Art may be everywhere to my eyes, in trash, architecture and even in sound, however it was wonderful to attend the Freeport Art Centre’s 3rd Annual Show just before Christmas. The space above Papa Johns is airy and perfect for holding such an extensive exhibition.
For a comparatively small island it is exciting to see the range of art exhibited; not only style, but media. The work spanned paper making, straw work, shell work, oil paintings, acrylic paintings and water colors. There were beach scenes, flowers, abstracts, life paintings, still life and Bahamian scene paintings.For a comparatively small island it is exciting to see the range of art exhibited; not only style, but media. The work spanned paper making, straw work, shell work, oil paintings, acrylic paintings and water colors. There were beach scenes, flowers, abstracts, life paintings, still life and Bahamian scene paintings.
Freeport not only are we lucky enough to have the Freeport Art Centre as a place to exhibit art and have art framed, but also many of the exhibitors are members of the Grand Bahama Art Association, the country’s second largest art community. The Association has been promoting art in
Grand Bahama since their inception 10 years ago. The exhibitions of their work have been as consistently diverse as the members of the Association. Groups like this are so vital to this community. It is upon such platforms that whole movements of art are created and national trends are defined. The Association represents professional artists, teachers and the naturally talented. The Association offers the artists a collective voice and the community a portal into the vision of our artists - a crucial dialogue.
I encourage artists on this island to join the community of the Grand Bahama Artists Association.
While at the exhibition a lively discussion started about different styles of art.
Art provides so many functions in society from self expression, political expression, aesthetics, therapy, and design etc., its multi faceted function can sometimes cause confusion.
It is no secret where my passion lies- I am invigorated by all contemporary art. I love seeing new ideas, I love being challenged and this is what suits me! With so many genres and styles of art, it is hard to define and grade everything that is out there in the world under this little word ‘art’!
However everything that is submitted to the general public, from the smallest sketch to the largest sculpture inevitably is judged. Everybody has an opinion about what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Often the harshest critic being the artist themselves!
Critic – the very word evokes images of stern school teachers glowering, screaming disgust at every effort! But critiquing is important; it is the hammer that hones the talent. And it is the common ground from which all art can be viewed.
I am always fascinated to read scathing art reviews. Where an artist’s whole expression is denigrated to the reviewers own ‘jaundiced’ eyes. I am however, more interested to read constructive criticism with a deep sense of historical relevance; critiquing that recognizes the flame of creativity within every act of art, something that considers more than only the image presented.
Erica James from the National Gallery talks in the forward to the NE3 Exhibition about the importance of “ Form, content, composition, mastery of medium, knowledge of human anatomy, relevance, daring and communication” These are the valuable elements to her understanding of art. I think they are helpful to consider.
I have a tendency in my art to get lost in the importance of my self expression to the point where I forget the weight of these significant aspects. Erica’s list of critical elements is a guiding list for all artists. They are a starting point for personal growth irrespective of medium or style. I like to take a list like Erica’s and look at it as positive criticism, a seeming paradox, but looking at art with compassionate eyes can help identify areas that need strengthening and compliment the areas that are successful. By reviewing the list I can see the areas where my work is weak and push myself to grow in that area.
Art is of course subjective.
Everyone has their own preference of what they like to see and understand. But a preference for one style, genre or movement does not negate another. The most wonderful thing about life is its unending variety – variety in all things. Art is no exception and all styles and genres are as valid as the next and add to the depth of cultural experience.
Variety being the spice of life at Freeport Art Centre, with artists from the Grand Bahama Artists Association, you can express your individuality and explore culture by using your discernment (your internal art critic) to choose a valuable and unique piece of art to adorn your walls and spice up your life!
For information about The Grand Bahama Artists Association and the Freeport Art Centre, contact Leslie Duncombe 242-351-4601 or email email@example.com
Photos by Susan Mackay.
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