US Ambassador Launches “Master Artists of The Bahamas” Exhibit

By in News on October 7, 2011

U.S. Ambassador Nicole A. Avant gives remarks at the launch of the “Master Artists of The Bahamas” Exhibit at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.

On Thursday, October 6, U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant announced the launch of the “Master Artists of The Bahamas” Exhibit, which will run from October 14, 2011 through January 2012 at the Waterloo Centre for the Arts (WCA) in Iowa.  The exhibit will feature over 40 pieces of artwork by a diverse group of Bahamian artists, including the late Amos Ferguson, Brent Malone and Jackson Burnside as well as contemporary artists Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith, Eddie Minnis, John Beadle, John Cox, Kendal Hanna, Max Taylor and Stan Burnside.

The Waterloo Centre for the Arts attracted more than 116,000 visitors last year and boasts one of the largest collections of Caribbean art in the United States.  Visitors of the “Master Artists of The Bahamas” exhibit in Iowa will also be the first to view Match Me If You Can, a documentary on life of international renowned naïve artist, Amos Ferguson.  The film was produced by American filmmakers, Karen and Tom Neuwirth, who also created the seminal documentary on Bahamian art, Artists of the Bahamas and the film, Brent Malone: Father of Bahamian Art.

On hand for Thursday’s press conference at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) were Bahamian historian and NAGB Board Chair, Dr. Gail Saunders; Owner of Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, Pam Burnside who served as the Mistress of Ceremony and represented her late husband, Jackson Burnside whose artwork will be featured in Iowa; Marysa Malone, who represented her late father, Brent Malone; and Antonius Roberts and Max Taylor, two of the exhibit’s featured artists, who will also participate in a two-day symposium in Iowa where they will join the other featured contemporary artists in a discussion on the socio-political context of their work.

Nicole Avant and Pam Burnside view one of Kendal Hanna’s works to be displayed in the “Master Artists of The Bahamas” Exhibit in Iowa

In her remarks Ambassador Avant applauded Pam Burnside and the late Jackson Burnside for their passion for the arts and their commitment to promoting The Bahamas beyond a destination of just sand, sun and sea, but as a destination where visitors can also explore and enjoy this country’s vibrant art scene and rich cultural heritage.  Ambassador Avant also thanked the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Doongalik Studios, and all of the artists featured in the WCA exhibit for sharing their passion and talent with art lovers in the United States.

“This exhibit will not only serve as a platform for the featured artists but will also present a tremendous opportunity for Americans to gain a more comprehensive understanding and greater appreciation of Bahamian art and culture,” explained Ambassador Avant.

The U.S. Embassy is a sponsor of the “Master Artists of The Bahamas” exhibit, in recognition of the International Year for People of African Descent, which aims to advance the integration of people of African descent and to promote a greater knowledge and respect of the Caribbean’s diverse heritage and culture.  It is hoped that the exhibit in Iowa will stimulate an ongoing exchange between artists from The Bahamas and the United States and that the footage captured of the exhibit and the artists’ dialogue will be used in local schools as a tool to stimulate the creativity of youth and inspire The Bahamas’ next generation of artists.

By US Embassy

View works by John Cox and Kendal Hanna to be displayed in the “Master Artists of The Bahamas” Exhibit.

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