Smith and Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART and CULTURE’ Issue No. 341 Sharing Art and Cultural News of The Bahamas for 18 Years • • • • CLICK HERE to se


Smith and Benjamin’s
Issue No. 341

Sharing Art and Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 18 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

“Italy” (2018) by Bahamian artist Allan Pachino Wallace
• • •
Italy is one of Wallace’s paintings currently on display in the
D’Aguilar Art Foundation’s latest exhibition, MUSE, curated for
the Transforming Spaces art tour this year.
• • •
See story below on “The Making of MUSE”.


Friday, April 20th, 2018


what’s happening in
art & cultural events




F A I R S :

BNT’s National Park Day 2018

TOMORROW: Saturday, April 21st, 2018 | 8am–4pm
Ten BNT Parks throughout The Bahamas

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Tomorrow, April 21st, 2018, is internationally celebrated as the beginning of National Park Week, and this year the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) will be kicking it off right in The Bahamas. Join them as they host their first annual National Park Day. National parks are some of The Bahamas’ most beautiful sites and there are 32 of these unique parks around the country. This fee-free day provides a great opportunity to visit one of these amazing parks and take part in some amazing activities.

On New Providence, there will be fairs at the 3 parks: The Retreat, Bonefish Pond, and The Primeval Forest National Parks, all with their own amazing collection of experiences and activities. Which one will you choose? Or how many will you visit? You can go birdwatching or learn some yoga at The Retreat, Paddleboarding or snorkeling at Bonefish Pond or Cave-exploring and touring at Primeval Forest! See you there!

CLICK HERE for more details at event’s Facebook page.
CLICK HERE for BNT’s National Parks Day promo video.

BNT Earth Day
NAGB Teen Portfolio

W O R K S H O P :

Teen Portfolio Workshop

TOMORROW: Sat., April 21st
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

For the second time this year the NAGB is offering a FREE portfolio workshop on Saturday, April 21, 2018 for aspiring young artists with big hopes and dreams who are applying for entry into college/university art programmes in 2018 or 2019. Our January workshop had a huge impact and we received amazing feedback from all of our participants.

“I would definitely recommend this workshop to everyone interested in art. It doesn't really matter about your style or preferred art form, it's all art and that's what I loved!” – Portfolio Workshop participant, January ’18.

We want to do our best to support these young artists and know how daunting college/university applications can be (We have all been there!), so please let us help you learn the ins and outs of creative arts applications. A little extra knowledge goes such a long way to making your application stand out in the ways that count.

Call the NAGB at 328-5800 during weekdays or email our Education Officer Katrina Cartwright at


A R T & C R A F T :

Art for Sail 2018

TOMORROW: Saturday, April 21st, 2018 | 6pm–9pm
1er (Premier) Cru, Gladstone Road, Nassau


The Bahamas National Sailing School (BNSS) is hosting their sixth annual art show, ‘Art for Sail’, tomorrow, Saturday, April 21st at 1er Cru, Gladstone Road, from 6–9 p.m. As always, there will be a great line up of talented local artists and craftspeople showcasing their work and donating a generous percentage of sales to the BNSS.

The sailing school, which is totally self-funded, relies on fundraising events such as this to maintain its year-round programme in which children from all walks of life can learn and enjoy the skill of sailing. Some of the proceeds also go towards the costs involved in sending some of our top young sailors to represent The Bahamas at international events worldwide.


Artwork by Thomas Hairston


Photo by Montez Kerr


Artwork by Katerina Kovatcheva

All are welcome to come and peruse the tremendous variety of work for sale which includes: original art and prints by Thomas Hairston, Malcolm Rae, Toby Lunn, Allan P. Wallace, Marco Mullings, Katerina Kovatcheva, Trevor Tucker, Quentin Minnis and Ryan Turnquest. Photography by Montez Kerr, Jewellery by Ava Forbes, Ras Hailu and Nadia Campbell. Textiles by Emma Tinkler and Tiff Barrett. Glassworks by Nouveau Glassworks, woodturning by Celestine Albury and soaps and scents by Cia Monet.

Attending this very special show is not only an opportunity to support our National Sailing School and its operations, but also to support local artistic Bahamian talent. Admission is $25 and free for children under 16. This includes a complimentary glass of wine or beer and a great selection of hors d’oeuvres. Last year’s show was an outstanding success and “Art for Sail” is fast becoming one of the top art events in The Bahamas.

CLICK HERE for more details at event’s Facebook page.




A R T / E V E N T :

Friday Night Live!

Friday, April 28th
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

The NAGB is working hard to bring The Bahamas new and better programming. Introducing Friday Night Live!, a one-of-kind event at the gallery that is perfect for an evening out with the family, a first date, or just to experience the NAGB after hours.

For the price of regular admission, you can experience a special tour of “We Suffer to Remain”, the NAGB’s newest exhibition. Also you can draw in the galleries, join an interactive drop-in workshop inspired by our latest exhibition, “Traversing the Picturesque: For Sentimental Value”, get live with awesome Nassau-based band, Willis and the Illest, enjoy food by POW and Cassava Grille and more! It’ll only come around once a quarter so don’t miss out on this incredible bit of Spring fun and delight. You won’t be disappointed.

CLICK HERE for the event’s Facebook page.

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E X H I B I T I O N :

Woman’s Tongue: A Social Commentary
Art Show by Carla Campbell

Friday, May 11th, 2018 | at 6:30pm
Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, Village Road

Carla-Campbell-Woman s-Tongue

“Art should comment on society and call it by its name.”
– Carla Campbell

Bahamian artist and educator, Carla Campbell, invites the public to a solo exhibition of her work on Friday, May 11th at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery on Village Road. The show entitled “Woman’s Tongue”, is an exhibition dedicated to Campbell’s impassioned commentary on the social ills in our community, particularly concerning women and children.

The title comes from the oft-occurring tree in our Bahamian landscape called the Albizia Lebbeck, or ‘Woman’s Tongue’. It’s nickname comes from the sound of the tree’s seed pods that rattle and purr whenever the winds blow. Whether the nickname was given to revere or mock the sound of a woman’s voice, the power of this tree can not be denied as it turns the head of all when it makes its sound and for its known properties to heal.

Like the ‘Woman’s Tongue’ tree, the artistic stories presented by Campbell may be heard as a cacophony of noise or the melody of a harsh truth. The exhibited artwork unashamedly explores some of the most controversial social issues affecting Bahamian society today.

The opening night event will also serve as a fundraiser for charities that are dedicated to helping those affected by these very same social issues. Entrance is free and refreshments will be served.

CLICK HERE for Carla’s Facebook page.


calls for artists

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The Davidoff Art Initiative seeks residency applications from Bahamian artists

Submission Deadline:
Mon., April 30th, 2018

Applications are now open for two prestigious Davidoff Art Initiative art residencies. The residencies are in Bogotá, Colombia – FLORA ars + natura (September–November 2018) and in Basel, Switzerland at Atelier Mondial/ Institut Kunst FHNW - (October–December 2018) respectively.

With the goal of creating a conduit for professional mobility, cultural immersion, and creative exchange, the Davidoff Art Residency collaborates with five global venues to host yearly residencies for select artists from the Caribbean. Additionally, several international artists, as well as curators and writers, participate in a three-month residency in the Dominican Republic. Artist residency programs assist working artists to develop their specific skills, connect within global cultural networks, earn exposure for their research and practice, and share their expertise with locals and other creatives.

Primarily, Davidoff Artist residencies, are open to artists, curators, and writers living and working in the wider Caribbean region, with the exception of the residency at Altos de Chavón, Dominican Republic, which is open by invitation only.
The second defining criteria of eligibility is a certain degree of maturity in one’s artistic career. Therefore applications are welcomed from emerging to mid-career creative individuals. [...]

CLICK HERE for full details and how to apply.

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Youth Ambassadors Program with Argentina and Chile Lens: “Multiculturalism – Looking at New Mexico”.

Youth Ambassadors Cultural Educational Programme seeks Nassau applicants

Submission Deadline:
Friday, May 11th, 2018

The U. S. Embassy Nassau is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the New Providence Youth Ambassadors with the Caribbean Programme. Students from New Providence will be able to apply for this prestigious programme April 16–May 11, 2018. The program will take place in the United States August 7 – 28, 2018.

The Youth Ambassadors Programme with the Caribbean is a 3-week leadership exchange in the United States for teenagers ages 15–18 and adult mentors from the Caribbean. The programme provides full scholarships for participants to take part in cultural-educational programming focused on civic engagement and social entrepreneurship.

Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, the programme aims to develop a cadre of young adults throughout the Americas who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to their communities, an awareness of current and global issues, and strong interpersonal leadership skills. The programme aims to promote mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between people in the United States and other countries of the Western Hemisphere.

CLICK HERE for entry portal at the Youth Ambassadors website.
CLICK HERE for more info about the programme.

Tilting AxisFellowship2018

Tilting Axis Curatorial Fellowship 2018 Open Call

Submission Deadline:
Friday, May 18th, 2018

As a direct outcome of the Tilting Axis meeting held at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands in May 2017, the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) Art Galleries at Black Studies has come together with Tilting Axis to offer a Curatorial Fellowship to an emerging curator living and working in the Caribbean.

This Fellowship opportunity focuses on curators living and working within the Caribbean region, and is both research and practice-led, and mentor-based. The Fellow will receive a maximum of USD$5,500 towards a fee, travel, accommodation and living costs. The Fellowship is supported by University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) Art Galleries at Black Studies.

Proposals will be judged by an international jury consisting of curators, academics, and museum professionals, after which three (3) shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview via Skype.

The Fellow will be selected on the basis of a letter of interest stating how this opportunity and access to collections and archives would inform and develop their curatorial practice, and why they think they would be a good candidate. The proposal should be no longer than 1000 words [...]

CLICK HERE for full details on how to apply.


art & culture news
from the bahamas

Sonia Farmer

Bahamian writer & artist Sonia Farmer.

Bahamian artist to open
‘true and exact’ exhibition
in Barbados

The Fresh Milk Art Platform in St. George, Barbados is excited to present their next public event — an exhibitio, poetry installation, and panel discussion on A True & Exact History – an erasure poem by award-winning Bahamian writer & artist Sonia Farmer, using the writings of 1600s English writer Richard Ligon entitled“A True & Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes” (1657) as its source material and inspiration.

“I consider my writing practice a tool for disrupting and investigating existing narratives, forming a response that is not necessarily preoccupied with making new narratives to replace them, but rather exposing different narratives as a parallel, ultimately calling into question the inherent power structure in the existing narrative...”
— Sonia Farmer


Installation shot of ‘A True & Exact History’ on display as part of the exhibition ‘We Struggle to Remain' at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. (Photo: courtesy of the NAGB and Dante Carrer.)

The opening night & artist talk will be held at 6:30pm, Monday April 30, 2018 at Fresh Milk, Walkers Dairy, St. George, Barbados, and the exhibition will also be open for viewing on Tuesday May 1, 2018 between 10am–2pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Sonia will be in conversation about her work with Ayesha Gibson-Gill, Cultural Officer for Literary Arts at the National Cultural Foundation, and Tara Inniss, Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

CLICK HERE for more details at Fresh Milk website.

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Jodi Minnis, Self Portrait, 2018, 16″x20″, Oil on Wood Panel

Bahamian artist selected for North Carolina art residency

The Power Plant Gallery, a laboratory for documentary and experimental art practices at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is pleased to announce the two artists selected for their Summer 2018 Art Residency. Bahamian artist Jodi Minnis was one of the artists chosen. She will receive a stipend of $750 and 24/7 access to the Power Plant Gallery, a 1500-square-foot space located in downtown Durham. The gallery will hold public hours during each residency, inviting patrons to learn about each artist’s process and work.

Jodi shared, “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to seeing how my work grows over this time.”

Jodi Minnis (born 1995, Nassau, The Bahamas) is a mixed media artist that explores sexuality, femininity and cultural identity through performance, installation and 2-dimensional media. She investigates and challenges doctrines, principles and life experiences that shaped her maturity. Being born on an island, molded in femininity, and carved by Christian doctrine, she reflects on these things and uses her work to question their impact on her life. Through a variety of media, Minnis hopes to expose herself as a young Bahamian female.

CLICK HERE for Power Plant Gallery website.


The work of Allan P. Wallace (left) is inspired by the work of R. Brent Malone, "The Father of Bahamian art", on the right.

The Making of MUSE

When two artists are inspired by the indefinable muse…

The stunning work of two powerful Bahamian artists currently commands the gallery walls of the D’Aguilar Art Foundation (DAF) downtown in what can only be described as a striking juxtaposition of masterpieces.

The first artist, the elder of the two, is not only a master artist, but he is “the” Bahamian master artist to whom all other Bahamian artists regard with sincere deference. Interestingly, the ‘Master’ is also the ‘Muse’ of the younger artist in the exhibition, and their work together create a mystical ‘double dutch’ between the acclaimed elder, who passed away 14 years ago and whose own muses saturate his canon, and the younger – who is gaining a name for himself as the current “Rock Star” of the Bahamian art scene.


Marysa views her father's work (left) juxtaposed with a piece by Allan Wallace.


Allan P. Wallace (right) and Marysa Malone, daughter of R. Brent Malone, gift each other art.

It is a rare thing to see a male master artist considered ‘a muse’; ‘muse’ having a distinctly feminine connotation. But it is the premise of this new and exciting DAF exhibition that opened during the popular Transforming Spaces (TS) Art Tour in mid-March 2018.

The master & muse is none other than R. Brent Malone, MBE, loved and lauded throughout The Bahamas for his exquisite artistic skill and decidedly ‘Bahamian’ body of work. His beautifully rendered paintings are prized possessions and only his well-known magnanimity of heart outdistances his talent and ability. Throughout his career, he earned numerous accolades and awards, and even a distinguished honour from the Queen. His magnificent contribution to the Bahamian art narrative has deservedly earned him the honorific title – “The Father of Bahamian Art”.

The second artist, whose work in this show is directly inspired by Malone’s, is Allan Pachino Wallace – a highly prolific intuitive artist phenom who has become an international internet sensation for his uncanny celebrity portraits made of unconventional media like salt, coffee grounds, and dirt. His lush renaissance-style murals and paintings are seen everywhere from the sides of commercial buildings on Bay Street to canvases in posh suites at Albany Resort. He is brilliant, vigorous, and bristling with creative energy. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at the D’Aguilar Foundation website.

kamilah musician

Bahamian musician Kamilah – "I think because The Bahamas is such an intricately woven part of my identity, I want to carry elements of home visually and sonically in my music – reimagine how more traditional sounds can find a place in my fusionistic approach." (Photo by Lissy Laricchia)

Spotlight on Bahamian musician blazing a trail in NYC

by Cacique International

The new edgy blog of Cacique International, one of Nassau’s leading destination management companies, often features prodigious Bahamian talent excelling in the visual, culinary and musical arts fields. The newest artist to be showcased is defiantly-undefinable Bahamian-Jamaican “fusionistic soul artiste’ Kamilah who is blazing a trail through the New York City music scene. Here is an interview Cacique had with Kamilah. Check it out.


Kamilah: My music education definitely started with my mom. She isn’t a musician herself, but she is a big music listener. More often than not, there was music playing in my house. I have been in and out of music lessons since age 5 (I started with piano and played violin for a little over a year then moved to guitar). I started a band with some friends in 4th grade; we called ourselves ‘Fire’ - I wrote a few of my first completed songs for the band. I participated in musicals and took part in music competitions in high school and continued playing guitar and writing once I started university. I’ve always loved music. A nightmare for me is a world without music.

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Bahamian musician Kamilah (Photo by Leo Mascaro)


K: Fusion – like so much of the music in the global soundscape these days. I love experimenting with sound and rhythm and melody. My music is soul music… a little jazz, a little folk, a little electronic/ alt R&B. I’m influenced by Reggae/Dancehall, Junkanoo, Hip Hop, and traditional African percussion, among other things. Somewhere along the way, people will decide what they hear. I just want to make people feel. Sometimes music helps us learn something about ourselves we didn’t know before. I just hope to connect with people. [...]

CLICK HERE for full interview at Cacique’s website.
CLICK HERE to watch “1600 Miles” by Kamilah.

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Bahamian IT expert Reneldo Russell.

Bahamian IT expert creates a plan to end government corruption in The Bahamas

After listening to the cries from all sectors of society for an end to corruption in government, IT expert Reneldo Russell shares how he developed a plan that would establish full transparency and make sure every cent in the public purse is accounted for.

by Felicity Ingraham

Reneldo Russell is an information technology professional who has created a comprehensive 33-page document called “Silicon Country – A Better Bahamas Through Technology.” It addresses the many ways in which The Bahamas could benefit from technology implemented correctly. The document covers a wide range of topics, including health, National Insurance, the Road Traffic Department, e-voting, land registry, tax and fraud.

“I have a passion for technology, but I have even more of a passion for ensuring that life for the general population is more efficient, and technology is obviously the easiest way for that to occur,” he told Tribune Weekend.

If considered for implementation, he said, not only would his plan cause the country to benefit from an efficient Treasury that secures all of the money the government collects, but it stands to create an easier way to do business. This is important, especially in light of the fact that most people complain of the inefficiency of government offices in terms of customer service, so much so that it’s often joked about. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story on pg 4 of The Tribune Weekend.


Voting opens on the new design of The Central Bank of The Bahamas

Voting closes:
April 23, 2018
at 8pm.

Voting is now open to choose the new design of The Central Bank of The Bahamas and the new City of Nassau.

The Central Bank of The Bahamas needs a new home and they want your help selecting an architectural design for the new building and an urban design plan for the City of Nassau. NASSAU REIMAGINED is the people’s opportunity to have a say as we reimagine Nassau together.

The offices of the Central Bank sprawl across many different buildings, spanning several streets in Downtown Nassau. They want to bring everyone under one roof and rejuvenate the areas around the bank. So they’re collaborating with the Government to reimagine their corporate home and the City of Nassau.

This will revolutionize downtown. Eleven designs to choose from. VOTE TODAY!

CLICK HERE to vote today.


Visions of The Bahamas: The Hotel
Industrial Complex and the NAGB

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Image: “Shake, Swing & Goombay" by Max Taylor on view at the Blue Note Piano Lounge in Baha Mar.

Marina Reyes Franco, recipient of the 2017 Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) Travel Award, reflects on her research trip to The Bahamas, its colonial history, the hotel industrial complex, and the impact of tourism on cultural production.

by Marina Reyes Franco

• • •

“...The aim now is to dismantle inherited hierarchies and histories crafted by people who looked at Bahamians through their own, racist, colonial, patriarchal lens and make ourselves present in three-dimensional vibrancy...”Natalie Willis

In An Eye for the Tropics, [Bahamian] art historian Krista A. Thompson explains that the images of Jamaica and The Bahamas as tropical paradises full of palm trees, white sandy beaches, and inviting warm water seem timeless and natural but their origins can be traced back to the roots of the islands’ tourism industry in the 1880s. During that period, tourism promoters backed by British colonial administrators and American business interests began to market Jamaica and The Bahamas as the origin of their desirable fruit products and picturesque destinations. They hired photographers and artists to create carefully crafted representations, which then circulated internationally via postcards, illustrated guides and even “magic lantern” lectures given by photographers who created the images and narratives to suit specific business interests. Corporations like United Fruit Company used their “Great White Fleet” boats to transport bananas from Jamaica —the original “banana boat”— but they also transported tourists. Iconic hotels such as the Myrtle Bank Hotel in Kingston and the Colonial Hotel in Nassau served as racialized spaces of power.

No Abstract Art Here  2006 . Part of the Real Bahamian Art Series by Dionne Benjamin-Smith. On display at the NAGB as part of the new Permanent Exhibition Revisiting An Eye For The Tropics

’No Abstract Art Here’, Part of the ‘Real Bahamian Art Series’ (2006) by Dionne Benjamin-Smith. On display at the NAGB as part of the new Permanent Exhibition 'Revisiting An Eye For The Tropics'. Original painting by Dorman Stubbs. (From the Dawn Davies Collection.)

Throughout my trips around the region, Thompson’s book has been a point of reference and blue print for my approach, but in The Bahamas and Jamaica I was actually able to revisit the sites she was referring to. The visions of each country are framed through tourism campaigns, developer’s plans, brochures, travel guides, Airbnb, as much as they are by historical constructions and preconceived notions. I traveled to The Bahamas in October 2017, eager to connect with contemporary artists, institutions and independent spaces to learn about the impact of tourism in cultural production, but also about the service industry in general, the creation of resorts, cruise ship ports, and the privatization of beaches. The hotel or resort is an interesting subject that would come up again and again during these trips. I went to many hotels during my visit to The Bahamas and some, I was surprised to find out, also aim to be public cultural spaces. [...]

CLICK HERE for full text at

NAGB Ampitheatre-6

(All Photos courtesy of NAGB/Blue Orchid)

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas opens Nassau’s first amphitheatre

The opening of the new Fiona’s Theatre is a moment of remembrance, celebration and love.

by Malika N Pryor

At the NAGB, we’d like to think that every special event we hold is one-of-a-kind. However, Friday April 6th, 2018 was particularly spectacular as it marked the naming ceremony and formal opening of Fiona’s Theatre. The only amphitheatre in New Providence, the bowl shaped auditorium is a part of a long and storied history that ties its earliest recorded use to its current purpose.

For more than two years, the NAGB has been working in partnerships – both formal and informal – to enhance the accessibility of its campus by increasing it in both size and diversity of use. By first securing the adjacent property some years before and then engaging its improvement—what was for several years, perhaps decades, abandoned and misused—the property slowly transformed into the burgeoning NAGB Sculpture Garden. Now featuring three installations, dozens of native tree species and community farm element that will be managed by the NAGB’s new Junior Arts Council, what was once a hotspot for nearby thieves has transformed into an open and increasingly vibrant space.

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Adjacent to the garden is Fiona’s Theatre, which was imagined first by a young architect and Alexiou & Co. The idea was shared by NAGB Director, Amanda Coulson with a family that had graciously donated to the museum in the past. Intended to be a sharing of vision rather than “an ask” as non-profit professionals in development would say, the donors, who prefer anonymity, made a determination that surprised Coulson and would facilitate a new and energised space for the NAGB to share with the surrounding community and all of The Bahamas.

However, more than two centuries ago the very same property served nearby communities like Bain and Grants Town and beyond. Once linked to The Bahamas’ first African hospital, the property, which sits against the eastern wall of Hospital Lane provided services to Black Bahamians that were made unavailable to them at other health centres on New Providence. Recorded on island maps as early as 1760, the facility was one of healing, where some of the very same plants growing in Sculpture Garden might have been put to good use. The structure, which anchors the amphitheatre is believed to be the last original building connected to the now fabled locale. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at the NAGB.
CLICK HERE for video of the theatre opening.

NAGB-Galanis Backside

Tamika Galanis, “Backside, New Providence”, photography, 2015. (Image courtesy the artist.)

Potter’s Cay

Markets and the importance of public spaces.

by Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett, The University of The Bahamas

“Traversing the Picturesque: For Sentimental Value”, [the newest exhibition at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas], provides an invaluable view into the way the islands have been visioned for decades. It is a unique and important show that serves as a historical and current window into a perspective that adds value to our discussions and to how we see ourselves. Working in tandem with “We Suffer to Remain”, both shows provide an incredibly fruitful and open discussion for the cultural materialism and intermateriality cross-materiality that allows deeper and broader understanding of where we live and how we live here. The latter show deals with the loss of tangible and intangible cultural heritage of slavery through erasure. The periphery, the colony where the history physically took place has gutted its memory through a process of deletion and writing over.

The opportunity for coupled viewing and discussion prevents either work from dominating the story as if it were the only story being told. In fact, this is a unique opportunity to see us as we see us and how others see us, a history of double consciousness and double voicing, where, as Krista Thompson discusses in An Eye for the Tropics (2006), primacy of place is not taken by picturesque or the tourist product, but the conversation, the view, the reality is buttressed by the fact that both ‘versions’ coexist, sometimes more happily than others. This coexistence provides an opportunity to challenge the way we package our culture and the manner in which we deconstruct it for the salience of one version that disregards the local cultural materialism for a gentrified or sanitised version of the story. Space and place play an incredibly important role in this discussion. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at the NAGB website.


Scottish artist Graham Fagen

Over 800
million souls

Part Two of an interview with artist Graham Fagen, whose work is currently on show at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Fagen speaks on Scottish cultural amnesia and gazing into the mouth of silenced histories.

by Natalie Willis

We continue where we left off with Graham Fagen last week on discussing his work, “The Slave’s Lament” (2015) in the collaborative exhibition, “We Suffer To Remain”.

Natalie Willis: Where do you situate your voice in the work and in the overall exhibition? In “The Slave’s Lament” do you see yourself in the work, or more as a facilitator?

Graham Fagen: You as the artist, in collaborating with people, start with an aim as to what you think you could achieve, or what you hope you could achieve. When you start the process it needs to allow space and room for other people to offer what they want to bring to the project. I suppose I was directing their influence and then having them step back, and then I would take that influence on to each stage. When I see the work, for me it’s Ghetto Priest’s, the Scottish ensemble’s, it’s lots of other people’s work. And that’s good, I like that as an artist, when what you make belongs to others.

NW: That’s important, I think, given the content of the work and the history it speaks to. How much did you learn in school about the slave trade, or how was it framed for you?

GF: In school, we learnt nothing…

NW: Nothing at all about it?! Not one lesson?

GF: Nothing. At school we were taught that Robert Burns was our Scottish cultural heritage, but away from school, I was listening to Jamaican Reggae. Many years after I left school, through my own research, I discovered much more on him that was disconcerting. At school, you’re not given The Slave’s Lament as one of Burns’ songs, you’re taught a very particular history of Burns. You’re not taught that he had booked three trips to go to Jamaica on a sugar plantation as an overseer of slaves. [...]

CLICK HERE for full interview at the Nassau Guardian.

The Pain Of Pleasure

A poetic exploration
of pain and pleasure

by Jeffarah Gibson

Two contrasting events in her life – a time of sadness and an occasion for elation – inspired budding Bahamian author Ericka Denise Pierre to write her newest book.

With “The Pain of Pleasure,” a collection of poems, she wants to show readers her unique perspective on life and encourage them to find light in darkness. “Two major events in my life inspired me to create a book of all my poems written over the years,” Ericka told Tribune Weekend.

“The first was a death of a staff member, the late Dominique Bullard. We as the management team created a tribute board in her honour and I wrote a poem dedicated to Dominique. The poem was read and appreciated by many, mainly the Breakwater Staff. They valued it and it kept motivating me to write a book.

“The other was when I had the opportunity to perform in front of the Prime Minister in 2016 at St. Mark’s Baptist Church. My local church was preparing for the annual Fox Hill Day celebration, and as always, I wanted to recite a poem. The focus of the poem was around freedom and I could not find any poem that expressed how I felt and how I wanted others to feel when it was read. So it was then I decided to write my own, and I did just that. It was titled ‘Pathway to Freedom’. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story on pg 18 of The Tribune Weekend.
CLICK HERE to view book on Amazon.


art and culture in the
region and the world

postcolonial painting

Meleko Mokgosi, "Bread, Butter, and Power" (2018) (detail) (Image courtesy of the artist and Honor Fraser/Photo by Monica Nouwens)

Paintings that question the promises of postcolonial democracy

Meleko Mokgosi questions democratic ideals in his paintings of contemporary life in Botswana.

by Abe Ahn

In Meleko Mokgosi’s paintings of contemporary life in the south African nation of Botswana, he suggests that the promises of postcolonial democracy may be unevenly distributed or realized. The works are the latest chapter of Mokgosi’s ongoing Democratic Intuition project, in which he invites viewers to consider how democratic ideals can be undermined or complicated by the realities of the present. Currently, they are on view in Bread, Butter, and Power at the Fowler Museum.

Combining elements of social realism, history painting, and the artist’s own scholarship, the installation can sometimes feel pedantic. Hanging by a bookshelf lined with the artist’s scholarly and literary influences, one panel reproduces (in painting) part of an academic essay about the semiotics of gender (complete with footnotes) as if to prescribe an entry into the artist’s choice of images and references. But even with the essay, the paintings remain open-ended and enigmatic. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Hyperallergic.

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One of the monuments to lynching victims in the National Memorial for Peace and Justice Equal Justice Initiative

Alabama memorial confronts America’s racist history

A site dedicated to the 4,400 known victims of lynching and a museum about the country’s legacy of inequality opens.

by James H. Miller

The first public museum and memorial to the victims of racial terror in the US—specifically, the 4,400 known African Americans lynched between 1877 and 1950—opens this month in Montgomery, Alabama with the aim of reconciliation during a period of deep unrest. “There is still so much to be done in this country to recover from our history of racial inequality,” says Bryan Stevenson, the founding director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), which spearheaded the project. “We can achieve more in America when we commit to truth-telling about our past.”

After two years of planning and construction, and having raised an estimated $20m from Google, the Ford Foundation and private philanthropists such as the billionaire activist siblings Pat and Jon Stryker, the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice will be inaugurated with a two-day “peace and justice summit” starting on 26 April. Speakers and performers include the activists Marian Wright Edelman and Gloria Steinem, Al Gore and hip-hop artists The Roots and Common. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at The Art Newspaper.

gyneclogist statue

J. Marion Sims was a gynecologist in the 1800s who purchased Black female slaves and used them as guinea pigs for his untested surgical experiments. He repeatedly performed genital surgery on Black women without anasthesia because according to him, "Black women don't feel pain.” Despite his inhumane tests on Black women, Sims was named “the father of modern gynecology”. (Photo: BYP100)

Statue of ‘Father of Gynecology’ who experimented on slaves, no longer on pedestal in NYC

by Camila Domonoske

New York City has removed a statue of J. Marion Sims, a 19th-century gynecologist who experimented on enslaved women, from a pedestal in Central Park.

The statue will be moved to a cemetery in Brooklyn where Sims, sometimes called the “father of gynecology,” is buried. A new informational plaque will be added both to the empty pedestal and the relocated statue, and the city is commissioning new artwork to reflect the issues raised by Sims’ legacy.

The 1890s statue was installed across the street from the New York Academy of Medicine in 1934, with a plaque praising Sims' “brilliant achievement.” Sims perfected a technique to repair fistulas, which are holes between the vagina and the bladder or rectum and can lead to incontinence, by repeatedly conducting painful experimental surgeries on enslaved black women without using anesthesia. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article on NPR.

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Mike Murawski and LaTanya Autry’s T-shirt, designed to "spark conversations about the role of museums" Mike Murawski

Museums have a duty to be political

Activist curators and directors can make truly democratic spaces, but they need brave boards to support them.

by Jillian Steinhauer

The former director of the Queens Museum in New York, Laura Raicovich, was celebrated for her political outspokenness. “At Queens Museum, the Director Is as Political as the Art” read the headline of a New York Times profile last October. Less than four months later, Raicovich abruptly announced her resignation. “There are so many big things that art and culture have to contend with that are so wrong in the world,” she told the New York Times. “I just felt that my vision and that of the board weren’t in enough alignment to get that done.”

Raicovich presented the decision to leave as her own; the Queens Museum board later claimed that it forced her, after an independent investigation of her handling of an Israel-sponsored event found that she “knowingly misled the board”. Either way, it seems clear that the board did not fully support her activism, including her closure of the museum on Donald Trump’s inauguration day, in step with calls for an “art strike” by prominent artists and critics, to hold a free protest sign-making event instead. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article at The Art Newspaper.

curator Karen Serres

Curator Karen Serres at London’s Courtauld Gallery on March 18, 2015. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Eurostar)

What’s the best path to a top museum job? We analyzed the training of 100 Curators to find out.

There is no one path to success as a curator of contemporary art—but that doesn’t prevent many top experts from having strong opinions.

by Brian Boucher

These days, it feels like you can’t swing a canvas tote without hitting a newly credentialed curator. As art institutions expand and biennials proliferate, the population of curators has grown in lockstep. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now more than 12,400 full-time curators in America.

That figure is only expected to grow. The bureau has estimated that the number of people practicing the profession will increase by 14 percent between 2016 and 2026—twice the average growth rate for jobs in the US.

But for many, the path to a full-time curator gig is not linear. Curators who specialize in contemporary art, in particular, lack an obvious trajectory. How do you become an expert in art that may not even exist yet? [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Artnet.

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Photo by Jo Sittenfeld. (Courtesy of Rhode Island School of Design.)

7 tips for applying to Art School

by Casey Lesser

So you want to get an MFA in art. You’re keen to make new work in an unfamiliar setting, focus all of your energy on your art, and forge lasting relationships with mentors and peers (even if that means enduring their scrutiny and sitting through harsh crits).

But where do you begin? What schools should you apply to? And how do you showcase your uniqueness in a one-size-fits-all application?

We tapped the expertise of admissions officers and professors at six top art schools across the U.S. to uncover the ins and outs of the application process—from what to include in a portfolio to where you should focus the most energy, and who should write your recommendation letters (spoiler alert: not your mom). [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article at Artsy.


about the cover


"Italy" by Allan Pachino Wallace


by Allan Pachino Wallace

Unlike many other works in the show that found direct inspiration from Brent Malone’s paintings (for example: Rebirth of a Goddess is a direct response of Malone’s Lucayan Goddess) this image is a response to Allan’s 2016 trip to Italy which was awarded by the D’Aguilar Art Foundation’s Global Discovery Program. The painting thus mimics techniques that he encountered in works while visiting various Italian museums and churches: among which are the cartoons, a preparation drawing for a fresco painting. Italy’s texture resembles that of these charcoal drawings on dusted, thin paper; his brushwork is sketchy but precise, with lots of negative space which would have been filled with the bright colors used in frescoes. In the past, this preparation drawing was not viewed as very interesting without the added color, but now these sketches are often seen as a more dynamic version of the image. This painting is one of many that Wallace displayed in the joint exhibition with Brent Malone.


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Smith & Benjamin’s Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine

Art & Culture were created to
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