Artists Head to Iowa For “Master Artists of The Bahamas”

By in News on October 5, 2011

Seated Nude, Kendal Hanna

Eleven Bahamian artists will be in the spotlight at the Iowa-based Waterloo Center for the Arts (WCA) next month in an exhibition of home-grown talent.

The “Master Artists of The Bahamas” exhibition will feature over 40 pieces of artwork including paintings, installations and sculptures. The showcase runs from October 14. The exhibition will leave Iowa in January 2012 and travel to various art venues throughout the United States.

“This is the first time that such a large contingent of Bahamian visual artists’ work has ever been on display in the United States and I am confident that it will be an amazing opportunity to showcase the world-class talent that we have in abundance within our country,” said the exhibition’s Bahamian coordinator Pam Burnside.

Bahamian art is flourishing, and quite aside from mere ‘sun, sand and sea’ we intend to let the world know that our country’s art, heritage and culture can truly be the impetus to attract a different type of visitor who is looking for a unique creative experience,” she said.

The featured artists – Amos Ferguson, Brent Malone, Jackson Burnside, Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith, Eddie Minnis, John Beadle, John Cox, Kendal Hanna, Max Taylor and Stan Burnside – were originally paired together for the 2008 documentary film “Artists of the Bahamas” produced by Filmmakers Karen and Tom Neuwirth. The documentary opened the 2008 Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF).

John Cox is the founder of Popopstudios and Kendal Hanna is a long-standing resident of the Popop art community. View their work displayed in this exhibition. Both will be travelling to Iowa to be present at the opening reception and symposium.

Plans for the exhibition began one year ago when Cammie Scully, director of the WCA came across the documentary. Plans were immediately set in motion to mount the show in October of this year.

WCA boasts the largest public collection of Haitian art in the world as well as a collection of Caribbean art that includes over 50 works by Amos Ferguson.

“Waterloo Center for the Arts is privileged to be able to host this premiere exhibition of Bahamian art. The Master Artists of The Bahamas Exhibition and Symposium will expose the US to the thriving culture of The Bahamas and their talented artists. By exposing the country’s art to a global audience, interest in traveling to this country will most likely increase, as will the visibility and profile of the artistic and cultural heritage of The Bahamas,” said Ms Scully.

The opening of the WCA exhibit will also include a two-day public symposium featuring the artists and several film screenings, including the premiere screening of “Match Me If You Can”, a documentary on the late Bahamian artist Amos Ferguson, also produced by Karen and Tom Neuwirth. The recently released film “Brent Malone: Father of Bahamian Art” and “Artists of the Bahamas” will also be screened.

The United States Embassy in Nassau provided assistance to enable National Art Gallery’s curatorial assistant and videographer Jackson Petit to accompany the artists to Iowa to document the entire trip.

The Tribune
Arts & Entertainments Section
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

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