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Amateur Artists Secure National Platform To Display Work

By JEFFARAH GIBSON

Tribune Features Writer

jgibson@tribunemedia.net

THE NATIONAL Art Gallery of the Bahamas hosted its third annual All-Start Amateur Artist Night, which saw participants explore themes such as spirituality and balance, justice, transformation and survival.

The All-star Amateur Artist (AAA) Artwork: NE6 Edition was held this past weekend. The theme for AAA was connected to the national exhibition Kingdom Come. The installation which came to a close on Sunday had five sub themes and participants were asked to create works related to the themes.

Ivanna Gaitor, an art major at the College of the Bahamas, reflected the theme of spirituality and balance. She said her pieces represented her spiritual walk and Christian journey.

“The main shape of my pieces are triangles and they represent for me the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It represents my walk in my Christianity. Each triangle has a one eighty degree and they represent the turn in my life and the point where I decided to the accept Jesus as my lord and saviour. Throughout my entire art journey I have been trying to find ways to incorporate those two elements together and I think I finally found it,” she told Tribune Arts.

Ivanna, like some of the other participants has never exhibited in a professional museum setting, which is a goal of AAA. The show was also designed to bring together emerging artists to display their work and develop their skills in art.

“Triple A is a foot in the door and it is a bridge between professional artists and upcoming artists. It is a playground where both professional and amateur artists can discuss work and art. Professionals can encourage amateur artists to continue in their art. It is also an introduction to what the art world is all about from a business perspective. It is also a networking basis because the participants get to network with patrons, and collectors. So it is just an experience into the career of art,” said Jordia Benjamin NAGB’s assistant education officer.

“We target twelfth grade seniors and beyond. The reason why we do so is because we want it to be a career for them. We want them to see art as something they can do professionally. So it is just a small introduction and an opportunity for them to get their foot in the door. We have had artists participate in the past becoming professional artists and mentoring the amateur artists,” she said.

For the first time participants had to represent themselves as professionals. Their work had to be framed and ready to be mounted in the gallery’s project space.

“My piece entitled Recognise Label focuses on identity. If you were to google the word identity you would come up with all sorts of definitions. The focus of my piece was really the form of the individual itself. Naturally when a human being looks at something they rationalise what it means so I am hoping that my audience sort of questions the meaning behind the identity of the piece. I just wanted to evoke some sort of introspection in my audience and viewer so that they can in turn question the state of their own identity,” said Piaget Moss participant and College of the Bahamas art major.

To help participants develop their ideas they were allowed to view the Kingdom Come installation and draw inspiration from the work of professional artists.

Jordanna Kelly COB art major participated in the recent Transforming Space art tour. Her piece on display at the NAGB entitled Human Nature is a four part series which features vines growing through a hand.

“Human nature comes from growth and new life. You know what you are now but you do not know what you will become,” she told Tribune Arts.

Artwork exhibited in the AAA will remain at the gallery space until the last week in April. Participants included Angelika Wallace-Whitfield, Ivanna Gaitor, Jordanna Kelly, Kirkwood Deal, Victronia Lightbourne, Jalan Harris and Piaget Moss.

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