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, November 8th, 2019
Issue No. 397

• • • •

“Friends” (2018) by Bahamian artist Tessa Whitehead
(Oil on canvas, 56" x 70")
• • •
The work of Bahamian artists Tessa Whitehead and John Cox is showcased in the inaugural exhibition of The Brighton Storeroom gallery in St. George, Barbados.
• • •
See cover story below.


Dear Reader,

Due to pesky rolling power outages, internet cuts, and technical difficulties, today’s newsletter is a very abridged version of our usual fully-stocked publication. We tried really hard to get this one out today but, alas, the modern world was working against us. God willing, we'll be back next week with hopefully a new and jam-packed issue full of art & cultural events and stories from The Bahamas. Thank you for your continued support.

Dionne Benjamin-Smith
Editor-in-Chief & Publisher
Bahamian Art & Culture


art & cultural
events calendar


TOMORROW – November 9th:


F E S T I V A L :

The Central Bank of The Bahamas
presents its: 2nd Annual Cultural Festival

• Saturday, Nov. 9th | 12pm–9pm | Central Bank Grounds, Market St


The Central Bank of The Bahamas is excited to continue showcasing its cultural platform to the Bahamian public by hosting its 2nd Annual Cultural Festival tomorrow, Saturday, Nov 9th from 12 noon to 9pm. This year’s festival is BIGGER and BETTER and has FREE admission!

The Festival will be at the Central Bank upper grounds parking lot and will feature an array of Bahamian food, crafts, music, and arts vendors to help foster a greater appreciation of all forms of arts and culture that enrich our country and economy, particularly the “Orange Economy”.

The Bank does not profit from this event as 100% of sales proceeds made by vendors remains with them.


The Culture Committee of the Central Bank developed the Festival idea to showcase and support Bahamian talents and entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Bahamians are very creative and thus the Committee wanted to host an event that celebrated and promoted this innovative spirit. The idea was not to solely focus on popular vendors but also those that are ‘new and upcoming’.

In supporting the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Orange Economy initiative, the Central Bank uses the cultural fair to promote this initiative and to raise awareness locally. The Orange Economy is a group of linked activities through which ideas are transformed into cultural goods and services, whose value is determined by intellectual property. These goods and services include advertising, architecture, film, fashion, visual and performing arts, plus many others.

Although our cultural economy has long been a vibrant part of the fabric of the Bahamian experience, this initiative will assist the country reveal its financial value and contribution to the Bahamian economy.

CLICK HERE for more info at the event’s Facebook page.




B O O K / L A U N C H :

Doongalik Studios presents: “Bahamian Tapestry” Book Launch by Jeanne Thompson

• Tuesday, Nov. 12th | 6pm prompt | Doongalik Studios, Village Rd.

Jeanne Thompson Flyer

E X H I B I T I O N :

Hillside House Gallery presents: “Beyond the Surface” – New Works by Chantal Bethel

• Thursday, Nov. 14th | 6pm–9pm | Hillside House, Cumberland St.


Chantal Bethel, "Essence of Absence" (2019), Multimedia

Hillside House Gallery, 13 Cumberland Street, Nassau is pleased to announce the official opening of a new exhibition entitled “Beyond the Surface” – an art exhibition of new works as well as a book launch by Grand Bahama-based artist Chantal e.y. Bethel.

This event that seeks to celebrate art, discovery, healing, and transformation takes place the evening of Thursday, November 14th from 6pm to 9pm at Hillside House Gallery. A portion of sales will be given to benefit the rebuilding of the Grand Bahama Children’s home, which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian.

More to come next week!

CLICK HERE for more info at the event’s Facebook page.


art & culture stories
from the bahamas



Bahamian artists showcased
in new Caribbean gallery

Bahamian artists Tessa Whitehead and John Cox are two of ten artists selected for the inaugural exhibition of The Brighton Storeroom in Barbados.


TOP: John Cox / BOTTOM: Tessa Whitehead

The Brighton Storeroom is a new contemporary art gallery and cultural space in Barbados with a programme of exhibitions and events showcasing emerging, mid-career, and established artists from across the region. With the gallery’s central Caribbean location, many works reflect and celebrate the challenges and achievements of the archipelago and its diaspora. Their aim is to bring international awareness to talented contemporary artists in the Caribbean and to strengthen creative opportunities and partnerships across the Atlantic/Caribbean region.

The gallery’s inaugural exhibition entitled “beginning” celebrates this starting point – the origin, of a new space, with an ethos to support past, present and future art that is inspiring, fresh, and reflecting the Caribbean now. It showcases ten artists whose diverse creative approaches reflect on and celebrate contemporary Caribbean life and culture. Among the ten artists are Bahamians Tessa Whitehead and John Cox.


Tessa Whitehead, "All of us, and us" (2018), Oil on canvas, 84" x 50"

Tessa Whitehead

Tessa Whitehead was born in The Bahamas in 1985. She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design in London and received her MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London. Her work was quickly recognized after graduation and she was awarded a coveted Chisenhale Studio4 Residency in London. She has since developed an approach to her practice that is wide-ranging and includes, painting, photography, sculpture and performance.

Her most recent achievement has been the first one-person exhibition by a female artist (‘…there are always two deaths’) at The National art Gallery of The Bahamas in 2019 which focused on a presentation of figural paintings with complicated and ethereal narratives. She currently works from her studio NINE in Nassau and is currently Director of the D’Aguilar Art Foundation in The Bahamas.


Installation shot of "beginnings" at The Brighton Storeroom, Barbados.


John Cox, Untitled (From the Fight Series) (2015), Acrylic on canvas, 5.5'x7'

John Cox

John Cox’s mixed-media paintings and assemblages use familiar and ordinary objects to reference distant places and ideas. His paintings and assemblages often engage the life cycle of balance—struggle, transcendence, and acceptance—through simple structural materials.

Cox was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1973 and attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, where he received a BFA in Illustration in 1995 and an MAT in Art Education in 1996.

Cox has exhibited internationally, including shows at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and Art Basel in Miami. He has participated in exchanges in France, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, the United States and across the Caribbean. Cox has worked as an educator, curator, cultural activist and founder of Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts, Nassau. He taught in the Art Department at the College of the Bahamas (COB) and was Education Officer at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, where in 2012, he became the Chief Curator. In late 2013, Cox became the Creative Art Director for the luxury resort Baha Mar.


Installation shot of "beginnings" at The Brighton Storeroom, Barbados.


The Brighton Storeroom, Barbados.

The Brighton Storeroom was originally established as an artists’ run initiative in 2003 under the auspices of Michael and Alison Pile at Brighton Plantation in St. George, Barbados. Located in the old horse stables of the plantation yard, it is at the centre of the weekly Brighton Farmers’ Market. The gallery will serve as a key hub in presenting work from local, regional, and international artists.

Exhibitions reflect an open multi-disciplinary curatorial policy but the core focus remains limited print editions and works of art on paper, ceramics, and other crafts. The gallery is welcoming and accessible but also serves as a serious forum for collectors and others with an interest in art and design.

CLICK HERE to visit The Brighton Storeroom.
CLICK HERE to visit Tessa Whitehead’s website.


our sponsors


Nassau’s newest Art Supply Store opens on Cable Beach November 18th!

The new Sherwin-Williams’ Art Supply Store is set to open Monday, November 18th at their Cable Beach location. Dedicated to artists and art supplies, the Sherwin-Williams Art Supply Store will carry such supplies as acrylic paints, oils paints, hobby and craft paints, watercolors, illustration and acrylic paint markers, a wide selection of sketch pads and specialty papers, color pencils, pigment pens, art storage cases, sketching pencils, stretched canvases and rolls of canvases, Stencils, a wide selection of artist brushes, inks, and much much more.

CLICK HERE for their Facebook page.


the art gallery

Original Bahamian Artwork Available for Sale

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We at Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine are happy to introduce a new section to the publication – The Art Gallery sponsored by Smith & Benjamin’s Art Brokerage. Here we offer for purchase original Bahamian artwork perfect for the adornment of your home or office or to give as unexpected gifts for Christmas or birthdays.

Today’s offering is the newest collection of original acrylic-on-canvas paintings by Bahamian artist ERIC ELLIS.

Artists who are interested in showcasing their work in The Art Gallery, Feel free to contact us. Please support Bahamian artists.

Eric Ellis Headshot

Bahamian artist Eric Ellis.

Eric Ellis

(b. 1964, Steventon, Exuma, The Bahamas)

Bahamian artist Eric Ellis is a self-taught artist. His painting style is closely associated with the essence, colour, and vibrancy of Junkanoo and is almost wholly representative of indigenous Bahamian culture. His subject matter often revolves around the performance of Junkanoo, the activities of native women and children, sailboat-scapes, local flora, religious and spiritual symbolism, and romantic vignettes of the Bahamian idyllic. He distinctive style is usually defined by the use of bright colours and graphic shapes. His work can be found in the National Collection of Art housed at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, the D’Aguilar Foundation Art Collection, the Dawn Davies Collection and in many private collections in The Bahamas and around the world. He is retired from The Royal Bahamas Police Force and lives in Nicholl’s Town, Andros. Eric Ellis is available for commissions. If interested, kindly give us a call at Tel: (242) 377-0241 or email at


Eric Ellis, "Yellow Poui" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 28x48 / $1,500


Eric Ellis, "Pink Poui" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 28x48 / $1,500


Eric Ellis, "Abaco in Palms" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 28x48 / $1,800


Eric Ellis, "Regatta Sloops" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 28x48 / $2,000


Eric Ellis, "Sloops in Formation" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 48x28 / $1,800


Eric Ellis, "Parrots in the Seagrape Tree" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 48x28 / $1,800


Eric Ellis, "Sweet Island Lane" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 48x28 / $2,500


Eric Ellis, "Wash Day" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 48x28 / $2,500


Eric Ellis, "Potter's Cay" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 48x28 / $2,500


Eric Ellis, "Police Force Band" (2019), Acrylic on canvas, 48x28 / $1,800


art opportunities


Photo source: Ash Gardiner (#AbacoStrong)

Open Call for Works:
“Images of Hope”

Submission Deadline:
November 12th, 2019

Abaco artist Leanne Russell and her team are seeking images that embody what it is to be #abacostrong. Photographs that capture the resilience and dedication of Abaconians to rebuild post-Dorian. Calendars for 2020 will be produced and all proceeds will go directly to the trifecta of relief: @gtc_strong, @errolthurstonbahamas & @abacoforever,

So if you are a photographer, iPhone-ographer, or if you just know someone who has captured an amazing image that represents the Abaconian spirit, please submit and help us to spread hope and relief through 2020. All submissions and any enquiries can be sent to

Tilting Axis Logo

Tilting Axis Fellowship: Call for Submissions

Submission Deadline: November 17th, 2019

Tilting Axis has joined forces with Het Nieuwe Instituut to offer a Fellowship to one mid-career or established applicant based in the Caribbean. The Fellowship is supported by Het Nieuwe Instituut as lead partner and host, and will include collaborations with the Amsterdam Museum, De Appel, The Black Archives and Witte de With.

For Whom?
Mid-career and established researchers, artists, designers, writers, curators, or cultural producers based in the Caribbean region interested in building new links with cultural institutions in the Netherlands, and who have an interest in developing their practice around themes related to architecture, spatial practice, design or digital culture.

About the Position
This Fellowship focuses on applicants living and working within the Caribbean region and is both research and practice-led. The selected applicant will be based in Rotterdam at the Het Nieuwe Instituut and will have access to other partner cultural institutions in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. A total stipend of 12,000 Euros will be granted by Het Nieuwe Instituut to cover living expenses and one round-trip airfare from any country within the Caribbean to the Netherlands. Accommodation will be provided for a period of six months for a maximum of 800 Euros per month. Stipends may be subject to a withholding tax. Specific details about the position will be discussed with the selected applicant. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details of the Call.

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OPEN CALL for Caribbean Artists:
“Contested Desires”

Application Deadline: November 18th, 2019

CONTESTED DESIRES is a transnational project exploring our shared & contested colonial heritage and its influence on contemporary culture.

Project Duration: 14th Feb 2020 – August 2021
Project Fee: €4,339.98 (per diems, travel & accommodation are separate)
Artist Geographies: Caribbean-based (Must have proficiency in English)
Art form: Visual arts (including but not limited to: film, digital, sound art, installation)

CONTESTED DESIRES is a transnational capacity building programme for artists and producers engaging with communities and heritage spaces. With a focus on exchange and learning, the programme will offer unique opportunities for artists and communities to explore our shared heritage through research, workshops, residencies and exhibitions. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details at Fresh Milk Barbados.

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Call for Artwork from Young Artists

Submission Deadline: December 14th, 2019 at 6pm

After the overwhelming success of Furniture Plus’ first kids’ art competition, the home furnishings giant is hosting its second National Youth Art Competition and its open to children throughout The Bahamas, ages 8–18.

Last year’s competition attracted over two hundred talented entrants from across The Bahamas, with twenty young artists emerging as category winners.

This year’s expanded “Art From The Heart” competition will build on last year’s cumulative $5,000 prize package, and provide additional opportunities for positive exposure and skill development for the winners. The competition launched on Monday, September 9th and will close on Saturday, December 14th, 2019. Category winners will be selected and announced in January 2020, and their artwork showcased for family and friends at an official Art Showing hosted by NAGB in February 2020.

CLICK HERE for more details. Or email Furniture Plus at or call 397-7587.

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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, Advertising/Account/Office Manager:


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