NAGB Creates Pop-Up Gallery In Cuba

Dozens of priceless art pieces from the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) made it to Santiago de Cuba recently during the city’s Festival de Caribe, which was held July 3-9.

Over 60 art pieces were featured as part of a pop-gallery with the theme from “Columbus to Junkanoo.”

The work of artists such as Brent Malone, Antonius Roberts, Stan and Jackson Burnside and Amos Ferguson were among the pieces featured.

The curators of the show were Averia Wright and Jodi Minnis.

It was the first time they produced a show outside of The Bahamas. 

“Basically we looked at pieces that we knew really represented The Bahamas,” Ms. Wright said. “This has trained me and I learned what not to do and what to do and how to prepare for the next thing. It is a learning experience as a curator.”

“Bahamian art is the foundation for Bahamian history,” Ms. Minnis said. “These artists document historical events and culture. This is what makes these kinds of events possible because if not for them we wouldn’t have this art. I live for Bahamian art history and everything I do I look for how art defines us.”

Ms. Wright says Cuban artists have visited The Bahamas through exchange programmes and have seen some of the artwork.

She added that they are impressed with Bahamian art.

“That in itself is an opportunity for both cultures to work together and to learn from each other. It’s a great experience to see who we are and where we are at,” Ms. Wright said.

Ms. Minnis said art is a big part of tourism as scores of visitors come to the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas everyday.

“A lot of them come because they want to see what Bahamians produce in art. It’s special because art displays Bahamian life,” she said.

Director of NAGB Amanda Coulson said she took a back seat to this particular exhibition.

She said she could not be more proud of Wright’s and Minnis’ work.

“ My goal is to train young Bahamians to take my job. These two young curators have spread their wings. We wanted to show that we can participate on an international level and they have done that,” Ms. Coulson said.

“I feel that when you look at the art and you look at the history of the Caribbean we all have very similar stories. We are literally related to each other and exhibitions like this are ways for us to get to know our families.”