Color of Harmony
COB music and art majors join forces for concert and exhibition
Music and art majors of the College of The Bahamas are in the final stages of preparing for the Color of Harmony, a tradition that has become an annual rite of passage for some of COB’s most creative and talented students.
Now in its twenty-second year, the Color of Harmony put on by the School of Communications and Creative Arts, features a concert by music majors that leads into an exhibition of work by art majors, and gives both departments the opportunity to show off their best students and their work.
This year is no exception.
“The exhibition reflects the strongest work produced in class over the course of the year, and this year the work seems of be of a higher quality, “ says John Cox, assistant professor in the Art Department.
Cox puts it down to the growing local art environment and how that has increased the number of opportunities for students to participate in what he calls “real time” art events.
For example, this year, some COB art majors’ work will be featured in the hugely popular and well-regarded Transforming Spaces Art Bus Tour. The college’s Pro Art Gallery is one of the stops on the tour.
Students have also had the chance to visit stimulating and thought-provoking art exhibitions at galleries like the NAGB (National Art Gallery of The Bahamas), D’Aguilar Art Foundation and Doongalik Studios.
And some have had the valuable opportunity to volunteer and intern at spaces that are pushing the boundaries of art in The Bahamas, such as Popopstudios Center for the Visual Arts and the Hub. They’ve also assisted with installing exhibitions at the Central Bank Art Gallery.
“It provides students with the chance to come out of that academic bubble that a college environment can sometimes create,” says Cox.
The nature of the courses offered by the art department — 2-D Design, Drawing Fundamentals, 3-D Design, Painting, Ceramics, Mixed Media, Commercial Arts and Printmaking — has also given students more freedom, and accountability, he adds.
“In years past the exhibition had regressed into a high school display, now there’s a resurgence of artists who are taking their practice more seriously,” says Cox.
And the department’s 30-plus art majors take their work very seriously.
In the first semester of this school year, art majors used their challenges with the administration of the college to inform subject matter in their work.
Students were upset about the significant reduction of space for the art department, and wanted to know where the lab fees were going in the absence of studio space.
So the commercial arts — graphic design and illustration — students created a project entitled “Conflict Resolution”. It is a series of panels, half of which dealt with the problems with the current administration, and the second half with what was done to resolve those problems.
For Christy Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Music, this year’s event will be a little more special.
The Color of Harmony will be combined with the investiture service of COB’s new president, Dr. Betsy Vogel-Boze who joined COB in January. Following the exhibition, which is preceded by the concert, a special reception will be held for the new president.
“It will be a big day for everyone involved,” says Lee.
The concert , along with showcasing the college’s crowd pleasing choir and band, will also feature smaller ensembles made up of the department’s best students performing classical, jazz and original compositions.
“We are very encouraged by their progress and it promises to be a wonderful representation of where the students are,” says Lee.
“It will be wonderful to have such a strong showing.”
This year, the Color of Harmony’s E. Clement Bethel Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts will be presented to wood turner Roddy Pinder.
The Color of Harmony will be held Thursday, April 7 at the college’s Performing Arts Center.
By ERICA WELLS
The Nassau Guardian