Smith & Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’ Issue No. 323 Sharing Art & Cultural News of The Bahamas for 17 Years • • • • CLICK HERE to see onli


Smith & Benjamin’s
Issue No. 323

Sharing Art & Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 17 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

“Fragmented” by Bahamian artist Anina Major
(2017 / Medium: Glass, faience / W 12 x H 7 x H 5 inches)
• • •
Major’s work is being showcased at the Prizm Art Fair in an exhibition
entitled “Universal Belonging” curated by Mikhaile Solomon
during Miami Art and Design Week, December 5th-12th.


Friday, November 17th, 2017

Christmas Flamingo GIF2

Dear Reader,

I don’t know about you but I declare that we are officially in the Christmas Season. No...I can’t wait until after Thanksgiving; I want to enjoy Christmas for as long as I possibly can!

For me, Christmas begins on November 1st, All Saints’ Day and, coincidentally, it’s also the end of the Hurricane Season in The Bahamas. Two good reasons to bring in the joyful season of Hope and Love. And, boy, do we need more of those virtues today.

One event that signals the ushering in of a true-true Bahamian Christmas is the Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) Jollification Festival, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the BNT’s Retreat Garden on Village Road from 11am to 5pm. The Christmas Jollification is an important fundraiser for the The Retreat Garden, one of our national parks which protects an outstanding palm collection. Funds raised from the Jollification will assist in upgrading the infrastructure to enhance the visitor experience.


Swimming Pig by artist Judith Papillon.


Painting by artist Dion Lewis.


Christmas Ornaments by artist Trevor Tucker.


Orchid Jewelry by Beached Treasures.


Jewelry by Caroline Anderson.

My favourite part of this annual festival is that it features some of the finest arts and crafts in The Bahamas and many varieties of food and treats in which to indulge. This year, there will be over 80 talented artisans who will have a wide variety of handmade crafts, jewelry, food products, and gift items on sale.

I love the creative energy of Jollification as it showcases the innovation, industriousness, and entrepreneurship of Bahamians. I am so encouraged by all the artisans who consistently expend blood, sweat, tears (and lots of money) to make and build their original ideas; those creative warriors who have burned the midnight oil and worked weeks and weeks preparing for this weekend’s Jollification. The Bahamian creative drive and output is tenacious in our islands and it is incumbent on us to undergird their considerable efforts as well as the mission of the BNT to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas.


Meticulously hand-painted stones & sea biscuits, books, journals, greeting cards, small paintings, jewelry and lots more by Tina Klonaris-Robinson.

b tirsty cup3

The all new Bahamian Tumbler cups created in The Bahamas by Mark Ratcliffe features paintings by Melissa Maura, Bahamian currency and Bahamian sand and shells.

• • •


Bahamian handcrafted jewelry made with repurposed and recycled glass by Nouveau Glassworks. Available in the Airport Industrial Park, Craft Cottage Bahamas, Bahama Art & Handicraft, Mixed Media Art Store, and The Island Store. CLICK PHOTO for Facebook page.

In addition to the annual Jollification festival, I have to shine a big spotlight on those very special entities who support, promote, sell, and give access to the work of Bahamian artists and creatives all year long. Their doors are always open welcoming Bahamians and visitors alike to partake and take home one-of-a-kind Bahamian art and craftwork. They are often the gatekeepers of our cultural product and they, too, deserve commendation for being stalwart supporters of ‘dis we Bahamian ting’.

I encourage one and all to support year-round these great Bahamian handmade shops and markets: Craft Cottage Bahamas, Bahama Art & Handicraft, the Mixed Media Shop at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, the Marina Village Art Walk at Atlantis and the Creative Nassau Markets at Pompey Square.

And if you can, please also make an effort to attend smaller events like The Island House Pop-Up Shop and the Sip & Shop Christmas Jewelry Show, as well as the Farmers Markets at Island House and Doongalik Studios Art Gallery.

There is an abundance of creative wealth right here under our feet. Let’s build our economy and community by buying and supporting Bahamian brands and products.

Your sister in the arts,
Dionne Benjamin-Smith
Editor & Publisher
Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine


coming up next week...


E X H I B I T I O N :

UB Visual Arts // 2017 End of Year Show

Wednesday, November 22nd | 6:00pm
The Pro Gallery, University of The Bahamas

Screen shot 2017-11-17 at 1.47.58 AM

The public is invited to attend University of The Bahamas’ Visual Arts Department 2017 End of Year Show. This juried exhibition features work produced by students from all disciplines who are enrolled in courses in the Visual Arts Department. The opening will be held on Wednesday, 22nd November from 6:00pm in The Pro Gallery. The opening evening is a collaboration with the Tingum Collective who will be hosting their ‘Community Poetry Night’ in the gallery from 7pm. Artwork will be on display until Wednesday, 6th December.

CLICK HERE for Facebook event page.

Screen shot 2017-11-10 at 7.49.20 AM

E X H I B I T I O N :

DESATURATION: New works by Thierry Lamare

Friday, November 24th
The Island House, Mahogany Hill,
Western Road, Nassau

The Island House invites the public to the unveiling of the newest series of drawings and paintings by acclaimed French-Bahamian artist Thierry Lamare.

The collection of works will be hanging for two consecutive days. So if you can not make it Friday evening, please stop by on Saturday, November 25th or during the day on Friday.

The Island House invites you to discover these new pieces by this master artist and enjoy this special exhibition for a limited time.


art & culture news
from the bahamas


Bahamian artists (clockwise from left) Tavares Strachan, Anina Major, and Kishan Munroe.

Bahamian artists at Miami Art and Design Week

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) President Rosanne Somerson and a select committee of RISD alumni, including Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan, are hosting a special reception entitled RISDxMiami on Thursday, December 7th from 6pm to 8pm at the Diana Lowenstein Gallery on 2043 North Miami Avenue in the Wynwood Arts District to celebrate all the talented RISD alumni who are showing their work during the prestigious Miami Art and Design Week.

One such RISD alumna is Bahamian ceramicist Anina Major who is showcasing her work in the exhibition “Universal Belonging” curated by Mikhaile Solomon at the Prizm Art Fair opening December 5th. Major is a recent honors graduate of the MFA Ceramics programme at RISD.

Also selected for the exhibition“Universal Belonging” is the masterful work of Bahamian artist Kishan Munroe, who is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design. Both Major and Munroe’s work share narratives that shape the diasporic experience in widespread geographies to reveal a contemporary discourse that addresses forces defined by an evolved assessment and understanding of the effects of colonialism, the cultural adaptations that have emerged as a byproduct of relocation and displacement.

CLICK HERE for more details on RISDxMiami.
CLICK HERE for more details on the Prizm Art Fair.

Klonaris helen

Greek-Bahamian poet & author Helen Klonaris.

Bahamian author
invited to present at
Miami Book Fair

Greek-Bahamian poet and author Helen Klonaris has been invited to participate in a panel discussion entitled, “Caribbean Voices in Circulation” at the 2017 Miami Book Fair tomorrow at Miami Dade College. Klonaris will also be reading from her newly published book, “if i had the wings” (Peepal Tree Press).

This panel emphasizes the power and imperativeness of allowing voices from the Caribbean to be heard as widely as possible. The circulation of Caribbean voices is featured here pertains among many things to: 1) the translation of Caribbean’s literary giants, female and male, into English (both past and present); and, 2) to what has happened when voices from Caribbean have defied odds to be heard.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Blue Curry-Monica McGivern

Bahamian Artist Blue Curry (Photo: Monica McGivern)

Bahamian artist in three international exhibitions

London-based, Bahamian artist Blue Curry is currently taking part in three exhibitions in three different parts of the world: Los Angeles, London, and Caracas.

The first is the exhibition _‘Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago’_ which is part of Pacific Standard Time:LA/LA at the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California. ‘Relational Undercurrents’, one of the Getty series of exhibitions, is a major survey exhibition of twenty-first century art of the Caribbean and features over 80 artists, including Bahamians Janine Antoni, Lynn Parotti, and Kishan Munroe. Curated by Tatiana Flores, the show will be on until February 25.


The second show is entitled Full Service, a collaborative art experiment between himself and New York artist Leah Dixon who show their work as well as that of several of their talented contemporaries. The show opens tomorrow, Saturday, November 18th, at Five Years Gallery, an innovative artist-led project space in London. The show runs until November 26th.

The third exhibition opens next month in December. Curry will have a large installation work as part of the second Bienal del Sur at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, Venezuela. Entitled ‘Pueblos en Resistencia’ this biennial was initiated as a push-back to what some see as the over commercialisation of international art biennials. Show runs from December 3rd until February 25, 2018.

CLICK HERE to visit Blue Curry’s website.


(L to r) Linda Fisher, librarian, Government High School; Earla Bethel of DanBrad Ltd, first sponsor to the Guanima Press Ltd book-giveaway project and author Patricia Glinton-Meicholas.

Bahamian author marks launch of her new book by gifting 600 copies to the students of GHS

“For some time now, I have had a deep concern for the widespread underperformance in educational achievement, when I know that Bahamians are brilliant.”Patricia Glinton-Meicholas

In support of a book-giveaway project launched by Guanima Press Ltd, Bahamian author Patricia Glinton-Meicholas marked the publication of her new collection of original short stories, Lusca and Other Fantastic Tales, by gifting 600 copies to the students of her alma mater — Government High School (GHS).

“For some time now, I have had a deep concern for the widespread underperformance in educational achievement, when I know that Bahamians are brilliant. I believe that low achievement in reading and the spurning of reading widely contribute significantly to the problem. Guanima Press has always given away lots of books, but with the launch of Patricia’s new book, I decided to do it in a really big way, giving away thousands of books in the hope that it would encourage more reading” said Neko Meicholas, owner of Guanima Press Ltd, which published the new work.

Recognised nationally and internationally for her writing ability and cultural knowledge, Ms Glinton-Meicholas has created, in Lusca and Other Fantastic Tales, yet another means of preserving several of the unique, legendary, but mostly forgotten creatures of Bahamian folklore... [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Guanima Creative.
CLICK HERE to purchase Lusca and Other Fantastic Tales eBook.

Screen shot 2017-11-17 at 1.41.20 PM

Bahamian poet, author, and publisher Sonia Farmer.

New Bahamian book gives female perspective on famed pirate Anne Bonny

by Jeffarah Gibson

There have been many tales told about the infamous pirate Anne Bonny who once made Nassau her haunt, but most as seen through the eyes of men.

Award-winning Bahamian poet, author, and publisher Sonia Farmer decided to change this by presenting a woman’s perspective on this female brigand of the seas with a new book of poetry called “Infidelities”.

Anne Bonny was an Irish pirate operating in the Caribbean. She was considered a strong, independent woman. Born in 1702, she was the illegitimate daughter of lawyer William Cormac and his servant woman Mary Brennan. She was said to have had red hair and a fiery temper. In her teens, she married small-time pirate James Bonny, who hoped to win possession of his wealthy father-in-law's estate in South Carolina, but Anne was disowned by her father.

It is recorded that Anne set fire to her father's plantation in retaliation, but no evidence exists to support this. Some time between 1714 and 1718, she and James moved to Nassau, which was known as a sanctuary for English pirates and called the 'Republic of Pirates'. After the arrival of Governor Woodes Rogers in the summer of 1718, James became an informant for the governor. [..]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Tribune.


Sean Baker’s Drama “The Florida Project” starring Willem Dafoe is selected as BIFF 2017 Opening Night film.

BIFF unveils 2017 film lineup

Dates of Festival:
Sunday, Dec. 10th–13th
in Harbour Island
Thursday, Dec. 14th–17th
in Nassau

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), celebrating its 14th edition this year, and taking place December 10-17, today revealed the lineup of films screening in the festival’s competition and sidebar sections. The program was announced by BIFF Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool.

This year, the Festival will showcase more than 82 films from 28 different countries including twelve world premiere, 4 international premieres, 57 Caribbean premieres, and all are Bahamian premieres.

The four competition categories at BIFF are Spirit of Freedom: Narrative; Spirit of Freedom: Documentary; New Visions; and Short Film. Additional categories out of competition are World Cinema; Special Screenings; Environmental and Oceans Spotlight and non-Jury Short Films.


THE DUNNING MAN has been named an "Official Selection" in 34 established film festivals, received 38 award nominations, and won 19 awards, including 7 “Best Feature” awards. The film stars James Carpinello from TV's 'Gotham', and is based on Kevin Fortuna's critically acclaimed book of the same name.

The Festival’s opening night will kick off with one highly acclaimed film screening on December 10th in Harbour Island -- Sean Baker’s drama “The Florida Project” starring Willem Dafoe.”

Said Vanderpool, “My wish is to introduce the public attending the Festival to the films and the culture of different countries every year. Often movies that are normally unable to be seen inspire young filmmakers and resonate in their imagination for years to come. I believe that this program presents elements to please and interest everybody, balancing amusement with more engaging stories.”

Vanderpool added, “I’m particularly excited to be showing an amazing and powerful film to open our Festival this year. This film (‘The Florida Project’) has created such a buzz internationally and will no doubt be a highly sought-after ticket at BIFF. It is a likely frontrunner in the coming awards season in Hollywood so we’re honored to be showcasing it in The Bahamas for BIFF audiences.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full lineup at The Bahamas Weekly.

1 Bahamas Pavilion Birds Eye View Rendering Oct 2017 2017

An aerial view of the conceptual design for the Expo 2020 Dubai Bahamas Pavilion with the theme, “One Country – The Islands Of The Bahamas.”

Pavilion designed by UB Students becomes benchmark at Expo 2020 Dubai

by Azaleta Ishmael-Newry

The Bahamas made a resounding impact in Dubai, gaining the attention of the world and the government of the UAE recently at the second International Participants Meeting (IPM) for Expo 2020 Dubai.

According to Expo 2020 Dubai organizers, the work to date on The Bahamas Pavilion and involvement of The University of The Bahamas (UB) students has become a benchmark for success.

More than 500 delegates, representing 150 countries, attended the three-day IPM to discuss and be brought up to date on the progress of Expo 2020 Dubai, slated to be the largest World Fair ever. In attendance were commissioners general, ambassadors, business leaders, as well as government officials and partners like the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

The Bahamas led the way in meeting the criteria of Expo 2020 Dubai’s vision to utilize and include young adults in the challenge of solving issues affecting their country, and creating solutions relative to the Expo’s sub themes: “mobility, sustainability and opportunity”. Dubai quickly recognized that The Bahamas had tremendous institutional capacity to carry out the program, perceived from earlier virtual meetings with the UB team which links to Expo 2020 Dubai’s Creative Youth Initiative. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full story at The Bahamas Weekly.

Jeffrey Meris by Melissa ALcena

“Jeffrey” by Melissa Alcena. Image currently on view in “Some Re(Assembly) Required” on view in the Project Space Room at the NAGB through Dec. 3rd, 2017.

Creative Youth: Reevaluating our values and the work of young people.

by Dr Ian Bethell Bennett

The Bahamas has quickly become a country with multilayered and multifaceted youth conflicts. Over the last ten years, these issues have taken the fore and removed the focus from real and positive change. Violence, youth disengagement and youth disaffection can be addressed through creative expression and creative practice. However, in a school system that argues for a focus on the STEM and not STEAM, but without any real engagement–where art and performance are seen as outside and unwanted stepchildren–it is significant that some young Bahamians are excelling in their work and their creative expression.

As we top fifty percent non-completion of school, the need for proactive interaction is obvious. One way that has been proven to combat this is by engaging with art in the classroom and folding it into the educational system. The art that we are talking about here is far more diverse than painting or ceramics and includes performance as well as culinary arts. According to political scientist Mark Mattern in “John Dewey: Art and Public Life,” “Art is an integral component of democracy, not simply its incidental adornment. As a communicative arena where politics potentially occurs, art offers many opportunities for political participation. Especially at a time when participation is declining in mainstream and institutionalised political arenas, other venues such as art increase in their potential importance”. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at NAGB’s website.


The Kamora Booth from a bygone Jollification.

Twenty-six years of the BNT’s Christmas Jollification

Join Lynn Gape for a trip down memory lane as she reminds us of the story of Jollification and shares wonderful memories with classic archival images.

by Lynn Gape

According to the Oxford Dictionary, Jollification means lively celebration with others; merrymaking.

For the past 26 years the weekend before Thanksgiving has been marked on calendars across The Bahamas as the start of the Christmas Holiday season, kicked off by the BNT’s annual Christmas Jollification. The event supports The Bahamas National Trust’s Retreat Gardens (for many years known as The Trust) and has raised well over a million dollars for this national park, supporting maintenance and infrastructure improvements for the garden. But how did this all get started?


Penny Pyfrom with Jollification Founder Macushla Hazlewood.

In 1991, the Chair of the Retreat Committee was Mrs. Eleanor Higgs, widow of the Hon. Godfrey Higgs. She was assisted on the committee by two of her friends, Mrs. Macushla Hazelwood and Mr. Oris Russell (former President of the BNT and Director of Agriculture). The three were a formidable force and were very involved in the early development of The Retreat. One day, I received a call from Mrs. Higgs asking me to join her for tea that afternoon. I arrived to find Eleanor, along with Mrs. Hazelwood and Mr. Russell, having “tea” and waiting for me to arrive so they could share their idea to raise money for The Retreat Garden. They idea was to have a holiday Craft Show and to sell plants. Remember now, this was before craft making was as popular as it is today. I left with instructions to put together a list of people who did crafts and to contact nurseries to see if they would be willing to participate by selling plants. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story and great photos at the BNT website.

Screen shot 2017-11-17 at 9.28.16 AM

Sun & Ice –
the all-Bahamian ice cream parlour

“I tried it: Authentically Bahamian ice cream!
Here’s the scoop!”

by Ianthia Smith

Growing up Bahamian is an amazingly unique and special experience.

For me, I have fond memories of eating my way through my childhood and being exposed to some of the best and most delicious dishes and desserts.

From endless supplies of homemade potato bread, guava duff, coconut candy, benny cake and tamarind sauce that left me licking my fingers clean; to climbing trees and hopping walls with my cousins to fill old grocery bags with mangoes, dillies, sugar apples, guineps, scarlet plums, tamarind, sea grape, coconuts and jujus, we literally ate everything we could get our hands on.

With all of these amazing foods in our midsts, I found it quite odd that after all this time, we’ve not really diversified these products and created a slew of new Bahamian dishes from them. UNTIL NOW!

A brand new, authentically Bahamian ice cream, gelato and sorbet shop will soon be opening its doors offering all of our childhood faves in delicious, cold treats that really put a spin on Bahamian desserts! [...]

CLICK HERE for full post at Ianthia Smith’s blog.

Screen shot 2017-11-16 at 6.22.07 PM

Bahamian and Caribbean artists encouraged to submit to IDB’s Open Call

Deadline to submit
January 7th, 2018

Open call for artists from across the Americas for art submissions that reflect the role of art in development. The winning proposals will be tiled together to create the Sidewalk of the Americas, an art installation of over 150 artworks that showcase the immense artistic creativity of the Hemisphere and the relationship between art and development.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is curating an international, traveling art installation entitled Sidewalk of the Americas, to be produced in early 2018. This open call invites emerging and mid-career artists from all of the IDB member countries in the Americas to submit art proposals that reflect upon one of the following development challenges that affect the Region: diversity and inclusion, innovation, economic growth and globalization, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and justice.

The entire installation aims to capture the essence of the social role of art in the Americas. The goal is to have a conversation on significant challenges while not professing any specific political viewpoint or agenda. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details at IDB site.


about us


Smith & Benjamin’s Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine

Art & Culture were created to uplift
and inspire the spirit of 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:

facebook instagram