The Gloria Banks Gallery, located at The Rand Nature Centre, East Settler’s Way was an attractive venue on Thursday February 7, as the Grand Bahama Artists Association (GBAA) hosted its annual Spring Art Exhibition, where local artisans had the opportunity to showcase their pieces for the public at large.
Ben Ferguson Jr., newly elected President, Grand Bahama Artists Association shared with this daily the significance of the annual exhibition as well as his objectives serving as the association’s head, moving forward.
“This is the opening of our spring exhibition. Every year we have a show in February and November, and so we are kicking this year off with our spring exhibition. We do not have a theme this year, just a collaboration of about 17 artists who are showing their works and what they have been up to and what is to come.
Ferguson was questioned as to what persons could expect during the Association’s Spring Exhibition this year, to which he responded: “Persons will see a variety of work and various mediums. Works of acrylic, oil, also fabrics and mixed mediums, definitely we want to mix it up this year for sure. We want persons to be able to see works where portraits interact with fabric as well as the traditional Bahamian art such as paintings of the sloops and the sea, beaches and so forth. Persons will also be able to see pieces that are a bit more modern in design as well as some tactile work. There is a lot of varied work that will be on display.
“This year we decided not to go with a theme for the exhibition. That is one of the things that we are looking at, for upcoming shows, but this year it is just an open feel, to create the art and display their art,” added the GBAA President.
Ferguson shared that the mission and goal for the association moving forward, is to educate and make the public more aware of art, in order for persons to have a greater appreciation for art.
“That is one of the things that we are looking to do.”
He added the expanding the education process and promotion of art on the island is an objective of his, as president.
“Definitely if people are interested to become members, then of course that process will continue. We have a lot in store. With the new board we have, we still come together to finalize all of our ideas and then carry out the things we have planned.
He encouraged all to visit their Facebook and Instagram pages at GB Artists and Grand Bahama Artists Association where persons will be privy to more updates in the months to come.
He was also questioned if the Association intends to relay their messages to the schools throughout the island to encourage youth participation as well.
“One of our members is Alisa Streather-Robinson, who has a Young Artists Association, and so those who are in high school or just coming out of high school, they are free to join that club, because it tends to be a lot easier for them, as well as to receive more encouragement, training, motivation and overall mentorship.
“The Grand Bahama Artists Association is for the more skilled and older artists because we meet at certain times and do certain things. Also, we collaborate with the schools in terms of donations to school which we have done in the past. For example, we have taken some of our funds and donated some of it to schools’ art departments to assist their art departments. We know that art teachers normally struggle with getting supplies and other things. We are looking to become more hands-on, perhaps adopting a school whether it is by way of donating or working hands-on with them to create art or put on a show. We are looking to do a lot more, to be more visible and vibrant,” he said.
What about the appreciation for art in Grand Bahama?
“Of course Grand Bahama is filled with talent and visual people. We are creative people naturally, but I believe that not everyone is able to afford the art at the time or, they prefer a certain type of art.
“Right now I think that we are in a place where people are just coming into art some more. In the past they were but I think they are now seeing it on a grand scale, not just on the canvas, but more so on walls, more so on bodies, the various ways and avenues that art can be (depicted). I think that we are still trying to grasp that.
“I am happy that we have everyone participating and that the public was able to come and be a part of this opening night. We want to thank all who helped in the form of donations,” said Ferguson.