Eleuthera, Bahamas – The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) in partnership with One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF), The South Eleuthera Mission (SEM), and the Eleuthera Arts & Cultural Center (EACC) has brought its travelling exhibition“TRANS: A Migration of Identity” to the island of Eleuthera!
A week of activities launched the exhibition, the first being anopening reception at SEM in Rock Sound on March 5th, where attendees were introduced to the show’s curators from the NAGB, Abby Smith and Richardo Barrett, along with Jackson Petit, a dynamic artist and NAGB Digital Media Administrator. “I felt that the people of Eleuthera, more specifically those of the Rock Sound community really embraced the opportunity,” said Smith. “Eleuthera seemed to really have grasped the importance of what it is that we’re all about, the whole purpose of the National Collection and what it is that we’re doing for the community.”
During a Curator’s Talk on March 6th, Smith and Barrett took attendees on a guided tour while discussing the stories behind the pieces on show, both individually and collectively. Junkanoo, slavery, emancipation, religion, and Bahamian everyday life are just a few of the themes presented in this exhibition, with featured works from eighteen (18) different artists. Attendees were treated to an in-depth conversationregarding the arts practicesof Antonius Roberts, Amos Ferguson, husband and wife duo Jolyon Smith and Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Brent Malone, John Beadle and others. The Curator’s Essays, which offer even deeper insights into the exhibition and the process to bring the show to life, will be available to read at SEM.
On March 7th, participants in the CommunityPrintmaking Workshop got a taste of the process that Bahamian master artist Maxwell Taylor uses to create ink block prints – similar to those featured in the exhibition– on a smaller scale. The experience gave attendees a new appreciation for Taylor’s work, especially after realizing that the images are drawn in reverse to the desired finished product and the actual carving determines what remains uncolored once the work is pressed.
In preparation for the launch of “TRANS: A Migration of Identity”, local art teachers and students participated in the painting of a mobile mural opposite SEM. Will Simmons, art teacher at Preston Albury, describes the mobile mural as “a collaborative effort of four (4) schools – Harbour Island All-Age, Preston Albury, Central Eleuthera, and North Eleuthera High schools – depicting the folklore and natural heritage of Eleuthera.” It is currently stationed for viewing in Freedom Park with plans to transport it to various heritage sites around the island.
“TRANS: A Migration of Identity” remains open to the public until April 13th, 2018 where it can be viewed at any time between the hours of 9am and 4pm, weekdays, at The South Eleuthera Mission in Rock Sound. During the Easter Holiday weekend, the exhibition will be open Saturday, March 31st from 10:00am to 3:00pm and Sunday April 1st from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. For more information, contact the SouthEleuthera Mission at 334-2948.