Three Bahamian Artists At VOLTA NY 2015

By in News on March 4, 2015

Kendal Hanna. Oil on canvas. “Pianist”

The Bahamas will be maintaining its reliably strong presence at VOLTA NY this year with the participation of three visual artists and National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) Director Amanda Coulson.

The international invitational art expo, held in New York City and acknowledged by Fodor’s Travel as one of the top 10 art fairs in the world, has strong ties to The Bahamas through Coulson, who continues to act as a consultant for the fair’s artistic direction. Her influence and interests at home – particularly those revolving around the subjects discussed in the Seventh National Exhibition (NE7) Antillean: an Ecology, such as race, class, economy and gender – will be echoed in the 2015 VOLTA NY.

Taking place March 5-8, VOLTA NY will showcase the works of 90 artists reflecting a strong emphasis on identity and cultures within Caribbean, African and African-American societies. Some of the countries represented at the 2015 edition of VOLTA NY include Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, South Africa, The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

Frequented by discerning collectors who come to see cutting-edge emerging art, VOLTA NY offers Bahamian artists a significant platform for international exposure. This year, VOLTA administrators expect to tally up a headcount in the region of 40,000 visitors over the four-day run.

Coulson has emphasized the importance of exposure to artists, particularly those from smaller countries like The Bahamas.

“With resources such as these finally within reach of Bahamian artists, our artists will be able to develop and foster relationships with the important global markets needed to sustain them,” said Coulson. “In turn, the world will see that we can easily operate on an international level with equal success.”

For the third year in a row, PopopStudios will be present. A local independent art studio and gallery, Popop was established by artist John Cox for the advancement of “alternative Bahamian visual culture”. This year, PopopStudios Resident Artist Kendal Hanna will represent the organization with a suite of new paintings for the fair’s discerning audience.

At 79, Hanna is one of the expo’s most senior participating artists, but the abstract painter easily holds his own among other visual artists whose works have been exhibited the world over. As a participating artist in the NE7, Hanna’s work can currently be found on display at the NAGB.

His paintings will not be the only ones to represent The Bahamas in VOLTA NY. Hanna and fellow participating Bahamian artist, Lavar Munroe, were selected by an independent panel to be featured in VOLTA NY’s promotional video, which is expected to reach as many as 45,000 international art collectors and enthusiasts.

Munroe – known for exhibiting internationally in his London 2014 show, Grant’s Town Trickster – will be present at VOLTA NY with gallery NOMAD. NOMAD is based in Miami and Brussels, and is known for being the first Belgian gallery to highlight work by artists from the African continent and diaspora. Munroe will be honored doubly at the fair as one of the 12 exhibiting artists selected to design a limited edition artists’ T-shirt, which will be premiered at VOLTA NY and later be made available at the NAGB Mixed Media store.

The third Bahamian artist is Arnold Joseph Kemp, who be representing Portland gallery, PDX Contemporary. Based in Portland, Oregon, PDX Contemporary is known for featuring artwork with a “slight conceptual edge”. In doing so, the gallery hopes to appeal to the visual sense and stimulate the mind, simultaneously. Like Hanna, Kemp is one of the NE7’s participating artists whose work can currently be seen at the NAGB.

For more information on the 2015 VOLTA NY, visit To find out more about participating artists in the NE7, visit

The Nassau Guardian

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