The Grand Old House restaurant is celebrating its centennial with an art exhibition.
100 Years On features artwork which not only explores Cayman’s culture and history, but also the Grand Old House restaurant and its location in a former plantation home located on the waterfront in South Sound.
Artwork is showcased throughout the restaurant, even spilling into the restrooms.
Curated by the Morgan Gallery, the exhibition, which opened some three-weeks ago, features artwork by 14 local artists. Each was asked to produce a painting which depicted Grand Old House, and further pieces exploring Cayman through the ages.
Featured artists are Joanne and Jeremy Sibley, April Bending, Avril Ward, Bunny Holmes, John Broad, Randy Cholette, Nickola McCoy-Snell, Renate Seffer, C.E Whitney, Sue Widmer, Lorna Griggs, Gordon Solomon, Cristel Ibsen and Debbie Van Der Bol. New artists are expected to contribute to the show, throughout its one-year run.
‘The principle is to show the best artwork Cayman has to offer,’ Geraldine Morgan, owner of the Morgan Gallery explained.
‘We invited most of the realist artists that the gallery represents to participate, in particular the better known artists whose work is collected both locally and internationally.
‘Although the artists had quite a set theme to work with, they were given free leeway to use any media they wished.’
The result is a varied and exciting exhibition.
So far eight pieces have been sold. Part proceeds are to be donated to the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre and the Veterans and Seaman’s Mission on Cayman Brac.
Interpretations of the exhibition’s theme run the gamut. Nickola McCoy-Snell depicts Grand Old House as it perhaps looked prior to its use as a restaurant. Gordon Solomon’s delicate pencil sketch captures the building in its present day. Artist Christel Ibsen’s acrylic painting captures the view of the ironshore and the Caribbean Sea, as seen from the restaurant’s patio, while prolific local artist John Broad chose to paint colourful scenes from the restaurant at night.
Other works on show depict catboats, local architecture and Cayman’s flora.
‘We are delighted with the end result,’ Ms Morgan said. ‘It is an excellent collection of work, and the variety of techniques, styles and the various aspects and interpretations of Grand Old House is extraordinary.’
The restaurant frequently hosts art exhibitions throughout the year, including both solo and group shows. An exhibition which explored specifically Grand Old House seemed fitting for its centennial year.
‘For this particular exhibition we chose to work with the Morgan Gallery as we wanted to ensure a very high standard of work,’ restaurant Manager Martin Richter explained.
‘So far we have had a fantastic response and we are delighted with the show. In particular there are a couple of pieces that are of an exceptionally high standard,’ he added.
Continuing with the centennial celebrations, Grand Old House is in the midst of organising a celebratory event, to be held later this year.
All artwork is for sale.
GRAND OLD HOUSE
Grand Old House restaurant is located in an historic mansion which has been meticulously maintained, and represents one of the finest examples of colonial plantation architecture remaining in the region.
Constructed by William Henry Law, the home was built to last. The foundation consists of 136 supports of locally-grown ironwood, with the posts fixed directly into the ironshore.
The land around Grand Old House was cultivated as a coconut plantation. In later years, Grand Old House was used as a Sunday school, a hospital for soldiers wounded in World War II, and a shelter for island residents during storms and hurricanes.
In 1969, the house was turned into a restaurant.
The Morgan Gallery, located in Galleria Plaza, is set to host an art exhibition featuring artwork by seven of the Native Sons. Artists are Randy Chollette, Gordon Solomon, Nickola McCoy-Snell, Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette, Wray Banker, Al Ebanks and Chris Christian. The two-week show opens Tuesday, 19 February.