April 2nd, 2019
Baha Mar Art Team Excited About Taking Artist Portfolios To The Next Level
As the dust has been settling after the initial call for artist portfolios by the resort development Baha Mar, the art team has been hard at work reviewing the 350 proposals received.
Creative Arts Director of Baha Mar, John Cox, was as much blown away by the high volume as the quality of work itself.
“I’m excited by the number of portfolios received,” says Cox. “To me it’s a sign of a healthy community of people practicing.”
Since then, the art team at Baha Mar have been brainstorming how to bring to life the 2,500 moments of art across the three million square foot space of the development, which has committed to filling their entire campus exclusively with Bahamian art.
Within that, artwork must highlight the distinct vibes of each hotel within the development itself: the flamboyant and energetic Baha Mar Hotel & Casino; the zen and aquatic Grand Hyatt & Convention Center; the elegant and timeless Rosewood; and the hip Mondrian.
“We see possibilities in the portfolios, not necessarily answers,” says Cox.
“The portfolio call was designed to give us the best understanding of each artist and how they see their practice. I think a lot of the success I see in the portfolios is the artist being willing to expand what they want to do. Some artists may find themselves satisfying things they hadn’t thought of, which I think is exciting.”
Coordinating the portfolios with several departments—including hotel developers and designers—as well as within certain schedules—such as construction deadlines—is no easy feat, but the art team at Baha Mar is looking forward to reaching out to all artists before the summer.
As meetings progress with each sector, artists can look forward to communication and consideration in three major areas: high quality reproductions for hotel rooms and public areas; original work for hotel suites and special public areas; and site-specific installations, commissions and special projects as specified by the development.
Within these categories, the artist portfolio is simply a jumping-off pad for possibilities, providing the platform in what may become a back-and-forth agreement between all parties for unique and exciting projects.
“The success of the curatorial process isn’t something for me or the art team to do—it’s something for the art team and the community to do together, because one can’t happen without the other one doing it,” says Cox. “So we are calling upon artists to be patient, creative, and resourceful, as well as open to letting this challenge and grow and reinvent their process.”
In addition, Cox points out that art programming doesn’t end with the December 2014 opening of Baha Mar. If anything, the artwork within the development only lays the groundwork for the art projects and exhibitions that can happen at the three active art gallery spaces on campus in years to come. So if portfolios do not fit within the campus itself, there are further opportunities for exposure, ensuring Bahamian art remains at the forefront of the Baha Mar experience.
“I am excited by what that end product will look like, but more so I’m excited by what that end product will mean,” says Cox. “It will mean that artists will have been given a new level of pitch in their voice. The artwork will provide a new kind of relevance—not just for them, but for the greater art community.”
Source: Bahamian Arts & Culture