Smith & Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’ Issue No. 290 Sharing Art & Cultural News of The Bahamas for 18 Years • • • • CLICK HERE to see onli


Smith & Benjamin’s
Issue No. 290

Sharing Art & Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 18 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

‘Heavy is the Head’ (2016) by
Bahamian artist Anina Major.
(Video installation / 5 minutes)
• • •
‘Heavy is the Head’ is included in the Eighth Biannual National
Exhibition now open at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.


Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Have a wonderful Christmas, a happy holiday,
and an abundant 2017 everyone!


"Tribute to the Junkanoo Drummer" by Jolyon Smith.

Dear Reader,

This edition marks Bahamian Art & Culture’s last issue for the year 2016.

As we complete another foray around the sun, I reflect on hearing from many who have described this year as their annus horribilis having experienced and witnessed unprecedented (yes, I spelled it correctly) hardship and challenges against the person and the family, against the nation and the region; ugliness and violence abounds socially, politically, transnationally and globally. Many will be glad, even relieved, to see it fade away into history taking its pain and horrors with it.

And conditioned as we are to always look at what’s brand spanking new with great optimism, I ask — will 2017 really be any better? Or will existence as we know it continue to vomit, shudder and rattle like a death knell?

When we are at the height of human achievement, when we have accomplished so much and have come so far, when we can plainly see that we have never been this way before—how are we back here, yet again? How are we going around this mountain...again? How did this ugly beast raise its head...again?

Fear and disappointment are reaching saturation point. Disappointment that the people we think should be able to see — can’t see. People we think should be able to hear — are deaf. People we think will be able to help us — are lame and people who should be “woke” are fast asleep. We “see what we lookin’ at,” but we can’t believe what we see.

There is a scripture that states – “where evil abounds, grace does much more abound.” How beautiful and hopeful are those words. They express that no matter how dark it looks, goodness and light will always outweigh the darkness.

So this stage of incredulity we find ourselves in must give way to redetermination and renewal of focus where we really see what we are looking at, we double down on all cylinders, and we come out blazing with the fire in our bellies a raging inferno.

And so, what was imparted to me so many years ago continues to be the fuel that keeps me producing this publication every week, and that is this — pure art and culture were created to uplift and inspire mankind. And what a better time than this, when all seems unhinged and the day is as dark as hell, to immerse one’s self in that which was made to lifts, motivates and inspires.

May this Christmas, this holiday season, be an especially wonderful time for all our artist colleagues, advertisers, and faithful readers. We are grateful and very thankful for your support and , God willing, we will see you in the New Year.

Dionne Benjamin-Smith
Editor and Publisher
Bahamian Art & Culture


what’s happening in
bahamian art & culture


B A L L :

The Balmoral Club presents its:
New Year’s Eve Grand Gala Ball

Saturday, December 31st | At 7:30pm
The Balmoral Club, Sandford Drive

New-Year s-Eve-2016-flyer-A

The Balmoral Club on Sandford Drive, West Nassau, is throwing a New Year’s Eve Grand Gala Ball like none other and all who will attend will be sure to have a blast as they ring in the new year and say goodbye to the last!

This all inclusive celebration will offer a five course meal with red and white wine, full open bar with Moet Champagne flowing all night long, live entertainment with the Vice Versa Jazz Band and the Bahamian Comedian Demetrius, all-night dancing, Junkanoo rush-out by the world-famous Valley Boys, Breakfast at 1am, complimentary photos for guests, party favours, noise-makers, gifts, prizes and more!

A perfect celebration for family and friends as the clock winds down and the old year ends! The champagne is chillin’, and you better be willin’ to make your reservations today! Join us as we party the night away!

Attire is black tie/ formal. Tickets are $285 per person, plus service charge and VAT. RSVP today at 302-4230/1 or at

CLICK HERE for more at the event’s Facebook page.
CLICK HERE to visit The Balmoral Club’s website.


The Island House Film Festival celebrates “Play the Devil” and “Viva”

Thursday, January 12th, 2017 | 6pm until
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 | 7pm until
The Island House, Mahogany Hill, Western Road

Screen shot 2016-12-23 at 6.22.36 AM

In January, The Island House will be hosting two amazing parties celebrating two fascinating films that have strong connections to The Bahamas during The Island House Film Festival taking place in Nassau January 12–15, 2017.

On Thursday, January 12th, the first party takes place in the form of a ‘Mas’ Soca fete celebrating the premiere of Bahamian director Maria Govan’s second feature film ‘Play the Devil’, which has already won several awards around the world. Director Govan will be joining Island House for the festival.

On the night of Saturday, January 14th, Island House will celebrate the Irish/Cuban film ‘Viva’ with a Cuban Pig Roast including salsa dancing, Mojito bar and cigar rollers. Island House is happy to welcome the star of Viva, legendary Cuban actor Luis Alberto Garcia.

Tickets for each screening and party are just $50. To purchase: visit the website or call 698.6300 or email

CLICK HERE to visit The Island House’s website.


Play The Devil is set in the rich landscape of Trinidad’s carnival season, Gregory, a young black, working-class, eighteen-year-old from Paramin, stars in a local play where he is noticed by James Young, an older affluent businessman. James applauds Gregory’s performance, inviting the cast to his home. He shares his art collection with Gregory who, though favored to win a medical scholarship, dreams of becoming a photographer. James uses Gregory’s interest in photography to entice a friendship. When Gregory’s estranged Father returns home, Gregory agrees to spend the weekend with James at his beach house. The men become intimate. Gregory, however, filled with angst, withdraws from James. His schoolwork, relationships with family and friends are all impacted. James cannot accept Gregory’s boundaries but rather entangles himself further in Gregory’s life. On Carnival Monday the band of young men cover their bodies in blue paint and dressed as devils, descend down into the valley, howling and drumming, lost in the carnal dance. Gregory approaches James in the crowd wanting to speak with him alone. That night a fateful confrontation erupts changing their lives forever.


VIVA stars Héctor Medina as Jesus, a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama (Luis Alberto García), Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel (Jorge Perugorría) abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, VIVA becomes a familial love story as the men struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family.

VIVA was a hit at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival, and was Ireland’s entry for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award this year.


according to....

“According to...” is our Op–Ed or Opinion Editorial section where
we publish the writings of persons from the community who express their
opinions, thoughts, ideas and experiences in art and culture.
In this space, we respond, review, critique, and comment in an effort
to increase understanding and to strengthen that which we produce.
• • •
The views and opinions expressed in this section are solely those of the
original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions
do not necessarily represent those of Smith & Benjamin’s
“Bahamian Art & Culture” or its editors and publisher.


Bahamian artist Jeffrey Meris

According to...

Jeffrey Meris

Jeffrey Meris is a Nassau-based artist born in 1991. Meris received an Associates of Art in Arts and Crafts from The College of The Bahamas and a B.F.A in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in May 2015. Meris is the recipient of the 2010 Popopstudios Junior Residency Award, the 2012 Lyford Cay Foundation Harry C. Moore Art Scholarship and Temple University’s 2012 Scholar Award. Meris was the winner of 2013 Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition and was the Guttenberg Arts Artist-in-Residence for 2016. Meris has shown locally and internationally in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Vienna and Haiti. Jeffrey Meris is the black power ranger.

• • •

In Dialogue... The Gaulin Wife

In an exclusive for Bahamian Art & Culture, Bahamian artist JEFFREY MERIS writes his response to fellow artist Jodi Minnis’ performance piece prepared especially for the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ Eighth National Exhibition (NE8) entitled Gaulin Wife: She Went to the Water.


Bahamian artist Jodi Minnis in her performance piece "The Gaulin Wife: She Went to the Water."


Bahamian artist Jodi Minnis in her performance piece "The Gaulin Wife: She Went to the Water."

Sun kissed her chocolate skin. White garments. Water, intended for purification, drenched her. A galvanized steel tub, one similar to the kind a woman washes clothes or children in, mimicked an auction block advertising her mystique to voyeurs. Beneath her, grass sprawled. Vehicles buzzed by in the distance. History surrounded her body; sandwiched between the colonial—Villa Doyle—and the religious—St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. Artist Jodi Minnis’ eerie ritual of transformation, layering and un-clothing her bare flesh of societal baggage in her performance Gaulin Wife: She Went to the Water at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas last week Thursday called for a radical re-imagining of place, gender and narrative.


A mythical being said to bare the power of shape-shifting between woman and fowl, the Gaulin Wife (1) is a Bahamian folklore used to warn womanizing Bahamian men against mysterious women. Minnis’ adaptation of the Gaulin Wife goes beyond our understanding of tradition and cultural norms; her performance was much more nuanced. Minnis conjures a space where a woman is vulnerable yet comfortable, an autonomous space where the narrative is not centralized on the presence of the masculine, where purity is not given by the hand of a man baptizing, but a woman who can do good or bad all by herself. In Gaulin Wife: She Went to the Water, one sees aesthetic parallels with Nona Faustine’s White Shoes in dialogue with Senga Nengudi’s 1978 Performance Piece and even a boss-like curtsy to Beyoncé’s Lemonade Visual Album or a bow to Solange’s A Seat At The Table.

Gaulin Wife: She Went to The Water asks the audience to reimagine just who the Gaulin Wife is and what she can look like? Is she the very woman who turns scraps into gold? Do we look at her everyday? Do we use the words: mother, sister, friend, surgeon, architect, teacher, Governor-General—yet, she’s not equal? Do we dispel the myths of black women as the antagonist or angry in our vocabulary and culture or will we one day be able to have a conversation around black femininity? Can we go beyond the sinister (here in the Gaulin Wife) and rather invoke a sense of black feminist liberation? Regardless of the myriad of answers to these questions, Minnis continues to push the narrative and endearingly disrupts the status quo in her work.


Bahamian artist Jodi Minnis

JODI MINNIS (born 1995, Nassau, The Bahamas) is a mixed media artist that explores sexuality, femininity and cultural identity through performance, installation and 2-dimensional media.

Minnis received her Associates of Arts degree from The College of The Bahamas in 2015. In the same year, she acted as Assistant Curator of The Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery and the Pro Gallery. She curated “Transforming Spaces” at Hillside House, Nassau (2015) and “PROS” at Pro Gallery of The College of The Bahamas (2014).

Minnis was awarded the Popopstudios Junior Residency Prize (2014) and she was selected to represent The Bahamas at the Caribbean Linked Residency Programme in Aruba (2015). She has also been nominated for a National Youth Award (2015) and a Bahamian Icon Award (2016). Minnis is also the co-curator of the “From Columbus to Junkanoo” exhibition currently on display at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Recent exhibitions include “Color of Harmony”, The College of The Bahamas (2012 and 2013), “NE7: Antillean: An Ecology” (2014) and the Eighth National Exhibition (2016) at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.


Bahamian Alesha E. Hart

According to...

Alesha Hart

Alesha E. Hart is a talk show host, educationalist, agriculturalist, philanthropist, entrepreneur, author and media personality. Hart is also creative director of Bahamian Soul, a cultural commercial entity and talk show on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM Nassau, The Bahamas. Alesha is a learner who loves nature. Explicitly, in all moments of life, she paraphrases herself as Bahamian by birth, and Bahamian by conviction.

• • •


In an exclusive for Bahamian Art & Culture, Bahamian author and media personality ALESHA HART responds to the recent Junior Junkanoo Parade which took place last Saturday at Arawak Cay. Junior Junkanoo is a national school programme centered around The Bahamas’ cultural festival Junkanoo. Pre-K to high school level students from all private and public schools throughout the Islands of The Bahamas participate in this annual event.


One-on-One Preschool students perform at Junior Junkanoo 2016 (Photo: Ahvia Campbell, Nassau Guardian)

“I’m wild again,
beguiled again,

A simpering,
whimpering child again,

Bewitched, bothered,
and bewildered am I…”

– Lorenz Hart,
American songwriter

• • •

When it comes to cultural faux pas, knowing the script is half the battle.

Let’s be clear, there is a difference between cultural diversity, cultural exchange and cultural identity. And, in recent times one event explains it well.

Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. What a vast weight of confusion and divide and debate those three little words have to bear.

And, misunderstanding is afoot. To put a fine point on it, is there such a thing as a Bahamian identity or spirit or culture, shared by all the islands clustered around the Atlantic Ocean, regardless of economic or political status? Is it an aspiration, an attitude, an illusion? Is its meaning determined by presence or absence? Is “Bahamian” a defined concept?


Government High School (GHS) students perform at Junior Junkanoo 2016 (Photo: Ahvia Campbell, Nassau Guardian)


Two-by-Two Academy students perform at Junior Junkanoo 2016 (Photo: Ahvia Campbell, Nassau Guardian)

This is a knot of questions unlikely ever to be completely unraveled; certainly, scholars and politicians and ordinary people will be picking away for foreseeable decades. And these are questions that snag through the pattern of my life, not abstractions but practical worries, tightropes to cross and tripwires to vault.

“Yes”, is the answer that many Bahamian artists and thinkers and visionaries have given and continue to give. But pinning down that identity, naming its essence or essences, and using that knowledge to guide our young Bahamian communities through the minefield of the modern world, these are problems we are yet to solve.

Nonetheless, there is no room for debate: Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is a modern Bahamian virus incubated by the venal, validated by politics and, today diagnosed as fatal. Indeed, it is endemic. The afflicted do nothing, want everything; symptoms are greed, cultural sacrilege and a passion to auction our ancestors again [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Bahamian Art & Culture’s Issuu page.


art & culture news
from the bahamas


Sir Orville Turnquest’s book "What Manner of Man is This? The Duke of Windsor’s Years in The Bahamas” along with the author himself (bottom).

What Manner
of Man is This?

Sir Orville Turnquest’s new biography of the Duke of Windsor is unique and a must read for all Bahamians.

by Sir Christopher Ondaatje

What is extraordinary about the biography “What Manner of Man Is This?” is that it was written by a black Bahamian who was born in Grant’s Town on July 19, 1929, who earned his way from “Over-the-Hill” the poor section of Nassau—to become the fifth Governor General of an independent Bahamas where he served from January 3, 1994, until his retirement on November 13, 2001.

The author, therefore, is well qualified to write about the Duke of Windsor who, after only ten months as King of England, gave up his throne to marry a twice-divorced commoner, and then reluctantly accepted a position as Governor of The Bahamas. This is a book that everyone in The Bahamas should read.

The Bahamas was then a colony, and for the Duke it meant banishment and a geographical position far away from European and German influence. After renouncing the throne as King Edward VIII of Great Britain, ireland and the British Dominions (the only other job he had ever had) on December 10, 1936, he assumed his new title Duke of Windsor and was free to marry his mistress, the American Mrs. Wallis Simpson.

It may have been the love story of the age but it was also the scandal of century. The Duke arrived in the Bahamas in August, 1940, and was sworn in as the 55th Governor, and the fact that such a famous man was posted to a small, remote island colony of the British Empire during such a dramatic period in world history led the United States and Britain to place a special focus on The Bahamas. Why Sir Orville Turnquest is so qualified to write about this man and this period is that he eventually became the 70th in the chain of succession to the important Governor’s job. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article on page 22 in The Tribune Weekend.

IMG 8837

"You're Welcome" by Bahamian artist Anina Banks. Adopting Newport’s symbol of hospitality, two pineapples greet you as you enter the fort. With a welcoming gesture, the artist prompts you to consider the cross-cultural heritage and the role of women as it relates to the entangled histories of the Fort.

Bahamian artist part of RISD site installation at Newport’s Fort Adams

Bahamian ceramicist Anina Major, MFA student in Ceramics at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island, recently took part in a site-specific group exhibition entitled Fort Adams: Drawing Parallels, Listening for Echoes, a collaboration between Fort Adams State Park and a team of interdisciplinary students and professors from the Rhode Island School of Design.

The exhibition is a collection of individual site-specific installation projects which call and respond to the physical, psychological and historical characteristics of Fort Adams. Given this unique opportunity, the artists researched the history of the site, spent time there, and responded to not just the written “truths” of the Fort, but also its psychic energy, the forgotten lives of some of those who lived there, and the implications of its current role.

Fort Adams piece-Renee Yu Jin

Sculpture major Renee Yu Jin 18 SC also sought to create a peaceful space within the fort. In her luminous installation, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow (above), the sun hovers over a manicured lawn (donated by a local supporter) that muffles the sound of the viewer’s footsteps.

Fort Adams piece-Minhee Kang

Textiles major Minhee Kang 17 TX hung iridescent woven columns (above) that shimmered and waved in the breeze to remember the 12 soldiers who once lived in the barracks.

IMG 8834

"You're Welcome" by Bahamian artist Anina Banks. "I grew up in The Bahamas near a fort that never saw battle, but stood as a reminder of colonial times. My piece, "You’re Welcome", references that era. I created a ceramic, sand and cement pineapple – the symbol of hospitality – and installed it where cannons once rested. I hoped to transform the energy of the fort to a welcoming one that encourages viewers to consider the true nature of hospitality."

Originally established in 1799 as a U.S. military base, Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island, has been in a constant state of change, from its reconstruction in 1824, to its transformation to a State Park in 1955. Guarding the entrance to Narragansett Bay, the Fort served as an example of architectural innovation for its time and housed many generations of soldiers. Today it hosts major public events such as the Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festivals. Drawing Parallels, Listening for Echoes offers yet another use of the Fort, emphasizing that it was never actually utilized for its intended purpose. This exhibition sings the silent reverberations of cannons never fired.

The artists drew parallels between the multitudinous history of Fort Adams and contemporary issues, engaging themes such as property ownership, femininity, domesticity, environmental consciousness, violence, military warfare, propaganda and language. Understanding that past, present, and future are closely and tightly bound, the artists uncover and re-imagined some of the untold narratives of Fort Adams.

Fort Adams piece-Charlie Ehrenfried-Malaika Temba

"Land" by Charlie Ehrenfried & Malaika Temba. On the land, we literally created the word “land". This work functions as a discussion about ownership and the claiming of space for those who forget to acknowledge the indigenous and African histories that brought success to Newport.

IMG 8829

"You're Welcome" by Bahamian artist Anina Banks.

Major’s contribution, “You’re Welcome”, replaces the cannons that flanked the entrance of Fort Adams with Newport’s symbol of hospitality, the pineapple. Employing a local custom from the mid 17th century, when sea captains returning from a trip displayed a fresh pineapple outside as a sign of welcome, two pineapples greet visitors to the fort. With the gates open, instead of closed, the site of fortification now welcomes those who approach it versus obstructing entry—its original architectural intent.

The pineapple a commonplace fruit, was once regarded a luxury food because of how expensive it was to transport from the Caribbean to Europe during the age of sail. It was a commodity of privilege, much like sugar in the 19th century. The transit of the pineapple illuminates the history and geography of empires—their creations and accumulations; the circuits of knowledge, capital, labor, goods, and the cultures that characterize them; and their assumed power to name, classify, and rule over lands, peoples, and resources. It is considered “the fruit of colonialism” because while simultaneously destroying cultures and launching empires it symbolized elegance and hospitality.

This piece serves as a reminder of the dignity and grace that is associated with being truly hospitable. That hospitality stems beyond generosity but encompasses acceptance and consideration of others and their beliefs, especially within the context of adversary.

CLICK HERE to learn more at RISD’s Tumbler.
CLICK HERE to visit Anina’s website and view more of her work.

Margot Bethel NE8

Bahamian artist Margot Bethel’s piece “Why You So Famous?” (2014) as seen as part of the presentation of The Commission of The Queer in NE8.

Activism as art, art as activism

How social practice opens dialogue for safe spaces and healing

by The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

The recently opened eighth National Exhibition (NE8) contains much of the Bahamian art we’ve come to know and love over the years. We are a nation and a region with a very strong tradition of painting and wall-based work, which has expanded into the 3D realm, which we have also grown increasingly comfortable with accepting into our arsenal of Bahamian creative practice. But we also have grown into more expanded fields of engagement and display.

Socially engaged art practices are nothing new, and arguably they mark the start of modernism in art: work that uses the stuff of politics as material. This itself perhaps started with painting but socially engaged art as we know it is the product of the last 70 years or so. This kind of work is a bit harder to pin down as art, if we aren’t aware of it. How can actions be art? Well, that’s easy enough to think about with things like performance art or dance, we get that. But human interaction and activism as art? These things are a bit slippery for many of us, despite the fact that this kind of work has been going on for quite some time now.

The art world we’ve inherited is, of course, the product of the past two centuries of art—not at all like the work that has existed for the past two millennia, or even the past 20. The art world we know is, of course, tied up in the art market, which has understandably complicated our relationship to work as people who make art and as viewers: do we make to sell? Do we view to tap into that sense of grandeur? Some do for certain, but it is out of these conditions—and the elitism that many find inherent in contemporary art as it relates to the art market—that socially sensitive projects exist, in part at least [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Nassau Guardian.


Civic engagement as culture

Unearthing voices

by Dr. Ian Bethell-Bennett


John Beadle. Row Yah Boat. Sculptural Installation for NE8.

The lead story, “Create Dangerously”, in Edgwidge Danticat’s book of essays tells the story of François Duvalier, Papa Doc, bringing all the school children and the working community out to see the hanging of two young men. It was to set the example of what would happen to artists who chose to create dangerously. The idea behind the action of the public killings was that the public would not challenge the authority of the state. Instead, the population chose to tell stories that resisted the power of the dictator; they chose to create dangerously. Art is a vehicle for community expression and resilience. The Haitian people are resourceful and resilient in the face of decades of tyranny and dictatorship. Can we learn from them? Have we learned from them?

The Bahamas has apparently, never experienced such tyranny or dictatorship, but Danticat’s work needs to be understood in the current context. There was apparently no need for dictatorship when other means were used to maintain the status quo. As a democracy, one does not want to create waves, especially when we live below sea level, for many, and barely above sea level for some.

What has helped is that The Bahamas is not known for its novels nor its books – this is thankfully changing. It is, however, known for having a high GDP, that if we create dangerously could be taken from us. This ‘threat’ of losing economic ground and becoming like Haiti is a cultural fact that can be traced back generations. Bahamian culture was created to distrust, avoid and hate Haitian culture and the reality that is Haiti. We accepted that culture of fear and distrust, and according to that culture, Haitians are rough and violent people, something that one would hear often growing up. They are also harbingers of doom. “Look at Haiti”, people say, as if to say that they caused it all. Our lesson was always if we chose to create dangerously, we would end up like that. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Nassau Guardian.


Bahamian artist Renee Caesar

Bahamian artist Renee Caesar

The woman behind Artful Bahamas can boast film production, singing and songwriting on her burgeoning resumé. She is also a passionate campaigner for raising artistic awareness in the country.

by Cara Hunt

Renee Caesar may just be a one woman band to promote all things artistic in The Bahamas. Not only does she dabble in a myriad things a s singer and songwriter who also works in film production but she has also initiated a number of programmes designed to promote the arts and foster closer ties within the artistic community.

“I have always been into theatre and arts and artistic expression,” she told Tribune Weekend. “I guess I began with Da’ Spot (improv group); I never really left it, but I have not done anything with them in a while.”

What she has been doing is freelancing on a number of impressive film projects, working in lighting and production. Her resume can now boast that she has worked on the Bahamian films ‘Cargo’, ‘Children of God’ and ‘Rain’ as well as major Hollywood productions such as ‘Duplicity’, ‘The Other Woman’ and a number of television shows and commercials.

It is a career path she stumbled into. “I had a friend who knew people who were on a project and something had gone wrong or they needed someone, and so they recommended me because of my theatre background. The industry really goes by word of mouth and it can be hard to get into. But once you are in...” [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article on page 4 in The Tribune Weekend.

bahama hand prints

Prints that stand the
test of time

One of the best and most successful creative businesses in The Bahamas, Bahama Hand Prints continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary with an end of year celebration.

by Alesha Cadet

While the team at Bahama Hand Prints have been celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary throughout this year, the owners were still excited to host a Holiday Sip ‘n Shop on Saturday when they invited locals to join them to continue the festivities.

Patrons enjoyed mimosas and refreshments while browsing the store’s gift ideas for the holiday season, from ladies, men and children’s clothing to napkins, place mats, dish towels, pillow covers, bags and accessories collections.

Bahama Hand Prints was established in 1966 by artists Helen Astarita and Berta Sands and “is recognized to this day for its hand printed fabric, dazzling colours and brilliant designs that capture the beauty and culture of the Bahama islands” according to its Facebook site. Today the business, now located on Ernest Street, is managed by partners Linda Brown and Joie Lamare.

“We are continuing the tradition of screen printing that they started 50 years ago,” Joie told Tribune Weekend. “We are still operating with the original printing tables and we still print many of their beautiful designs that they created back then. Linda and I have owned the company for 15 plus years now.”

She was delighted to display their designs at the Holiday Sip ‘n Shop, the majority of which were created on site. “We produce everything from the start of printing all the fabric to the making of all the garments and household products. Everything but our straw work and bags are produced on sight,” said Joie. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article on page 10 in The Tribune Weekend.


New website dedicated to Bahamian historical and cultural knowledge

the contract

Brothers Calvin Bethel, Sr. (right) and Haddock Bethel (left) from South Palmetto Point, Eleuthera built businesses in Vero Beach, Florida after going on The Contract.: Source: "From Dat Time": The Oral & Public History Institute Archives

“From Dat Time”: The Oral & Public History Institute of the University of The Bahamas (UB) invites you to explore Ramble Bahamas. This is where their research team publishes historical and cultural knowledge about Bahamians and about The Bahamas that they have researched and assembled.

Established in 2013 as part of The College of The Bahamas’ process of transitioning to university status, “From Dat Time” documents the historical experience of Bahamians mainly through the use of oral history methods. It develops scholarly, curricular and recreational materials in a variety of media. It invests in building a cohort of academic and public historians. Its work, conceived in the context of the University’s nation-building mandate, is intended to do more than advance the research of academic and independent investigators. Its work is also intended to affirm the value of the experiences of community elders. Its work is intended, too, to expand historical resources that are available to primary- and secondary-school teachers and students and to the wider community.

Currently the Institute’s research programme focuses on four themes: Bahamian participation in World War II, national politics in the postwar era, the evolution of the nursing profession, and the development of the sportfishing industry. Ramble Bahamas, the Institute’s main publication vehicle, is a digital platform that can be viewed on computers and is optimized for mobile devices. Presenting Bahamian history to general audiences located throughout the archipelago and around the world, Ramble emboldens public engagement with the past.

CLICK HERE to visit Ramble Bahamas.


“Bahamian Celebrations” LPIA showcase dedicated to famed Bahamian designer Harl Joseph Taylor.

Doongalik completes holiday installation at LPIA

by Pamela Burnside

Doongalik Studios is pleased to announce the third installation at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) for the Christmas/New Year holiday season under the theme “Bahamian Celebrations” which reflects the workmanship of over 70 of the country’s skilled artists and artisans, and confirms the amazing extent of Bahamian talent.

Pam Burnside of Doongalik, who is responsible for curating the displays since April of this year, stated: “For Bahamians, the Christmas/New Year holiday seasons are a time for celebrating with family, church and the country's traditional street festival of Junkanoo, and several of the 12 showcases, five of which are located in the US Departure Lounge and seven along the interstatial corridors leading to the Baggage Claims area, reflect this joyous time of the year. We are so very pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate Bahamian creativity in this way for the benefit of visitors and locals alike!”

The first guest showcase in the US Departure area features the Harl Taylor BAG ‘Rays of Light Forever’ in tribute to the late, great Bahamian fashion designer, Harl Joseph Taylor (1970-2007), whose creative legacy lives on through Forever....Harl Taylor Limited, the company which was established by his mother, Beverly J. T. Taylor in June 2008 who stated: “It was important for me to continue to keep Harl Joseph's legacy alive through continuing to create his exquisite designs.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Bahamas Weekly.


“Bahamian Celebrations” LPIA showcase.


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Smith & Benjamin’s Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine

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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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