Smith and Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART and CULTURE’ Issue No. 355Friday, October 5th, 2018 • • • •Sharing Art and Cultural News of The Bahamas for 1


Smith and Benjamin’s
Issue No. 355
Friday, October 5th, 2018

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

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

Detail of “The Dragon and Flamingo, Who’s da boss?”
by Bahamian artist Richardo Barrett.
(2018 / Gel medium and acrylic on distressed canvas with sound elements)
• • •
This piece by Barrett took the first place prize in last night’s Central Bank
of The Bahamas’ 35th Annual Art Competition’s Open Category.
• • •
See below for story.


upcoming art
and cultural events




T H E A T R E:

Shakespeare in Paradise Theatre Festival

Friday, Oct. 5th thru Saturday, Oct. 13th
Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts, Mackey Street

Ringplay Productions presents the 10th Annual Shakespeare in Paradise Theatre Festival continuing tonight, tomorrow, until Saturday, October 13th with multiple performances of five different exciting productions!

Tonight and tomorrow, SiP presents two compelling productions at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts: the festival’s signature Shakespearean play “Much Ado About Nothing” features a cast of 16 performers under the direction of Associate Artistic Director, Erin Knowles. Additionally, is an evening of plays entitled “Short Tales”, which features ten new 10-minute plays by 10 Bahamian writers, and 8 different directors. “Short Tales”will be featured in the Philip A. Burrows Black Box Theatre at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts.


Begining next week on Wednesday, October 10th, is SiP’s signature Bahamian work this year – the world premiere of the new Eddie Minnis musical, “Der Real Ting!!” created and directed by Philip A. Burrows and featuring 25 iconic Eddie Minnis’ songs arranged by Fred Ferguson with vocal arrangements by Adrian Archer. The script was written by Nicolette Bethel, Patrice Francis and Philip A. Burrows. An opening night gala performance of this work will take place on October 10th at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets for “Der Real Ting!!” gala evening will be $100. Performances will continue October 11th, 12th and 13th with tickets priced at $30 which will also be the cost for all other shows in the festival.


Please ask about SiP’s group rates and senior and student discounts. Save $20 on a season ticket when you purchase 4 of these 6 shows, “Der Real Ting!!” (11th–13th only), “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Short Tales”, “Paul Hanna”, and “The Making of ‘Der Real Ting.’”

Reservations for all of the productions in the festival can be made at the Dundas Box Office from 10am to 4pm Monday through Saturday. The telephone numbers at the theatre are 393-3728 or 394-7179. Further information can also be found on the Shakespeare in Paradise Facebook page or at their website:, where for the first time ever, tickets for our productions may be purchased online.

CLICK HERE for Shakespeare in Paradise website.
CLICK HERE for Shakespeare in Paradise Facebook page.



Season- -Fionas

T H E A T R E :

A Season at Fiona’s Theatre

Tuesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 11th
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

Fiona’s Theatre, which opened in April 2018, is the newest jewel in the crown of the National Gallery of The Bahamas. A Season at Fiona’s Theatre is a new and exciting addition to our programming that is sure to please our diverse audiences and the amazing community we serve.

Shakespeare in Paradise joins us for the season premiere on Tuesday, October 9th with The Making of “Der Real Ting.” Join Eddie Minnis in conversation with the creators of the new musical based on his songs: Philip A. Burrows, Nicolette Bethel, Patrice Francis, Fred Ferguson, Adrian Archer and Ricardo Christie, one night before the world premiere. On Thursday, October 11th, Shakespeare in Paradise joins the Theatre for the second time in one week with “Paul Hanna in Concert”. Enjoy an evening filled with the smooth sounds of this Bahamian jazz legend.

Curtains go up at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 and NAGB members receive a 10% discount.

CLICK HERE for event pages on Facebook.


W O R K S H O P :

Patchwork Potcake Adopt-a-thon and Workshop

Saturday, October 13, 2018

In partnership with the Bahamas Humane Society (BHS), the NAGB will host a special adopt-a-thon paired with a workshop that invites visitors to play with and/or adopt a puppy then create a “patchwork potcake” — a collage that reflects the personality of their favourite canine! This unusual workshop can be joined at any time during the three-hour period and will have a reduced price: $10 for adults and $5 for children. Ten percent of all proceeds will go to the BHS.

CLICK HERE for event page on Facebook.




C O N C E R T:

The Bahamas National Youth Choir presents:
“I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes”

Friday, Oct. 26th and Saturday, Oct. 27th, 2018
At 7:30pm
Christ Church Cathedral, George Street

One of The Bahamas’ greatest cultural gems, The Bahamas National Youth Choir (BNYC) under the direction of Dexter Fernander, presents a major choral work entitled: “I will lift up mine eyes” – A work by African American Composer Adolphus Hailstork. The concert is set to take place at Christ Church Cathedral, 7:30pm on October 26th and 27th, 2018.

Every five years, the BNYC endeavors to present a major musical work in collaboration with the Nazareth College String Ensemble. This year, the BNYC will join forces with the University of The Bahamas Choir under the direction of Dr. Paul Jones, the Adventist Vocal Ensemble, directed by Anton Bowe and C.V. Bethel’s Concert Band, conducted by Giovanni Clarke in addition to the Nazareth College String Ensemble to present, “I will lift up mine eyes”.

Gary Seydell

Tenor Gary Seydell.

As this work is a Cantata for Tenor solo, the featured tenor will be Gary Seydell. Seydell is an accomplished singer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from the University of Delaware, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance, and an Artist Diploma in Opera from The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He has performed throughout the United States, Australia, Fiji, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Ukraine and has also been a soloist and Opera Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy.

Candace-Bostwick- Bess

Candace Bostwick

The concert will also feature BNYC alumnus, Candace Bostwick. Bostwick has performed all over the world with the BNYC and was made a lifetime member in 2001. She is a current and founding member of the Bel Canto Singers and the Highgrove singers and is a frequent guest soloist for the BNYC. Nicole Jordan will also be a featured soloist.

The proceeds from this concert will assist BNYC’s education and touring programme.
Tickets are on sale at $25.00 each at Buy the Book (323 2665) West Bay Street. There is also a $20.00 group rate for groups of 10 or more and a $10.00 student rate.


Director Dexter Fernander said, “we’ve been extended two invitations and we would like to be able to accept them, but we can’t do that unless we have the funding. So, this is our way of trying to raise funding for ourselves. Therefore, the support from the public would be greatly appreciated .”

Over the years the choir has toured and given performances in twenty-eight countries on four continents including The United States, Canada, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Trinidad, Belize, Mexico, China, South Africa, and Swaziland. They have also sung in 25 languages including German, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Hungarian, Italian and five African languages.

CLICK HERE for event page on Facebook.




A R T / W O R K S H O P S:

The Current presents its Art Workshop
and Art Tour Schedule for October 2018

Monday–Saturdays | The Current Studio, Baha Mar


children’s art competition



“Art from the Heart” Kids’ Art Competition

Submission Deadline:
Saturday, Nov. 30th at 6pm

Furniture Plus is hosting a special art competition for children aged 8–18 called “Art from the Heart”. Submission deadline is November 30th, 2018. Kids are asked to create artwork from their hearts – something that shows the place where they feel most at home, happy and free. The competition wants kids to use their imagination to draw or paint that place where they feel connected to themselves and full of joy.

Winners receive a score of amazing prizes including $2,500 worth of kids’ bedroom furniture, scholarships, art supplies, and having their work showcased on Furniture Plus vehicles, plus more! For more information, full rules and entry form, please email

CLICK HERE for full details at the NAGB website.


art & culture stories
from the bahamas


Winners of the 35th Annual Central Bank
of The Bahamas Art Competition’s
Open Category

The-Dragon-and-Richardo-Barrett-Flamingo -whos-the-boss--2018

Richardo Barrett, "The Dragon and Flamingo, Who’s da boss?”, 2018.

Last night, the winners of the Open Category of the 35th Annual Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition were revealed. Artists were expected to represent the best of what they
were currently working on or had created in 2018.

The grand prize winner was Bahamian artist Richardo Barrett with his piece “The Dragon and Flamingo, Who’s da boss?”. Barrett receives an award of $7,500 and will be invited to exhibit in The Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery in 2019 for a solo exhibition, with the Bank’s support.


Bahamian artist Richardo Barrett.

Richardo’s statement about his piece:
“Bahamians often have huge concerns about foreign influences and its effects on our small country. As China makes large contributions, it’s hard to turn a blind eye to major developments like Baha Mar and The Pointe, which are both heavily impacted by China’s influence and funding. But regardless of the Bahamian people’s stance on the situation, we are forced to sit back in metaphorical chairs and watch what many people believe is a losing battle. Is this a partnership or a “box down”? This boxing match is one that has unforeseen outcomes and can impact our future for the better or the worse.”


Jeffrey Meris, “Now You See Me; Now You Don’t” (2018)

• • •

Winner of a $2,500 scholarship is Bahamian artist Jeffery Meris, currently studying for his MFA in art at Columbia University, NY, for his piece “Now You See Me; Now You Don’t”.

Jeffery’s statement about his piece:
“My practice revolves around the understanding of the construction of identity through an investigation of borders, migration and liminality. Through sculpture, video, installation, performance and intervention tactics the work aims to subvert one’s understanding of the interdependent relationship between space, place, individual and social. Both my genealogy and research oscillate within physical and conceptual space within Haiti, The Bahamas, and border dimensions. In Now You See Me; Now You Don’t, I am making specific reference to Ralph Ellison’s epic novel Invisible Man. Concerned with ideas of the schism between being invisible and hypervisible simultaneously, the work aims to both physically and conceptual erase itself over time challenging ideas around real estate, migration, ownership and ephemerality among other ideas.”

GiovannaSwaby GoingOutClothes

Giovanna Swaby, "Going Out Clothes”, (2018)

• • •

Judges also selected two Honorable Mentions from among the entries to two female artists. These were awarded to Samantha Treco for her piece “Census 1600” and Giovanna Swaby for her piece “Going Out Clothes”. Both will be invited to do a joint exhibition in 2019 with the Bank’s support.

This year’s judges were: John Cox, Shannkia Swann, Heino Schmid, Ava Turnquest, Natascha Vazquez, and Tessa Whitehead.

Census-1600 Samantha-Treco

Samantha Treco, “Census 1600” (2018)


Award-winning Bahamian artist leads students on creation of special artwork for Atlanta Hawks stadium

Special collaboration for the newly transformed home of the Hawks exposes Atlanta youth to the Arts.

Lillian Blades Hawks

Bahamian artist Lillian Blades (center).

Future Foundation students experienced an amazing introduction into the art world yesterday at an exclusive workshop with premier visual artists, led by the award-winning public artist, Bahamian Lillian Blades. The event that was held at the Jefferson Park Recreation Center in East Point, and included 1-on-1 instruction by National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) artists Charly Palmer, Okeeba Jubalo and Tracy Murrell. The students worked alongside the artists on Blades’ large format “True to Atlanta” inspired piece that will be a permanent display in the all-new State Farm Arena.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim, former Atlanta Hawks forward and founder of the Future Foundation shared, “I am ecstatic that the Future Foundation is partnering with the Atlanta Hawks and the National Black Arts Festival on this project. It provides us a unique opportunity to expose our youth to the arts and gives them an exciting chance to be part of a permanent mural that will impact the Atlanta community for generations to come!”

The collaboration was a result of a conversation between art consultant Amy Parry and Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim, CEO of the Future Foundation, when they realized there was an inherent synergy between the artist’s work and the Future Foundation’s mission to expose and educate youth with hands on encounters. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at the NBA website.


Singer and Former Miss Bahamas Universe 2015, Khiara Sherman (Source: sokah2soca)

Ministry of Tourism suffers second loss in copyright fight with former Bahamas beauty queen

by Neil Hartnell

The Ministry of Tourism has suffered a second defeat in its battle with an ex-Bahamian beauty queen-turned-songstress after a US judge dismissed its “breach of contract” counterclaim.

Senior judge Nancy Atlas, sitting in the southern Texas federal court, ruled that the ministry had failed to provide sufficient evidence to show Khiara Sherman’s deal with the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival organisers protected it from her copyright violation lawsuit.

The ministry’s case was founded on the former Miss Bahamas Universe’s 2015 agreement with the Bahamas National Festival Commission, which released the Junkanoo Carnival organiser and its sponsors from any copyright infringement liability over the use of her Fly Away With Me track.

As one of these “sponsors”, it claimed that Mrs Sherman agreed to “indemnify, release and hold harmless” the ministry for any damages relating to her participation in promotional activity involving the song.

As a result, the ministry alleged that her copyright infringement lawsuit over its use of Fly Away With Me in tourism promotions without her purported permission violates the song competition’s rules. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Tribune.

Nat Arts Festival-StAndrews

Students of St. Andrew's International School with their top prize. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

St. Andrew’s School wins top National Arts Festival Award

by Eric Rose

The St. Andrew’s International School achieved the Governor General’s Award at the 59th Annual E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival Awards Ceremony and Honours Concert, on September 27, 2018, in the Grand Ballroom of Grand Hyatt, Baha Mar.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle, Acting Permanent Secretary Rhoda Jackson, Director of Culture Rowena Poitier-Sutherland, Senior Cultural Officer with responsibility for the Festival Sonovia Pierre, Senior Youth Officer John Darville, Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas Amanda Coulson, and other culture and youth stakeholders joined the audience of about 700 persons in attendance, enjoying performances from various disciplines.

According to Ms. Pierre, approximately 5,500 students from 25 islands and cays took part in the recent Festival. Along with St. Andrew's, students and teachers earned a number of other special awards. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in the Bahamas Weekly.

Bacon Triptych

’Triptych (1974-77)’ by Francis Bacon. (Photographer: Shaun Curry/AFP via Getty Images)

Bahamian resident billionaire decorates $257 million yacht with landmark Francis Bacon artwork

by Benjamin Stupples

How do you decorate a superyacht’s interior? If you’re anything like London-born billionaire Joe Lewis, you might start with the works of one of your country’s most famous painters.

Billionaire Joe Lewis

Billionaire Bahamas-resident Joe Lewis, who spends most of his time in The Bahamas, has one of the largest private art collections in the world. (Photographer: Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)

Lewis’ 321-foot (98-meter) yacht, Aviva, has captivated the public since anchoring more than two weeks ago in the tourist-teeming docklands beside London’s Tower Bridge. While some passersby have asked who owns the vessel and ogled its gleaming exterior, those more familiar with Britain’s 20th century artists may have noticed what appears to be Francis Bacon’s “Triptych 1974–1977” hanging on its lower deck in golden frames.

“People put their art on yachts all the time, but usually it’s not their most valuable pieces,” Katja Zigerlig, vice president of art, wine and collectibles at insurance company Berkley One, said by phone. ”From a conservation standpoint, it’s not ideal,” and is akin to “taking your newborn on a safari trip to Africa.”

Lewis, 81, bought the work -- Bacon’s last triptych focused on the loss of his lover George Dyer, who committed suicide in 1971 -- a decade ago for 26.3 million pounds ($34.3 million). The piece is now worth about $70 million, according to a person with knowledge of the asset. The vessel it graces is estimated at $257 million, according to VesselsValue. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Bloomberg.

rosemary hanna

Rosemary Hanna (Photo by Duke Wells - Courtesy of Rosemary Hanna)

Preserver of Bahamian history

“Over-the-Hill people built The Bahamas, and we should never forget.” ~ Rosemary Hanna

by Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)

If ever there was a Bahamian who in recent times deserves recognition for attempting to preserve the history of Over-The-Hill, it is Rosemary Hanna.

Her love for the community is deeply rooted in the fact she spent 32 years living there and does not want people to forget its rich culture and heritage. To ensure this, Rosemary has secured a spot as a preserver of Bahamian history. She is author of “Pictorial History and Memories of Nassau’s Over-The-Hill.” She was also Executive Producer of the documentary film “Nassau’s Over-The-Hill” and Executive Producer and Host of the television series The Bahamas – Then and NOW, which ran for two seasons on Cable TV.

“I just love history. I just love The Bahamas. History needs to be mandatory throughout the school system. There is not enough emphasis on our own history. Today people are getting so caught up in the political back and forth that they have lost sight of their history,” said Rosemary. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at Over-the-Hill 242.

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Artist Susan Katz.

Cacique Artist in the Spotlight: Susan Katz

by Cacique International

Cacique International’s “Artist in the Spotlight” series is a journey into a thriving Bahamian art scene and a look at some of The Bahamas’ most exciting artists, pushing boundaries on island and around the world.

In this episode, Bostonian transplant Susan Katz paints us a picture of her journey navigating the waters of the art world. Susan works with oil, pastel, pen & ink and acrylic, but is most well known for her bold collages, in which she uses layering techniques, much like that of a painter to create depth and richness. Flying the Boston coop 21 years ago, Susan has been making strides in the Bahamian art community. Cacique’s conversation with Susan speaks to the evolving art climate in The Bahamas and how she has addressed socially-challenging themes such as racism, bigotry and sexism.


“Spotted Bikini” by Susan Katz

sue-katz-not gonna take it

“We're Not Gonna Take It!” by Susan Katz


SUE KATZ: For me, it’s key to create work that has meaning and depth – work that inspires a reaction from people, for good or bad. I believe that art needs to evoke feelings and emotions and, on some level, resonate with people. We all feel something when we look at art. We may hate it or fall in love with it, but that is the purpose of art. Art should make us think, ask questions and create dialogue. That’s not to say that every piece of art one does needs to be thought-provoking or have a message…sometimes we create just for the sheer beauty and the joy of being able to create!


Sue Katz at work in studio.


SK: Over the years, I have gone through many changes in my work. At one stage I was working with pencils, then acrylics, then oil pastels – the list goes on. Eventually I began to incorporate paper into my work and fell in love with collage. I have been using collage for many years and have been combining this with other mediums as well. This has led me to produce assemblage pieces, three-dimensional works that combine the use of collage with other elements such as small toys, buttons and anything else that I find which looks interesting and relates to the piece that I’m working on. My work has also become more conceptual in the fact that I now prefer to work on art that has a personal meaning or art that makes a statement in some way. [...]

CLICK HERE for full interview at Cacique International.

June Collie Dollhouse

June Collie. "Dollhouse", Fabrics and Mixed Media. 2018. Created for the D’Aguilar Art Foundation’s interactive exhibition, "pARTicipate!". (Image courtesy of Tessa Whitehead. Works courtesy of the artist.)

June Collie and the construction of beauty

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

There is one thing that is absolute about June Collie’s work: it makes me happy. Its layered, bold tapestries and lush, bright color transport me to my own imagined boudoir, where I languidly rub scented oils on my skin as I lay among soft silk pillows. I so easily see myself in her work. The bodies she paints are like mine, my mother’s, my grandmothers’ – they are familiar, easy-going and articulate beauty with a confidence that I have seen only in generations of unencumbered women. Her work captures this self-love; the sweetness of brushing your hair as you run bathwater, or the pleasure of listening to your favorite record as you drift off to sleep. Her work reminds viewers that they are the subject of their own desires and that their lives and bodies are beautiful in and of itself. Her most recent interactive installation, “Dollhouse”, created for the D’Aguilar Art Foundation’s “pARTicipate!”, does just this: it encourages the viewer to celebrate the beauty they find within themselves.

When it comes to art and the people artists depict in their work, the very act of capturing a particular form is to argue that it is beautiful. Unless of course the intended argument is that it is inherently not, but that is not what Collie does. Her artwork celebrates the beauty of her subjects in the most hedonistic of ways; it merges them with signifiers of sensual indulgence, such as ornate cloths, teas, or a spinning record player. Hedonism’s conflation of beauty and pleasure seems to be a theme by which Collie argues the beauty of her subjects – implying that the women she depicts are just as capable of giving pleasure – visual, sexual or otherwise – as the tapestries she layers in the background of her scenes. That is not to say however that the women within her work are depicted only as objects of desire. June Collie’s subjects are not victims of a gaze that strips them of their humanity. Rather, she argues that her subjects are beautiful by showing them interact with the lavish scenes that Collie creates for them, ultimately arguing that there is beauty in self-love, self-care and enjoying the pleasures of the world around you. [...]

CLICK HERE for full text at The Nassau Guardian.


A sweet Bahamian tradition for 90 years

by Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)

It’s been a sweet adventure for this family-owned and operated company for the past 90 years. Mortimer’s Candy Kitchen is a household name, serving a smorgasbord of homemade treats from cotton candy, candy-coated popcorn and refreshing snow cones to coconut cake, benny bars, peanuts, and fudge.

Since 1928, the Mortimer family has been making and dishing up sweet treats in a kaleidoscope of colours and flavours, cooked in copper kettles and cooled on marble tables. It’s a hallmark of a great old-fashioned candy store. A beloved place for locals and tourists who are sugar enthusiasts, the bright yellow store on the exterior and pink inside is a paradise for the little ones, but also the kid in us all!

Ulric Mortimer Snr. started making candy in Inagua, where he was taught by his mother. He was later encouraged by friends and family, including his wife Winifred, to go to New York and further his skills in candy making. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at Over-the-Hill 242.


Maxwell Taylor with two of his works (photo courtesy of Maxwell and Therese Taylor)

From the NAGB Collection:

“Burma Road” by Maxwell Taylor

Being biggity and
fighting for our rights.

by Natalie Willis

Maxwell Taylor is arguably the father of Bahamian art and his social critique of The Bahamas gives us good reason to believe so. Though Brent Malone is often hailed as such, he often referred the title to Taylor and we like to believe this was less to do with Malone’s graciousness (though certainly he was) and more to do with his admiration of the man. Taylor, along with his contemporaries Kendal Hanna and Brent Malone, all served particular functions in helping us to break down what visual culture in The Bahamas, and particularly engagement with it, can and should mean. First and foremost, all were intensely dedicated in perfecting their craft but their approaches to our landscape — physical, social, and spiritual — are as wildly different as the men themselves.

maxtaylor burma road

Maxwell Taylor, “Burma Road” (c. 2008), woodcut print on paper, 36 x 72½. (Part of the D’Aguilar Art Foundation Collection.)

Malone was a master of representation and lifelong student, showing his avid reading of art historical greats at any turn and digging into the spirit of this place through surrealism, mythology, and the heart of Junkanoo. Hanna’s rejection of representation was radical in its own right, in a Bahamas that was still concerned with the tropicalised beauty of this place. But Taylor’s socially conscious practice bravely gave form to the issues that the wider Bahamian public face, issues that were largely sidelined, hushed, and played down in favour of promoting the mythology of “paradise”. A beautiful landscape does not a beautiful society make, and Taylor was as adamant in his pursuit of printmaking perfection as he was in making our societal bruises known.

One particular bruise, though one worn with more pride, is his large woodcut print “Burma Road” (c. 2008). Already having mastered his medium by this point, after decades of work, Taylor’s “Burma Road” is a thoughtful but also puzzling illustration of this turning point in our social history. In the midst of this turmoil, of men marching and rioting in protest of their ill treatment during the end of the colonial era, and indeed during the beginning of our movement to independence, there is an important question to be asked. Why does Taylor have us wave the British flag aloft? A question that was posed to staff by Dr. Eddie Chambers (noted author and thinker on Black visual culture) on his visit to the NAGB and something that has unsettled us since. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at the NAGB website.


art stories from the region
and around the world

Veerle Poupeye profile

Caribbean art historian and curator Dr. Veerle Poupeye

Too Close for Comfort

Noted art historian and curator reflects on the ethics of the Caribbean art world.

by Dr. Veerle Poupeye

I have a bee in my bonnet. And I have been writing about it here and there on social media, as those who follow me on Facebook will have noticed. It is about the incestuousness, the cliquishness, and the endemic conflict of interest issues that plague the Caribbean art world. Issues that are, if they are even recognized, often quietly accommodated, buttressed by a disturbingly common “wink-wink, nod-nod, it’s all good as long as I benefit” mentality. Or even vociferously defended as being somehow desirable and beneficial to all, and justifiable in light of thesupposedly immense personal sacrifices made by those involved, etcetera. Yet these issues are also the greatest source of alienation, bitterness and division within the Caribbean art world and too much that is (or could be) of real value is not supported or ever seen because the person(s) associated with it are not “in the loop.” And while these issues are a common topic in hushed, “off the record” conversations throughout the region, they are only rarely spoken about in public, at least not in any detail. It appears that we are all afraid of shaking up that particular dolly house. Perhaps there is too much fear of repercussions, of being ostracized for not “playing along”?

I will be told that this is not unique to the Caribbean art world, that it is endemic throughout the global art world. And indeed, there are countless stories about curators including work by their lovers in the exhibitions or acquisitions they are handling, and about art jobs and appointments being negotiated in the bedroom, and there is significant, inappropriate overlap between the for-profit, market functions of the art world and those that are supposed to be not-for-profit and for the public benefit. I won’t bother going into detail here, but I don’t think I am exaggerating one bit when I claim that some do not even seem to understand the fundamental difference between an art fair and a biennial, with one being an art market event and the other a supposedly non-profit exhibition, and perhaps understandably so because those boundaries have become blurred. But somehow it feels worse, and more damaging here in the Caribbean, perhaps because there is still more at stake, in terms of artists and other art professionals who are competing for scarce resources and opportunities, and who often do not get the support and compensation their efforts or talents deserve, and in terms of the broader social stakes. [...]

CLICK HERE for full text at author’s blog.

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Caribbeing’s founders, Janluk Stanislas and Shelley Worrell (image courtesy of Caribbeing).

Caribbean organization alleges Brooklyn Arts Council misused their intellectual property

Caribbeing sent a cease and desist to the BAC in July regarding their alleged use of the term “Caribpolitan” in a recent exhibition.

by Jasmine Weber

Brooklyn-based organization Caribbeing has voiced concerns over the Brooklyn Arts Council’s alleged use of the company’s term “Caribpolitan,” a term they say is under common law trademark by their organization, in a legal note to the organization, requesting a cease-and-desist for the use of the phrase. Caribbeing raised concerns after the BAC’s incorporation of the term “Caribpolitan,” and “Caribtropolis” in exhibition and social media programming for its current exhibition, Nou La – We Reach! at the Wyckoff House Museum. They have requested the BAC pay a fine for the term’s supposed unauthorized usage with proper public accreditation, or halt all usage within ten days of receiving the letter, dated July 11.

Based in Brooklyn, Caribbeing aims to raise awareness and create programming surrounding urban Caribbean art and culture through exhibitions, workshops, and other efforts. The term “Caribpolitan” expands on popularized phrases like “Afropolitan” to verbalize diasporic experiences and the unique realities of immigrant and second generation culture abroad. Caribbeing defines their iteration of the term on their website: [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Hyperallergic.


Understanding contemporary Caribbean art outside of the Latin American framework

Trying to subsume the Caribbean into a discourse of Latin America or America, curators argue, limits the ability to account for differences between islands.

Blac Bullets Ehlers-720x407

Jeannette Ehlers,” Black Bullets” (2012), video still, 5:05 (image courtesy the artist)

by Gwen A. Unger

Even with the rising influx of exhibitions focused on Latin American art, the Caribbean has yet to be given such expansive exposure. When contemporary Caribbean art is represented in exhibitions, more often than not, countries that do not qualify as Spanish-speaking are omitted. Where do these countries fit, if not in a Latin American model, or a North American model? Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago — now on view at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University — attempts to answer this challenge.

Before making its way to the Wallach Art Gallery, Relational Undercurrents was first curated and organized as an exhibition for Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles/Latin America at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach (MOLAA), California. Pacific Standard Time (PST), an initiative started by the Getty Foundation, focuses on various cultural themes of Southern California, in collaboration with arts institutions of the region. The most recent iteration, Los Angeles/Latin America (or LA/LA) took place from September 2017 to January 2018, and focused on the dialogue between Latin American and Latino art and Los Angeles. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Hyperallergic.


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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