions’ Artistic Director Philip Burrows, also included Delores “Red” Adderley, Claudette “Cookie” Allens, Erin Knowles-McKinney, Dario McKinney, Jovanna Hepburn and Patrice Francis. They left Nassau on Thursday, January 3rd and arrived, via Atlanta and Amsterdam, in Prague on the morning of Friday, January 4th and spent the next nine days being immersed in Shakespearean goodness: joining Shakespeare theatre practitioners from around the world in acting workshops, plenary sessions on artistic, educational and management issues as well as performances in both English and Czech. Both Dr. Bethel and Knowles-McKinney served as panelists on two separate provocative discussions on “Shakespeare around the World” and “Colour Conscious Casting” respectively.


Associate Artistic Director Erin Knowles-McKinney remarked: “STA 2019 was an invigorating, inspiring charge of theatrical energy I never knew existed. To say that I enjoyed would be an understatement. I have found an added driving force behind the title Associate Artistic Director and I am looking forward to SIP 2019 with an insatiable hunger.”

The nine-day conference culminated with a banquet in the Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle.

“It was so rewarding and fulfilling for all of us,” said Delores “Red” Adderley, Dundas Manager and Box Office Manager.

The contingent has returned home inspired with a renewed commitment to produce excellent theatrical productions both during the SIP Fall Festival and during the Dundas Repertory Season which has just been revived by Ringplay. The inaugural production, which ran for two weekends in January (18th – 20th and 25th – 27th ), was Trevor Rhone’s Smile Orange, directed by Anthony “Skeebo” Roberts.

CLICK HERE for the SIP Facebook page.
CLICK HERE for the SIP website.

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(Photo: Courtesy Netflix)

Fyre Festival documentaries highlight how the disastrous event hurt local Bahamian workers

Here’s how to help the Bahamian woman many are calling the “hero” of the entire story.

by De Elizabeth

Remember the Fyre Festival disaster that unfolded, in real time, on social media in April 2017? The “luxury” event gone awry has resurfaced in the news recently, thanks to two separate documentaries (one on Netflix, the other on Hulu). While reliving the chaos all over again, many people are focusing their attention on one woman in particular: restaurant owner Maryann Rolle, who some are calling the “hero” of the entire story.

To quickly recap, Fyre Festival was promoted on social media as a "cultural moment created from a blend of music, art, and food." It promised would-be festival goers an event to remember on an island in the Bahamas, complete with luxe geodesic dome housing, beachside views, and a concert that initially included Blink-182, Major Lazer, Daya, and more artists. As everyone with an internet connection can remember, what actually transpired was far from the promised Instagrammable event. The festival was ultimately canceled, organizers were hit with lawsuits, and in October 2018, Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison for multiple counts of fraud.

The recent documentaries take viewers through the before, during, and after of the Fyre Fest disaster, but the films also shed light on how the failed festival affected the many locals who were never paid for their labor. One of those locals was Maryann Rolle, who owns Exuma Point Bar and Grill with her husband Elvis. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in Teen Vogue.



The Place for Art: Picture Framing Sale

CLICK HERE to visit The Place for Art’s Facebook page.


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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