Students Produce Serious Work In Central Bank Competition
For decades the Central Bank of the Bahamas has been providing a platform for emerging artists to display their work in their Annual Art Competition and Exhibition, and this year, much of the work on display went beyond still life.
The Central Bank Art Competition and Exhibition in the High School Category recognizes and celebrates the artistic talents of Bahamian youth. This past Wednesday the exhibition opened to the public and the winners were recognized for their outstanding contributions.
Speaking at the event last night, now in its 28th year, Governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas Wendy Craigg pointed out that the event continues to predict great future artists in the Bahamian community as well as encourage creativity and foster a love of the arts in this emerging generation.
“We know that children benefit from encouragement and support, and what we continue to accomplish through this competition is to nurture our children’s creativity, imagination and innovation and advance their capabilities so that they develop personally and socially and through their artistic impressions, offer insights into our world,”she says.
“From the works displayed here today, we can certainly feel a sense of pride. It seems to be that the level of work is excellent.”
Indeed, one of the official judges, John Cox, said he was encouraged by the level and quality of work on display. Like the governor, he also pointed out that teachers, parents and institutions like the Central Bank deserve to be thanked for their encouragement.
“Artists don’t really come out of a vacuum, artists really come out of a strong fabric of creators and thinkers and people who encourage them and give them proper guidance,” he said.
“The conversations in this work definitely reflect beyond being a competent artist who can make colors and render something to look like something else,” he continued. “Obviously these artists have really internalized their environments and they brought them forward in these mediums, and it’s very encouraging to see that level of visual intelligence.”
The words rang true especially as the winner this year, Kenel Augustin, was part of the National Art & Craft Center under the Department of Education, which provided him with afterschool classes in which to develop his artistic practice.
“I really think the school supported me and helped me with my pieces and confidence and just to express my talent,” he says, thanking especially his teacher Timothy Nottage.
For Augustin, who is in the eleventh grade at C.I. Gibson and hopes to study art after high school, painting is a way to share a message with society. His winning painting, “Bain Town Riot” displays an acute sense of social consciousness.
“I think people aren’t supposed to be fighting and rioting all over the place, so I did this piece to show people that it is not always about violence and causing crime and destructiveness in the world,” he explains.
Second place went to Bobby Telusnord (C.I. Gibson) with his piece “A Good Time” and third place went to Maudeline Alcy (C.I. Gibson) with “Fire in Mackey Yard”.
Honorable mentions were Daniel Morley (Queen’s College) with “Mixed Fantasy”; Krystal Major (C.I. Gibson) with “Amos Ferguson”; and Cameron Johnson (Temple Christian) with “Annabelle’s Straw Shop”.
The Best Young Artist (14 years old and younger) went to Lex Fountain (Mt. Carmel Preparatory) with his piece “Saxing with Sonny Rollins”. The Scholarship Award was given to Alton Joseph (C.R. Walker) for his piece “Untitled”. The Governor General’s Award was given to Kirkwood Deal (Kingsway Academy) with “Who Are We?”.
The exhibition which includes all of the winning pieces, is up until the end of November at The Central Bank of The Bahamas. Hours are 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The Nassau Guardian
Arts & Culture
Published: Saturday, November 19, 2011