Smith and Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART and CULTURE’ Issue No. 349 Sharing Art and Cultural News of The Bahamas for 18 Years • • • • CLICK HERE to se


Smith and Benjamin’s
Issue No. 349

Sharing Art and Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 18 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

“Rosemarie Colby Mackey”
by Bahamian photographer Sofia Whitehead
• •
This striking portrait by Whitehead is one of 300 photographs in her new book entitled “Bahama Mama: Portraits and Wisdom From the Mothers of Bahamian Society” being launched Thursday, June 25th at the NAGB.
• • •
See event & story below.


Friday, June 22nd, 2018


upcoming art &
cultural events



The Encore Poster

C ON C E R T :

Bahamas National Youth Choir presents:
The Encore

June 24th 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 this Sunday, June 24th at 6pm at The Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. 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.

Tickets are on sale now at The Dundas Box Office, telephone: (242) 393-3728.

CLICK HERE for event’s Facebook page.




F O R U M :

NAGB Community Open Forum

Wed., June 27
At 6pm
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

To all artists, creatives, and anyone interested in your National Art Gallery, come out and hear about the NAGB’s new Mission and Vision and all about our future plans. The Gallery encourages the public to attend as they are keenly interested in sharing their work with the community and to hear your thoughts on where the institution should be headed. Taking place this Wednesday coming, come be a part of the discussion as we share the progress of your art museum. Share your thoughts and ideas with them as they chart out future plans.

CLICK HERE for the event’s Facebook page.


W O R K S H O P :

VAT Compliance Workshop for Artists

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


Attention Artists & Artisans: BAIC will be hosting a one-day VAT compliance workshop on Thursday, June 28th at 9 a.m. at the BAIC Training Centre, Old Trail Road, Nassau. Experts from the Department of Inland Revenue will be demonstrating various online tax administration features inclusive of:

• Completing your VAT return
• Knowledge of the Online Tax Administration System
• Applying for a Tax Identification Number
• Applying for a Business Licence

There will also be a question and answer portion to help you get the most out of the Online Tax Administration System. Today – Friday, June 22, 2018, 5:00 p.m – is the deadline to register. Register online by visiting as seats are limited. You don’t want to miss it.

CLICK HERE for the event’s Facebook page.


Bahama Mama Annie Albury is featured in Sofia Whitehead’s new book.

L A U N C H :

Bahama Mama Coffee Table Book Launch + Exhibit

Thurs., June 28
At 6:30pm
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

You are cordially invited to the launch of Bahama Mama: Portraits and Wisdom From the Mothers of Bahamian Society, a coffee table book and exhibition that shines a light on the beauty inside and out, of a generation of women that has held The Bahamas together.

Author and photographer Sofia Whitehead will be present to discuss her book project and sign books. The price of the book is $85.00 + Shipping. For orders email: or Call: [242] 424 4393.

CLICK HERE for event Facebook page.


• call for works
• art competitions
• summer camps


F E S T I V A L :

Call for Bahamian Films: Silicon Valley African Film Festival 2018

Submission Deadline: Saturday, June 30th, 2018

The Bahamas Artist Movement to represent the entire Caribbean region at the 9th Annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival, 2018.

The 9th Annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival is happening this October 5th to the 9th, in beautiful San Jose, California and The Bahamas Artist Movement (BAM) has been elected as the Caribbean’s regional coordinator for this year’s festival. The 2018 spotlight will feature the 700 islands and cays of The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and BAM is inviting Bahamian filmmakers to submit their films to the festival.

This year, there will a 6-hour film focus showcasing films exclusively from The Bahamas. Filmmakers will answer questions and build relationships while forging the Bahamian story forward through their films. Films representing the stories of the entire Caribbean region will also be well represented and featured throughout the duration of the festival. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details at the BAM website.
CLICK HERE to visit the Film Festival website.
CLICK HERE to submit your film.


“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.


A R T / C A M P :

The NAGB Mixed Media Art Summer Camp

First Session of the Art Camp begins this Monday, June 25th.

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is pleased to announce the return of its annual summer camp, the Mixed Media Art Summer Camp (MMASC). This year, kids ages 5 to 17 are welcomed to the NAGB, where they’ll spend their time learning visual art techniques, exploring different avenues of creativity and developing their knowledge of art.


The camp is held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday on the grounds of the NAGB. At the MMASC, we value your child and work to provide a fun and safe environment for them to explore in. All the materials, equipment, instructors, lunch and snack are included in the fee. Campers are only asked to bring a great attitude and lots of creativity. You can choose between two sessions: Session One: June 25th-July 13th / Session Two: July 16th-August 3rd.

Summer Camp enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. You can still register today. Come into the Gallery and register or by online application through the museum’s website. To learn more about MMASC, please contact Abby Smith at 328-5800/1 or

CLICK HERE for full details at the NAGB website.


art & culture news
from the bahamas


Bahamian blogger Hadassah Hall standing at the Eneas Street Community Fest banner in Bain Town.


Bahamian blogger Hadassah Hall.

Bahamian blogger seeks to change perspective of

Former news reporter, Hadassah Hall, is using her writing talent to initiate what she hopes to become a storytelling movement.

Presently in the public relations field, Ms. Hall who previously worked in newspaper, radio, and television broadcasting, recently launched a personal blog dubbed, ‘Over-the-Hill…The Other Side.’

“On my blog, you will find no dead bodies, no blood, no gun cartridges in the road, no body bags, no hearses, no handcuffs. The photographs are different. The stories are different. I’m just starting out, but I hope it gains traction in a positive way,” said Ms. Hall.

“I am a storyteller and feel compelled to share the stories of people Over-the-Hill – whether they live through Eneas Street, Rupert Dean Lane, on Wulff Road or perhaps moved away, but are proof of what Over-the-Hill has produced. Quite frankly, I am tired of seeing so much negative news about those in the inner city. There is another side to this community that is rarely told. Therefore, it is my mission to do what I can to shine the light on the positive people it has, and continues to produce,” she stated.


Hall blogs about Over-the-Hill giants like Bishop Walter Hanchell, seen here feeding persons through his Great Commission Ministries' 31-year Outreach Programme on Wulff Road. (Photo: The Bahama Journal)


Bahamian fashion designer Gillian Curry-Williams shares her beginnings in Over-the-Hill with Hall.

Describing herself as a, “Journalist at heart,” Ms. Hall said in her own corner she wants to reframe coverage of Over-the-Hill.

“I want people to see beyond the present narrative. Over-the-Hill has for far too long been associated with drugs, violence, poverty, brokenness…I’m not turning a blind eye to the social ills that exist; however, it’s not the whole story. There’s the other side. And yes, the people themselves have a lot to do with the denigration of this part of New Providence that has such a rich history. However, for every murderer, drug dealer, unfocused young person, there are do-gooders Over-the-Hill. There are people who are helping their neighbours, those who are entrepreneurs, focused young people and others,” said the young woman who grew up Over-the-Hill who passionately spoke of her love for writing and how important it is to use one’s gift to uplift others.

Velma Seymour

Hall writes about 71-year old fruit & vegetable vendor Velma Seymour who has been operating from her makeshift Montrose Avenue and Wulff Road venue for the past 30 years.

“Writing is my love. It’s my talent. It is a part of what I do professionally in public relations, but it is also a hobby. I’m therefore taking what’s in my hand and making a conscious decision to craft a positive narrative,” she said.

“I want to tell positive stories that have the power to be read by people, even if just one person, who may say, ‘Wow! If she can do that, why can’t I?’ or ‘Look at how focused he is. I need to change my course of life,’” she added. Some of the persons featured on Over-the-Hill…The Other Side, would have moved from the community, but have businesses there or they were born and still reside there. Ms. Hall’s focus is to get people to look at the good Over-the-Hill has produced. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full story at Bahamas Chronicle.

Screen shot 2018-06-22 at 12.59.22 PM

Bahamian designer Kya McPhee – "My business funded my college tuition believe it or not. While in college I was able to maintain my grades and build a lucrative business."

Creativity awakened in young woman

by Hadassah Hall

From extravagant fascinators that may include wired stones, jewels or pearls, in addition to corsages and boutonnieres, to silk floral bouquet and jewel encrusted bridal head pieces, K. L. M Designs is the diverse business of 25-year-old Bahamian Kya L. McPhee.

This young lady was born and grew up Over-the-Hill. From a child, her creative side was always stirring within. But it was summer 2010 when the gift of designing was awakened.

“I was afforded the opportunity to go to a jewelry making class…I grew up in the straw market with my grandmothers watching them plait straw and make hand bags, so I’m certain the gift transferred through generations,” said Kya.

Kya launched her business shortly after that summer camp. She was just 17 years old and recently out of high school. She began making jewelry sets, but quickly transitioned into fascinator making. She has become a force to reckon with in the field. The work is quality and can be simple or flamboyant. And a plus is her creations are reasonably priced compared to competitors. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at Over The Hill 242.


Bahamian music artist Julian Waldron.

‘From Nothing’ to the top

Toronto-based Bahamian artist follows his dreams.

by Alesha Cadet

After giving up his dream of a professional football career, Bahamian Julian Waldron turned his attention to music. And so far, the decision has been paying off for him. Based in Toronto, Canada, Julian has been working with top producers, including some who have collaborated with big names in the industry like Fetty Wap and Ty Dolla $ign.

While getting his feet wet in the world of music has not been an easy task, the emerging hip hop artist says he firmly believes in the old adage that “experience is the best teacher.”

For his debut single, “From Nothing”, he worked with the Canadian DJ and production duo KYNGS and PDUB the Producer – who has written beats for songs by King Louie, Fetty Wap, and Ty Dolla $ign.

The track, Julian told Tribune Weekend, was inspired by some of the trials and tribulations he faced before setting out to become a hip hop artist in his new home of Toronto. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Tribune Weekend.
CLICK HERE to watch video of Waldron’s ‘From Nothing’ – The Story.


Bahamian Sofia Whitehead with her new book. (Photo: Terrel W. Carey)

Bahamian photographer launches new book: ‘Bahama Mama’

She has traveled throughout The Bahamas to capture the salt-of-the-earth matriarchs of the Family Islands, before they are lost to time. Writer and photographer Sofia Whitehead shares how she wants to celebrate the lives and wisdom of these extraordinary women through her new book.

by Cara Hunt

Sofia Whitehead’s new coffee table book is a beautiful and inspiring symbol of the resilience and strength of Bahamian women and is aptly named “Bahama Mama – Portraits and Wisdom from the Mothers of Bahamian Society.”

The 300-plus page book is described as a photographic journey through the faces and wisdom of the women that hold The Bahamas together. It features inspirational quotes from more than 50 older women from almost every island in the country. Collectively, they create a compelling look at exactly what it means to be a Bahamian woman.

“‘Bahama Mama’ is photography book comprised of colourful portraits and quotes from the Bahamas’ matriarchs. It reflects the flamboyant colours 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,” said Sofia. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Tribune Weekend.
CLICK HERE to order book.

Tracey Sands Over the hill

Bahamian seamstress Tracey Sands.

When a gift makes room

by Hadassah Hall

Tracey Sands braved the stifling heat sitting at a table in front of her yard on Balfour Avenue. What she was doing was quite unorthodox. Instead of creating the products she sewed indoors and then selling them outdoors, she was actually sitting outside with her 33-year-old Singer machine – sewing.

Yes. Sewing outside…in the heat.

It was after 5 pm and the street was busy with pedestrians and vehicles whizzing pass. Many passengers perhaps were oblivious to what Tracey was doing. However, as I was driving by and caught a glimpse of her, I quickly found a parking space and made my approach.

I had no paper or pen with me, but after sharing the purpose of my blog to show the other side of over the hill, she gladly provided me with what I needed at that moment.

On the table and hanging on the door of a small clapboard building behind her were bureau scarfs, table cloths and kitchen curtains with beautiful embroidery, meticulously stitched. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at Over the Hill 242.


Baskets and other artifacts from Red Bays, Andros, that will be featured at the festival.

Red Bays, North Andros to be central focus of Florida festival

by Bahamas Chronicle

BRADENTON, Florida — The settlement of Red Bays in North Andros will be the central focus of a three-day festival being hosted by the Oak Tree Community Outreach, a Florida-based not-for-profit corporation, at the City of Bradenton Manatee Mineral Spring Park July 13-15th celebrating the historic ties between Red Bays and an early 1800s Florida community known as Angola.

Coming as it does on the weekend after The Bahamas celebrates its 45th anniversary of independence on July 10, the festival can be considered by Bahamians living in the Florida-area diaspora as an extension of their country’s independence celebrations.

Daphney Towns and Trudy Williams, principal organizers of the event, noted in a Facebook advertisement publicizing the weekend that it will feature Seminole Descendants, recording artist Clifford Bigbruh Riley, Creative Folklore Arts Company, Conquerors for Christ Junkanoo Group, wood carvers and basket weavers from Red Bays, Andros. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at The Bahamas Chronicle.
CLICK HERE for Festival’s event page.


Bahamian curator Natalie Willis.

Bahamian curator, Natalie Willis, awarded coveted Tilting Axis Curatorial Fellowship

by Dr Ian Bethell Bennett

As people who view art from outside, we are usually blind to all the moving parts that make art and bring it to us. We tend to think when we hear the term “public art”, for example, that this springs organically from the artist who is simply in his or her studio being creative. As Bahamians and members of an incredibly conservative mindset, we see art as something that will always leave our children poor and disadvantaged, so we discourage them from becoming artists; we discourage them from becoming writers. Yet, at the helm of much public art are leaders who make public art happen. They put things in place. Art does not usually simply spring up out of nothing and nowhere, though it can still be organic.

We need people to facilitate the art, bring it to the public, frame it in productive ways, and produce spaces that allow art and artists to flourish. Some of these people are curators. Curators organise, manage, understand the nuances, intricacies, needs, challenges and possibilities of art and collections. We do not usually see this side of art.

In the Caribbean, art has bloomed over decades, especially in countries like Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico as well as the Dominican Republic. Haiti is famous for its art; yet we, as Bahamians tend to diminish Caribbean art and its value. When curators gets a hold of a body of work or a group of ideas the job they do to birth an experience is amazing. Especially when it comes to telling a story through and with the art. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article at the NAGB website.


Remembering Elyse Walise’s Bahamian porcelain Plates

Forgotten facts
by Paul C Aranha

How many times have you been asked to recommend a suitable souvenir for a visitor to take home with them? I tend to suggest straw work and/or art and, in the 1980s I favoured a porcelain plate by Elyse Wasile. It was small and beautiful and depicted a well-known Bahamian scene.

Over the 12-year period from 1982 to 1993, a dozen different Elyse Wasile plates were produced by world-famous Kaiser Porzellan (founded in 1872 in Bad Staffelstein, Germany) and each plate came with Kaiser’s certificate of authenticity.


These eight-inch plates were sold individually, but collectors, of which there were many, signed up for limited edition sets. Each set was assigned a serial number from one through 5,000, and over the years, I bought the sets 1889 and 4462.

Elyse Wasile (1920-2013) was an American artist who spent some 25 years in Nassau, where she painted Bahamian scenes. In 1971, the Bahamas government invited her to design a new, definite set of Bahamian postage stamps. The 1985 Bahamas Handbook & Businessman’s Annual, in their article about philately, quoted Elyse as believing herself to be the first artist, in philatelic history, to design a nation’s entire definitive set of 15 stamps. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Tribune Weekend.


Bahamian artist Janeen Walker offers her ‘Acrylic Pouring’ class at The Current Art Studio, at Baha Mar.

Pour your creativity out

New acrylic painting class offers artistic and therapeutic outlet.

by Alesha Cadet

What if there was a way to create a stunning piece of abstract art with no prior background or experience in art whatsoever? Oh, and did I mention it is a super fun process, whether you are enjoying a session with friends or on a date with your significant other? All of this and more can be achieved by taking in an acrylic paint pouring class.

And make no mistake, this is not your regular paint-and-sip event where every guest leaves with an almost identical painting at the end of the session.


This interactive class, no matter where it is conducted, explores a form of abstract art using movement to pour and drip fluid acrylic paints over a canvas. In the end, you create a unique work of art by learning how to pour the acrylics and build layers of beautiful colour.

‘Acrylic Pouring’ with Janeen Walker at The Current, Baha Mar’s Art Studios includes everything that is fun about painting dates and socials.

During a session, participants learn the craft of pour-painting on items such as boards as well as skins, which in the end makes for the perfect keepsake to take home. Believe it or not, the only time a paint brush is needed is at the beginning of the two-hour class. The different techniques are dirty pour, swipe, puddle pour, flip cup and elevated pour. The practice is informative, messy and unpredictable. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Tribune Weekend.

Six  n  Four-1

Native taco bowls at Six 'n' Four.

Go on a Bahamian cultural journey with Six ‘n’ Four

by Cara Hunt

Six n’ Four is one of the newest restaurants to hit the ever growing Carmichael Road area. And its owners are determined to serve up huge doses of Bahamian culture as well as tasty food.

“Our mission is to inspire bold cultural connections through a fusion of food, music, history and the arts, “ said Wayne Wilson, whose family owns the new eatery.

“Being Bahamian means many things to many people from our distinct dialect and vocabulary to our unique history as the gateway to the new world – whatever your interpretation is, it is undeniable that a certain spirit existing within these 700 islands and cays that flows through all of us that proudly proclaim ‘It’s better in The Bahamas’.”

One defining characteristic of Bahamians, he said, “is that while we love to travel and often temporarily assimilate to our surroundings, there is an internal compass which always seems to guide us back to home sweet home. This phenomenon is at the heart of the Six n’ Four concept, which features chef-inspired recipes consisting of international favourites infused with local flare...” [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Tribune Weekend.


Are We One With Nature?

G. Paul Dorfmuller’s ‘Nassau Corner’

by Letitia M. Pratt, The D’Aguilar Art Foundation

Dawn---Dorfmuller  G. Paul  Nassau

“Nassau Corner” (Nd.), by G. Paul Dorfmuller, watercolor on paper, 11 ½ x 19 ½ . (Image courtesy of the Dawn Davies Collection.)


In 1941, National Geographic used a slavery-era slur to describe California cotton workers waiting to load a ship in California: “Pickaninny, banjos, and bales are like those you might see at New Orleans.” (National Geographic)

Recently, National Geographic published an article on their website acknowledging their racist coverage of colonised countries throughout the magazine’s history. Their current editor-in-chief, Susan Goldberg (the first woman and first Jewish person to claim that title) resolved to devote the April issue of the magazine to the topic of race, excavating the magazine’s problematic history and coming to terms with their role in reinforcing the racist ideals of the coloniser. Their photographers were, as stated by the article, “fascinated by the native person” in the colonised space, and often pictured the natives as “exotic” or “famously and frequently unclothed…noble savages.” [1]

The Bahamas was not untouched by this viewpoint; historically, artists have captured our islands in various mediums in an effort to memorialise the ‘exotic’ beauty of the island natives. In these works, we are claimed to be as beautiful (or at least as interesting) as our environment. As our land. Our seas. We are noble savages, and savages are one with nature.

This viewpoint that is being explored in The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ current show, “Transversing the Picturesque: For Sentimental Value.” The exhibition includes work from visiting artists and expatriates who resolved to capture the sentimentality within the landscape and then-colonised Bahamian people. Within many of the works in the exhibition, the native is perceived to be as serene as the beach that stretches behind him, or as bustling as the trees that blows at his back. These renditions – however noble they are – caused the colonised subject to be objectified and to appear as foreign and untamed as the landscape that they inhibit, and within the white gaze the Black body becomes merely a prop indistinguishable from the natural environment. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article at the NAGB website.


about the cover

Bahama Mama Rosemarie Mackey

Colby Mackey

by Sofia Whitehead

“As a Christian, it allows you to forgive. But you know exactly when somebody else done you wrong. You shouldn’t let people walk all over you. God took away your sins, he didn’t take away your sense.”

Rosemarie Colby Mackey, 75 years old from Gregory Town, Eleuthera (originally of Nassau)


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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