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Preserving Our Coral Reefs' Artworks by Uriah McPhee students opens at D'Aguilar Art Foundation
By Kathryn Campbell
May 21, 2021 - 9:43:12 AM

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Slide show: Scenes from the official opening of the exhibition entitled “Preserving Our Coral Reefs” by Uriah McPhee Primary School at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation. Wife of Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis -- Mrs. Patricia Minnis of the Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister is flanked by government ministers, students and representatives of the school, as she cuts the ribbon to officially open the exhibition. Guests are seen touring the artworks. Trevon Taylor, student of Grade 3, gives a testimony of his work. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

Nassau, The Bahamas – Bud Light bottle caps representing treasures in a treasure box, plastic water bottles formed into the shape of fish, colorful yarn for the legs of an octopus, coca cola soda cans shaped into sting rays and green painted pasta noodles decorating a turtle are just a few of the recycled and everyday objects the students of Uriah McPhee Primary School have used to transform the studio of the D’Aguilar Art Foundation (DAF) into a rainforest of the sea.

Wife of Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis -- Mrs. Patricia Minnis of the Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister clipped the ribbon Thursday, May 20, signaling the official opening of “Preserving Our Coral Reefs,” an exhibition featuring the artworks of Uriah McPhee Primary School.

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

The event was attended by: Mrs. Pamela Armaly, principal; Mrs. Shaphell Knowles, science coordinator; students of the school; the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education; the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation; the Hon. Romauld Ferreira, Minister of the Environment and Housing; Mrs. Saskia D’Aguilar, director, DAF, and Mrs. Tessa Whitehead, creative artist.

The school recognized March as ‘Science Awareness Month.’  Students from kindergarten through Grade 6 were assigned a project to create 3D sculptures of underwater landscapes along with an oral presentation on the topic “Conserving the Coral Reefs of The Bahamas.”  The project was judged on creativity, projection of voice, factual information, recycled material and scientific thinking.

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Mrs. Armaly explained that teachers were expected to integrate the theme into their daily lessons and staff members were encouraged to wear items made from recycled materials each day of the week.

“Each morning all students were introduced to and reviewed vocabulary words followed by a listening comprehension passage about coral reefs and explanations on preservation of coral reefs,” said Mrs. Armaly.

“Students were fully engaged in applying varied learning styles such as verbal, visual, auditory, social and kinesthetic.  Blooms taxonomy was definitely incorporated. Students went from concrete to abstract thinking -- from who, what, where, to creating.  The greatest elements involved were parents/guardians, students and stakeholders.”

She acknowledged the partnership of the DAF with the school through Mrs. D’Aguilar and Mrs. Whitehead. For the past three years, the DAF has operated an after school art program each Wednesday.

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

“Uriah McPhee Primary School maintains a supportive and unique relationship between positive stakeholders in the form of an afterschool Art Club.  COVID-19 did not steal our joy because we maintained the relationship with our Art Club throughout the school year.”

Minister Lloyd said the students’ work deserves the highest commendation and celebrated their creative abilities.
Minister Ferreira underscored the importance of the responsibility of parents, teachers, the government and the private sector to provide a nurturing environment for children.

“The most important thing is the young people. No matter what we do, and how much we do, we want you to be encouraged.  I’m pleased to see you are taking responsibility on the environment,” he said.

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Mrs. D’Aguilar applauded the students for their “stunning” artworks.  She acknowledged Mrs. Shaphell, Mrs. Armaly and the school’s team for allowing DAF to be a part of the school’s art program and for inspiring the talented students to produce such masterpieces.

She thanked the in-house team at the DAF, including Mrs. Whitehead and volunteers Cherlindrea Thompson, Letitia Pratt, and Mary Gottlieb.

The guests toured and viewed the exhibits following the ceremony.

The exhibition is open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 4pm without an appointment until June 15.   Appointments can be made for other days and times.

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

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