Master Artists of the Bahamas Iowa Show Well-Received

By in News on October 29, 2011

The group of artists with the WCA’s curator and Director and the filmmakers

Bahamian Art is flourishing and it has made a huge impact in the international arena when a group of Bahamian visual artists opened the MASTER ARTISTS OF THE BAHAMAS Exhibition and Symposium in the United States at the Waterloo Center for the Arts (WCA) in Waterloo, Iowa.

The journey for the Exhibition began in 2008 when the WCA’s Director, Cammie Scully was suitably inspired by the documentary “Artists of The Bahamas’ produced by Filmmakers Karen and Tom Neuwirth ( WCA, which houses the largest collection of Haitian art in the U.S., also had a large collection of art by the late Bahamian artist, Amos Ferguson.

The panel of artists prepare to speak at the symposium surrounded by Amos Ferguson paintings

The present Exhibition therefore boasts over 100 pieces of Bahamian art including 68 pieces by Ferguson and the late Brent Malone and Jackson Burnside together with the works of Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith, Eddie Minnis, John Beadle, John Cox, Kendal Hanna, Max Taylor and Stan Burnside. The Exhibition will run through January 2012 and then travel to various art venues throughout the U.S.

In addition to the grand Opening attended by Mayor of Waterloo Buck Clark, participants were treated to a two day symposium by the artists as well as musical performances by Eddie Minnis and junkanoo drumming by Reuben ‘Ruppapumpum’ Deleveaux, in addition to viewing the premiere of “Match Me If You Can”, the Amos Ferguson documentary that was produced by the filmmakers.

The Bahamian artists with WCA’s curator and Director at the Exhibition’s entrance

Bahamian art and culture was on display for the entire weekend. Cammie Scully, Director of the WCA, was overjoyed with the response of the participants, some of whom travelled from other states to attend and meet the artists.

“This has been a memorable event that has added lots of colour, movement and excitement to us here in Iowa. The two landscapes are so very different and everyone is now eager to visit The Bahamas!” Youth participating in a Junkanoo workshop presented by WCA education staff also took part in the festivities on Saturday. NAGB’s curatorial assistant/videographer, Jackson Petit accompanied the artists to document the entire trip and the video will be available for viewing shortly.

Well known Bahamian sculptor, Antonius Roberts travelled to Iowa earlier in order to complete a one week residency at the University of Northern Iowa. He worked with art students to create sculptures using wood and river stones salvaged from the 2008 flood in Sans Souci and Chatauqua park neighborhoods, in Waterloo, Iowa. Roberts also produced three sculptures of his own which he donated to the Center.

As a result of this endeavour, plans are underway to host an Iowan sculptor here in Nassau next month to work with Roberts in an exchange programme. “Art is a universal language”, stated Roberts, “and it is an excellent way to develop and promote links around the world. I am sure that this Exhibition will be the start of many more exciting collaborations.”

The Bahamian contingent prepare to return home from Waterloo, Iowa

For further information on the Exhibition please log on to the WCA’s website at

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